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Rebels Rising in the Real World: Mechanical Engineer Ben Lapane

Ben Lapane is a mechanical engineering major from Mobile, Alabama. In high school, he was a track and field star. Being from one of the 11 states that include the javelin in high school track and field teams, he learned early on that he had a knack for the sport. His senior year in high school, Lapane was ranked 20th in the United States, earning scholarships from several universities. But in the end, it was Ole Miss that had his heart.

Ben and Mary Louise Lapane
Ben and Mary Louise Lapane

“Ultimately, I chose the University of Mississippi because of the special relationships I built with the coaching staff,” Lapane said.

After a year at Ole Miss, his major was still undeclared, but he never stopped pursuing his passion for track and field. In 2011, he earned Jr. All-American status by the United States Track and Field Association for his performance at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. For the next three years, Lapane continued his role within the track and field team, landing him the rank of third best in the school history for the javelin throw.

After some deliberation, Lapane finally decided on his major. Taking after his father, he decided on engineering.

“He urged me strongly to consider the benefits of becoming an engineer,” Lapane said. “I also really enjoyed playing with Legos.”

Following summer internships with GE Oil and Gas and BASF (the largest chemical company in the world), he knew that he wanted to work on the business side of things.

After his senior year, Lapane retired from track and field so that he could dedicate his time to his studies. During this time, he met a woman named Mary Louise. The two were married at Paris Yates Chapel on May 17, 2014. He and his wife will be graduating in May and have plans to move to Houston, Texas, in June where Lapane will work as a procurement specialist for DOW Chemical (the largest chemical company in the United States). And after that?

“My plan is to hopefully come back to the University of Mississippi and recruit more engineering students to come work for DOW in the future,” Lapane said.

Rachel Vanderford is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at rmvander@go.olemiss.edu.

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