Bob Tyioran ’69 Explains How an Engineering Degree Transfers to Other Fields

Bob and his granddaughter, Haylee

Sigma Phi Delta Brother Bob Tyioran ’69 spent his first career as an engineer. Now in retirement, he’s moving on to a new venture in life. Bob recently completed a paralegal certificate program and is seeking a part-time position in that field.

“Over the years, I had developed an interest in the law,” he explained. “Once I decided to retire, I began, and eventually completed, the paralegal certificate program offered through Elgin Community College.”

The program is approved by the American Bar Association. Entry into the certificate program requires a bachelor’s degree, a business law course, and then 24 semester hours of coursework made up of required and elective courses. Bob graduated with high honors.

While switching to the field of law may seem like a big leap for an engineer to take, Bob feels that the two professions have many of the same skills in common.

“The skills required of a lawyer—problem solving, organization, and research—are skills that an engineer has already developed,” he said. “Both engineering law and patent law are inviting possibilities for a graduate engineer.”

Bob originally graduated from Chicago Technical College in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in Tool Engineering. In 1980, he went on to earn a second degree in Computer Science/Business from Aurora University. While at Chicago Tech, he was a member of the SPD Iota Chapter. He served two terms as Treasurer and one term as Chief while he was an active member. He says the experience he gained through these leadership roles served him well later in life.

“Serving in an officer/leadership role within the fraternity helped develop skills that were useful to me when I entered the workforce after graduation,” said Bob.

Bob encourages students today who are considering an engineering degree to realize that the degree opens the door to a lot of possibilities.

“There are so many directions you can go with an engineering degree,” said Bob. “At one company, I was asked to transfer into the Management Information System department to help in the development of a custom homegrown MRP system. The invitation was based primarily upon my manufacturing knowledge.”

There are so many directions you can go with an engineering degree.

Bob started his engineering career at All-Steel Inc., a manufacturer of executive level office furniture. He spent 25 years at All Steel—seven as a tool engineer, three as a manufacturing engineer, and the remainder as a systems analyst/programmer.

When All-Steel was bought out and moved to Iowa, Bob joined Moose International, the headquarters of Mooseheart Child City and School. He spent fifteen years there as a systems analyst/programmer.

While Bob appreciates today’s social media sites and the part they can play in networking, he says that they can’t replace being part of a fraternity.

“Social media sites provide the medium for an important part of college life, namely, social networking,” said Bob. “However, I don’t think that social media can possibly take the place of that close-knit group of friends that you can refer to as your brothers.”

Bob and his wife, Diane, have been married for 46 years. They have two daughters, Krista (a nurse) and Karrie (a junior high math teacher), as well as one granddaughter, Haylee.

Want to connect with Bob? You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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