Student Spotlight: Isaac Scarborough

By Kat Billo ’25

Tell us a little about yourself.
“My name is Isaac Scarborough and I’m from Millsboro Delaware, I am a junior in the Ocean Engineering program.” 

Why engineering?
“A lot of my family are engineers so I grew up around it and I grew up on the water so I’ve always had a passion for the ocean, so that’s what led me to ocean engineering.”

What do you do for fun?
“As I said I grew up on the water so I love fish and surf. It’s especially great in this area.”

How do you feel about the sense of community at URI?
“I am not in any of the student orgs, although I just joined the surfing club a few weeks ago. But URI is a school more about teamwork, and you don’t feel like you’re competing against each other. When I toured other schools it just felt like there was a lot of competition, but when I came to URI it’s just about helping each other exceed.”

What do you want to do when you finish here?
“As of right now I have an internship for this summer with Mclaren Engineering Group in New York, so basically, I’m going to be making design packages for coastal solutions in the New York City waterfront, so that should be fun and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. But as of right now I’m starting to think more and more about grad school, so the internship should be a good opportunity for me to get my foot in the door with a company, and also a good opportunity for me to see if this is really what I want to do, and maybe I can end up going there after my senior year. It’s either that or stay here at URI and continue with OCE and do either geo-technical background along with ocean engineering so I can keep up with the research I’m currently doing.”

What’s your favorite memory of URI Engineering?
“A memory that’s kinda fun is when everyone ends up in the same study room out of nowhere maybe 30 minutes before an exam, and everybody’s in there and you’re supposed to be studying but then we say ‘we’ve made it this far might as well just stop hang out’, and it’s such a good environment.”

What are some things URI Engineering has that other engineering schools don’t?
“URI has the best ocean engineering program. I’m here at URI because I love the area, but the big draw was ocean engineering. It’s one of the oldest ocean engineering programs in the’s definitely the best in my opinion, the professors are absolutely fantastic. I chose URI because I felt like it was the right choice and I’ve been blown away by the amount of knowledge I’ve been able to learn and the opportunities I’ve been given just being here”

Hands on…what do you do? 
“I’m probably going to focus more on structures and geotechnical analysis of that structure in the ocean. I’ll talk a little bit about my research. For the past 9 months I’ve been doing research under some professors like Dr.Baxter, an ocean engineer with a civil background. I predominantly work on the Block Island Wind Farm, and its basically structure analysis to make sure they’re not going to fall over or break in big storms or heavy conditions. I was just asked to return next year and work on the Coastal Virginia offshore wind farm, it’s pretty cool and the research I’m doing is pretty fun, I actually really find myself enjoying it and wanting to focus more on research rather than school now which I guess is a good thing but probably not the best for my grades.”

What do you think of Kingston?
“Coming from someone who’s an outdoorsman, I absolutely love it. There’s so much to do, so much water, there’s just so much area to go and explore the outdoors, it’s so much fun. Fishing is absolutely fantastic. In the fall I find myself going out, standing on the rocks all night to catch striped bass till 8 am, go right to class all day, sleep maybe 2 hours in the middle of the day and go right back at it. It’s the best place for me.”

What is the #1 reason someone should do engineering here?
“For ocean engineers, it’s the best program, I absolutely love it. There are so many opportunities, so many connections. When you’re looking for an internship or a job, every company that has ocean engineering has somebody from URI. Everyone knows everyone because it’s kind of a small field, but it’s growing and URI is a leader of that growth, so it’s a good place to come to be a part of that. Also, I’ve taken some civil courses, some mechanical classes and both of those have been wonderful.”

Thanks Isaac!