Jared Darius, first master's graduate of Liberty University's School of Engineering. Courtesy of Liberty University.

Liberty University is set to have the first master’s graduate from its School of Engineering.

Jared Darius completed his degree in December and plans to walk in Liberty’s 49th Commencement exercises in May. He was in the second class of graduates for Liberty’s bachelor of science in mechanical engineering in 2019.

In February, Darius will launch his career in his home state of Connecticut as an aeronautical engineer at Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky aircraft company, which manufactures helicopters for the military and commercially. He will put his graduate research to work there.

At Liberty, his research focused specifically on titanium alloys and, more generally, the idea of “engineering fatigue,” the wear and tear that fractures components. His job responsibilities will be split between repair design and manufacturing, while also managing the shop floor and the mechanics busy assembling rotorheads and transmissions.

“(Fatigue engineering failure) definitely comes into play with aircraft components, especially helicopters, which are vibration and fatigue machines,” Darius said in a release from Liberty. “Every cycle of that rotor is just producing insane loads on all kinds of internal transmission and rotorhead components.”

Darius has gained real-world experience through a series of internships: two at Lockheed Martin, one researching stress-corrosion cracking in nuclear reactors for Lynchburg-based Framatome, and this past summer at Hendrick Motorsports headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Liberty has 15 other master’s students and 15 doctoral students in its engineering program plus about 60 students in an online master’s program for engineering management.

The School of Engineering is expecting to celebrate its first Ph.D. graduate in May.