Dylan Shiltz, a senior mechanical engineering student, received the SAME ROTC Award of Merit. The award was presented by U.S. Navy Rear Admiral David Steindl on behalf of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) at the Tri-ROTC awards ceremony. Shiltz is part of the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), a college-based program for training commissioned officers of the United States armed forces. He also is an MSOE University Scholar and has maintained a cumulative GPA of 4.0.

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The SAME ROTC Award of Merit is a bronze medal with bronze key replica, and was authorized in 1948 to be awarded annually to outstanding junior and senior engineering students in the ROTC. A central military service board in each case selects the outstanding students for the awards from nominations submitted by the Professors of Military Science and Technology, Professors of Naval Science, and Professors of Aerospace Studies.

To be eligible for the award students must be a junior or senior engineering student actively enrolled in an ABET accredited school and in ROTC. Nominees must be in the top 25 percent of their engineering class and in the top 25 percent of their ROTC class. A maximum of 20 medals per service area (Air Force, Army and Navy) may be given. Shiltz was one of only two students who received this award in the Northwest Detachment.

“I’ve had Dylan in several classes and have worked closely with him on two different energy research projects,” said Dr. Christopher Damm, mechanical engineering professor. “Academically, Dylan is one of the best students I have known in 13 years of college teaching. He is also a gifted leader, with a quiet confidence that people respond to. He has a tremendously bright future ahead of him.”

Shiltz joined the Air Force ROTC for a number of reasons. “Like many engineering students, I am drawn to opportunities to work on exciting technology, and the Air Force offers engineering opportunities that simply cannot be found elsewhere,” he said. “I am also constantly seeking to challenge myself and develop my leadership skills. Most importantly, however, I feel extremely fortunate to live in a country where our security and freedoms are so well protected, in a world where this is not the case for many. I think it’s important that we each find our own way to give back to society, to take advantage of our opportunities, and to ensure that these opportunities are passed on to others.”

“I knew I wanted to pursue engineering before I had finished high school,” said Shiltz. “I took two Project Lead The Way courses, which helped me determine that mechanical engineering was my major of choice. As a Milwaukee native, MSOE seemed like a natural choice to pursue my undergraduate education.”

“Throughout my AFROTC experience, I have enjoyed the camaraderie with my fellow cadets more than anything. It’s very rewarding working with others who share your values and interests, facing challenges together, and learning from each other.”

After graduating from MSOE, Shiltz will attend MIT to earn a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Ultimately, he plans to enter the active duty Air Force as a developmental engineer.

MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,600 students that was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 96% placement rate; and the highest average starting and mid-career salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.