Martin is majoring in Ocean Engineering
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther men’s basketball player Elias Martin, a junior who is majoring in Ocean Engineering.
Making the trek to Melbourne from Green Cove Springs, Florida, Elias is averaging 5.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game this season. His six blocks in the victory over Tampa on November 30th were the most by a Florida Tech player in six years.
Martin has been named to the Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll after each of his first two years and was named to the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll following his freshman year.
Given the demands of a major that has ties to our home, and we’re learning more about it all the time, we sat down with Elias to talk with him about what made this major appealing to him and what he wants to do for a career.
■ What’s your major at Florida Tech, and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?
My major currently is ocean engineering, and it wasn’t always what I planned to do.
When I initially came here, I was a civil engineering major, but during my sophomore year, I became interested in a specific part of engineering, civil engineering, and its coastal importance, harbor development.
And our school is one of the few schools in the country that has an ocean engineering program which would allow me to take more coursework in that area. So that’s why I ended up switching.
■ What was it about Florida Tech that drew you here?
It was definitely the chance to be able to compete at a high level in Division II basketball, and the quality of education I had been getting at the same time was a big draw.
■ How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?
Currently, I’m planning on pursuing a career in design engineering. So, instead of being in the field, I want to do design work for ports and harbors, marinas and beaches, and shoreline re-restoration.
■ Do you feel like growing up near Jacksonville and then being here in Melbourne has drawn you towards the ocean, or was there a different thing that made you want to be a part of that?
I definitely think it is. Both my parents were in the Navy, and I’ve always been near water wherever I’ve been, and it’s definitely had an effect on me and made me have a deeper appreciation for it.
■ What are some of the exciting projects that you’ve been able to work on in classes here?
Most recently, I was working on a project where we were taking different design surfboards and analyzing those speeds at the beach and trying to draw a correlation between why some are faster, and some are slower, how to increase acceleration, that sort of thing. That was pretty fun.
■ Between all the practices, games, and road trips, how do you keep everything balanced once the season starts?
Yeah, it can definitely get overwhelming at times, but we have a lot of balances in place.
We’re always taught how to manage our time, how to communicate well with our professors about the different things that are going to be going on, and just stay disciplined.
We already have to get up early to do athletic stuff, taking advantage of that time and knocking out schoolwork when we otherwise would be sleeping and just staying as focused as possible during a very busy time.
■ How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and what do you take from the court that you apply to your studies?
Communication, it’s so key to being able to communicate with your teammates offensively and defensively on the court and that’s translated really well to communicating with peers, professors, other students, and faculty, and it’s had a huge impact on my success.
■ What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that has an interest in Ocean Engineering?
Definitely take a look at the major. It’s a very difficult major and has a lot of difficult math requirements and physics. So, if you’re interested in doing stuff in the ocean and combining that with some of the typical things you’d be doing in engineering, it’s a great field.
But there are a lot of things to do in ocean engineering, so find out what some of those are and how you’re interested in them.
There are a lot of different clubs to join, like the Naval Architecture Society and the National Oceanic Engineering Society.
Just get involved with those types of clubs, and activities, and make sure you’re really interested in doing math and physics.
■ What have you enjoyed the most about your time at Florida Tech and what goals do you have for the rest of the season?
What I’ve enjoyed the most has been that family feeling I’ve had with all my teammates. I’ve had a big sense of community since I came here, and it’s played a big part in my success.
As far as goals moving forward, just win every game we can and contribute to the team’s success in whatever way is needed.
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