Connor Holmes

Engineering Futures Scholar

Conner Holmes, a first-generation mechanical engineer at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering said he won first place with his high school chemistry club in a competition to see who could make the best trade deal between Boeing and Colombia in front of a crowd featuring the mayor of Mesa.

“We had to do so much research on a topic we knew nothing about and just fell in love with doing research and generating knowledge,” Holmes said. 

After taking engineering classes for three years in high school, Holmes knew he liked engineering because of the content, problem solving aspects and working in teams. He is also an EF First-Year Scholar. 

Being a first-generation college student, he had to overcome some obstacles when applying to colleges and loans by doing a lot of research and seeking out people outside his family who could answer his college-related questions. 

“My parents were surprised when one of their kids actually wanted to go to college because I was the first one,” Holmes said. “It’s hard though especially for them because they have no experience, they have no idea what to do, or how to take out a loan and stuff like that. So, it was stressful for them.”

Holmes was born in Washington State, but has lived in Gilbert, Arizona for the past 12 years. He decided to go to Arizona State University because it was the most affordable option for him, and he knew the engineering program had a great reputation. 

College has been exactly what Holmes expected: “non-stop”. Compared to high school, his schedule is a lot busier trying to balance academics and a social life, but he said he’s adjusted to it well.

By Laura Stack, Science and Technology Writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
May 12, 2020