Manufacturer selects QC student for scholarship

Sam Bevans receives Evans Memorial Scholarship

Sam Bevans

Davenport-based manufacturer American Power Systems, Inc. has selected Davenport Central High School graduate Sam Bevans as the winner of its 2024 Thomas K. Evans Memorial Scholarship

The recent graduate plans to attend Iowa State University, Ames, this fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering.

The scholarship is a $5,000 merit- and needs-based, one-time gift for new college entrants pursuing education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The program was founded in 2017 to encourage bright, creative young people to achieve and excel, and to help them change the world for the better.

It is named for the late Thomas Keenan Evans, a local engineer and entrepreneur, who in 2006 founded APS, which designs and manufactures advanced mobile power systems for armored, security, commercial, marine and other purpose-built specialty vehicles.

“Being able to award this scholarship to help the innovators of tomorrow is incredibly meaningful to our company,” said Amy Lank, president and CEO of APS, which funds the award. “Connecting students with resources through the Thomas K. Evans Memorial Scholarship not only honors the legacy of our company’s founder, but it also demonstrates our commitment to investing in our future talent.”

Mr. Bevans’ love for aviation grew from his connection with his grandfather, who was a pilot in the Air Force and flew Chinook helicopters in the National Guard. His grandfather also has his private pilot’s license, which has enabled Bevans to fly frequently with him.

The student – who admitted his love for taking apart toys and putting them back together in his younger years – found that as he grew older his passion for engineering and creative problem-solving could fit perfectly into his love for aviation.

“Aerospace engineering became my focus, and I began to explore it both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Mr. Bevans. He has had a variety of coursework and extracurricular experience related to the field, including participation in the University of Illinois Aerospace Engineering Institute and volunteering with the Young Eagles program, which provides free flights to area youth.

In high school, he also participated in multiple band ensembles, National Honor Society, Mentors in Violence Prevention and served as programming captain of Central’s Robotics team. He also used his creativity and science skills as lighting director for the school’s theater department, creating one of only two lighting designs in the State of Iowa chosen for the 2023 International Thespian Festival.

“I love to be innovative and creative in all aspects of my life and I am always looking for ways to improve things,” he said in a news release. “As a future aerospace engineer, my goal is to use my strong education from Iowa State combined with my drive and determination to make a meaningful impact on the aviation industry.”

“Sam is a hard-working problem solver. This is demonstrated in everything he undertakes,” Davenport Central National Honor Society Adviser Cari Johnson wrote in recommending Mr. Bevans. “His ability to think about things from a unique perspective, ask questions, and brainstorm solutions will serve him well in his chosen field.”

For more information on Mr. Bevans, go to the APS website.

Since 2006, APS has been designing and manufacturing advanced mobile power systems, alternators, converters, regulators and power generators for armored, security, commercial, marine and purpose-built specialty vehicles like RVs and luxury motor coaches. The company specializes in the innovation and custom crafting of power conversion and distribution systems by a staff with nearly 300 combined years of experience.

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