Cougar Queries is a series profiling BYU employees by asking them a few simple questions about their work, interests and life.
Name: Mark Colton
BYU employee since: 2005
My job at BYU is... Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. I get to teach fun classes in mechatronics and dynamic systems, and conduct research in robotics and haptic interfaces.
Currently I'm working on... finding new ways for soldiers to control teams of robots.
I'm currently reading... The Name of the Wind, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling and Introductory Graph Theory. My kids say I read ?weird? books.
I get most excited about my work when... I work with students on projects that can make a difference in the world. We have great students who want to use their talents to make the world a better place. We have worked on an affordable motorized wheelchair for kids, a prosthetic hand for a young mother, and robots to help kids with autism.
When I tell people I work for BYU, they often say... "Really?" My friends know that I received three degrees from the University of Utah and come from a long line of Utes. I can say with conviction that I'm thrilled to be part of BYU.
What makes teaching the greatest job in the world is... everything! But the two greatest parts of my job are that I get to see students become passionate about engineering and I get to keep learning new things all the time.
When I have 30 minutes of free-time, you can find me... building circuits or programming microcontrollers in my office. Isn't that what everyone does with their free-time?
My advice to incoming freshman is... get your hands dirty-build something, join a club, go on a study abroad, work on a research project, or participate in a competition. Experience outside the classroom is just as important as what your professors tell you from the podium.
I've hiked to the Y... zero times. I've been meaning to do that.
My go-to comfort food is... pasta. I ate it almost every day as a missionary in Italy and it never got old. My Italian grandmother made the best pasta sauces ever. It seems fitting that I fell in love with my wife while we were cleaning a pasta dryer at the church pasta factory.
Three things that are always found in my refrigerator are... about seven gallons of BYU Creamery milk (we have a bunch of thirsty kids), Frank's RedHot sauce, and Parmesan cheese.
I'm most looking forward to... serving a mission with my wife, Amy.
Know of another Cougar we should feature? Email Emily Hellewell.