He lives in two different worlds using two different degrees — engineering and business. And the combination has Jacob Marino flourishing in the construction industry.
The Wright State University alumnus helps design and develop products used in buildings around the world, including sports arenas and stadiums, the new World Trade Center and Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle. The company Marino works for as a product engineer, Barsplice Products, Inc., is even a supplier of the space launch facility for Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company.
“I certainly would not be as successful as I have been in my career thus far without the engineering and business skills I learned at Wright State,” said Marino.
Marino earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Wright State in 2016 and then returned for a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in project management and innovation, graduating in 2018.
Marino’s family background — with engineers on his mother’s side and business professionals on his father’s side — influenced Marino to pursue both engineering and business as a career.
“I’ve always enjoyed both worlds and how they complement each other,” he said. “It was an easy decision for me down the road to marry the two worlds together by getting both an engineering degree and a business degree.”
Marino knew he wanted to be an engineer at a young age.
“Math and science both fascinated me, and engineering combines those two fields to develop products and services,” he said. “Everything from tech to buildings to transportation is created by engineers, and I’ve always loved the idea of designing products that improve the world around us.”
Marino, who grew up in the Indianapolis area, was home-schooled and graduated from high school in 2012.
He was attracted to Wright State following a campus visit.
“I knew it was the place for me,” he said. “I love the campus and surrounding area, and the resources, facilities and faculty at the College of Engineering and Computer Science are phenomenal. The school’s proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base also provided a great opportunity for engineering.”
A highlight of Marino’s college experience at Wright State was attending basketball games.
“The student section is awesome, and we enjoyed cheering on the Raiders in the Nutter Center,” he said. “After graduation, I didn’t hesitate to get season tickets, and I still attend just about every game.”
After graduating in 2016, Marino began working as a product engineer at the Dayton-based Barsplice.
Marino decided to earn an MBA after realizing that engineers at midsize companies have many responsibilities that directly relate to business and its operations.
“I knew this type of setting provided the perfect opportunity to pursue a degree in business and have it produce tangible results for the company and my career,” he said. “Since I had such an amazing experience at Wright State and because I knew how great the Raj Soin College of Business was, choosing Wright State again was an easy decision.”
Marino also discovered that many Fortune 500 CEOs come from engineering backgrounds and add an MBA to help with their growth in understanding the entire business. He said earning his MBA paid huge dividends for his career.
“Engineering education is almost solely focused on math, physics, etc.,” he said. “Getting an MBA opened me up to the world of business and operations. It enabled me to better design products and solve problems with the entire business framework in mind. Once I started taking business courses at Wright State, my growth as an engineer and employee skyrocketed.”
Barsplice designs and manufactures mechanical couplers for rebar. In recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on developing rebar made of materials other than traditional steel, such as fiberglass, carbon fiber and titanium.
“Barsplice has begun working on products for these new types of rebar, so it’s been fun to work with the variety of materials and the different engineering challenges they pose,” said Marino.
Marino also took the lead on the company’s use of 3D printers to produce face shields for Premier Health and first responders to help protect workers and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“That was an awesome project that I was able to oversee, and it was great seeing our direct impact in the Dayton area,” he said. “It was incredible to be able to adapt our equipment to help out in such crazy times.”