Basil Miller's primary goal is helping engineering students achieve their dreams

Dr. Basil Miller


Please introduce yourself.

My name is Basil Miller. I am a professor of engineering and physics. I have been at Henderson 24 years. Before coming to Henderson, I was a high school teacher and principal at the Magnet Cove District in Arkansas. I served in the Marine Corps and Army Reserve for a total of 27 years. In the military, one of my primary occupation specialties was engineering and logistics. These specialties laid the foundation for my interest in engineering, mathematics, and physics. My research area is in the field of civil engineering and geophysics.

What is your favorite aspect of engineering?

I love teaching engineering because I get to apply scientific knowledge to solve problems. It's an extremely diverse field so you can work towards solving many different problems. I get to work with the latest technologies and then implement them into a finished project.

What would you be doing if you hadn’t chosen engineering/teaching as a career?

I would have gone into the medical field because I enjoy helping people.

Please share something unique about yourself that most people don’t know.

I taught martial arts and self-defense for many years. I achieved the rank of sixth degree black belt in Taekwondo and competed in various tournaments. Many of the accomplishments that I have made in my life are due to the discipline that I learned from the martial arts and the military.

What makes engineering such an enticing major? What are some of the many professional fields that are available for graduates with an engineering degree?

From electrical and civil engineering to mechanical and biomedical engineering, an engineering degree offers many career possibilities. Today’s college graduates will have more than one career during their work life, and engineering can provide a strong foundation for almost any one of them.

What are the most in-demand jobs in engineering?

Mechanical and electrical engineers are projected to experience faster than average growth in engineering services as companies continue to grow and rely on technology.

As something that is usually taken for granted, how critical is engineering to the world’s infrastructure and our everyday way of life?

Engineering provides solutions to the problems we face in our daily lives. Engineers use the knowledge, skills, and design creativity they learned from an engineering program to improve our quality of life. From providing clean water and electricity to developing life-saving medical devices, engineering makes an important impact on the world today and of the future.

Why should a student choose Henderson State to pursue his or her engineering degree?

The Henderson Engineering and Physics Department has a long-standing reputation in preparing students to be successful engineers. The department provides personal interaction from professor to student learning. Classes are small and every student is important. Every student has an opportunity to earn a NASA research grant and internship due to Henderson being a member of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium. The most important goal of the department is helping students achieve their dreams and what they become.

What are some current trends or developments in engineering that students should be aware of?

Key trends in the engineering industry include automation and robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and renewable energy.

How do you think artificial intelligence (AI) will affect the future of engineering?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies have gained significant importance and will change engineering. The integration of these advanced technologies into the engineering field is creating benefits and new challenges. Engineers are now expected to work with advanced tools and systems that leverage AI to streamline design, analysis, and optimization processes.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about being a professor?

The most rewarding aspect of being a professor is to observe a student become an engineer and achieve their goals. The most challenging is developing the best method to help a student who is struggling in academics, family situations, or financially.

What advice would you give to students aspiring to major in engineering?

Prepare yourself for the mathematics and physics. Learn how to study and communicate with others.

How can students make the most of their college experience studying engineering at Henderson?

Get to know your professors and develop a relationship so you feel comfortable approaching them and asking for help. Work hard and try to solve a problem before asking for help. You will learn better if you’ve already begun the effort. Try to solve the problem before asking for help. When you do seek help, be prepared to discuss what you tried already, and bring your work showing your attempts. Take good notes, and study all your notes after your classes are over. Become a member of a study group, working with others will not only introduce other viewpoints to approaching a problem, it will also provide encouragement.

Can you please share a brief success story related to your students or experiences at Henderson?

There are so many, but in the last year I have helped more than 20 students receive research grants, outreach opportunities, and internships. One student recently shared his experiences with the NASA internship he received over the summer at the Marshall Space Flight Center. The instructors and professors at Henderson State University will help you achieve your goals and dreams.