LEADERSHIP is responsible for creating and auditing our culture, driving innovation, increasing efficiency, and optimizing training. Undergraduate supervisors are technical experts in the processes in their area and are trained in interpersonal skills. In the dynamic environment of the Center, they oversee the training and growth of the peer mentors in their area as well as their timeliness and soft skills. Examples are recommending training, demonstrating novel concepts, professionalism, etc.

The “Active Student Employee Incentive Programenables and rewards student employees that wish to acquire skills and grow towards leadership. The program funds, supplies, and provides mentoring to those employees who wish to go beyond their personal “comfort zone”.

OWNERSHIP is the driving force of accountability, and accountability is the defining characteristic of leadership. The Center grows leadership by entrusting students with genuine ownership over key areas of the Center and its operation, while mentoring them in an environment where failure is tolerated, out-of-the- box thinking encouraged, and mistakes valued and analyzed. Safety improvements, technical advances, progress, and mistakes are all part of the daily lives of our student leaders and student employees as they work tirelessly to improve the capabilities, accessibility, and availability of the Center to their peers.

Student employees (peer mentors) provide the first point of contact for student members who wish to use the advanced processes the Center makes available. Their typical role is:

  1. Assess the student’s capabilities and their concept

  2. Audit the safety of the manufacturing processes and the student’s training

  3. Map the member concept onto capabilities available in the Center and advise on design changes

  4. Demonstrate the processes and subsequently mentor the student in their application


"Having the opportunity to teach and meet so many people from the vast and diverse Purdue student body is the best part of my job. Every day I look forward to seeing the creativity and determination of my fellow students in successfully completing their projects."Morgan Burgett, Manufacturing Supervisor, Agricultural Machine Systems Engineering
“As a Supervisor, I have had the opportunity to help lead the development of our processes and learn as I take risks and grow in knowledge and leadership. Working with students to help them grow in an understanding of manufacturing and design has proved invaluable. Working with such supportive industry partners provides an opportunity to learn from experts and make mistakes along the way in a safe environment.”Jeremy Casella, Manufacturing Supervisor, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics
“The Bechtel Center has taught me that mistakes are integral to every great success. Its supportive policy on self-improvement has empowered me to grow into my potential and take the large risks that have helped me transform the electronics lab into the success it is today.”Luke Dean, Electronics Lab Supervisor, Electrical Engineering Technology
“Being a Supervisor at the Bechtel Center is a unique experience as I am not only a resource, helping facilitate other students' learning, but also learning myself. Technical parts of machining get easier with experience and a fundamental understanding of the work being done, beyond just using a machine. I have shared my experience with members and tried to give them the same appreciation for the fundamentals of design and manufacturing, especially the volunteers who will become peer mentors to continue the cycle. Everyone works differently, not only technically but also as a team, and working as a supervisor has given me experience and a better look at how members work and interact in such a dynamic environment.”Jonathan Friedrich, Manufacturing Supervisor, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics
“Being a supervisor at the Bechtel Center has allowed me to gain valuable experiences that I could not possibly have encountered in a class. While my day-to- day responsibilities may vary greatly, the one constant is the continued lessons in leadership that I have learned at the Bechtel Center. Thanks to the Center’s unique environment that prioritizes learning and personal development over things like profit, I am able to truly lead my lab, as well as the subcommittees I have formed, and make decisions that genuinely impact both the employees that work in the lab and students who use the Center.”Adriana Watson, Hot Works Supervisor, Robotics Engineering Technology
“During my time as Supervisor of Printing and Prototyping, I've had the opportunity to work more with Peer Mentors and student members in efforts to improve the lab and expand the variety of prototyping opportunities available. In pursuit of expanding upon these new opportunities, I have been able to engage more fully with the Center’s mission and develop my experiences with regard to leadership, education of others, and work and improvement within a technical environment. Above all else, the leadership opportunities provided to me as a Supervisor of the space have most notably allowed me to discover my passion for the educational process and the implementation of prototyping and engineering design processes in STEM which I am now pursuing for my master’s degree.”Joshua Tolemy, Prototyping Supervisor, Mechanical Engineering Technology