Office of Future Engineers
2019-2020 Annual Report

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Letter from the Director

First and foremost, I hope that this letter finds you and your family safe and well. What a challenging and unpredictable year it has been for OFE, Purdue, the nation, and the world. My heart goes out to all of you who have had stress, struggles, and loss. I feel very fortunate to be part of the community here at Purdue. I’ve been extremely proud of the efforts made by faculty, staff, administration and especially students in protecting Purdue and allowing us to continue to educate bright minds to use their intellect and compassion to make the world a better place.

We in OFE feel for the students who have been unable to visit colleges but ‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’ Universities have been forced to rely on virtual content which is improving the quality of information for students online. It cannot replicate standing in the middle of the Engineering Mall watching students lounge in their hammocks or discuss how they’re going to finish their Thermodynamics homework. However, there is a tremendous amount of interactive dynamic information available now that will help students better evaluate schools before ever stepping on campus.

This past Spring, we had roughly two weeks to flip all in-person engineering visits to a virtual platform. I’m extremely proud of how our staff worked together to continue to seamlessly provide access to the information families needed to make their college choice. Fortunately, we had been doing virtual broadcasts for a while so had some experience and tools up our sleeves as we tried to figure it all out. From supervising and coordinating current students virtually to offering online engineering programs and instant web chat, we were able to contribute to bringing in one of the largest engineering classes in Purdue’s history. We had 2,455 new beginners for summer and fall with summer starts being up 150%. Given the uncertainty of this year’s recruiting cycle, this is an incredible feat and a testament to all at Purdue who recruit students as well as the entire Purdue community who make this such an excellent place to live and learn.

As the current recruitment cycle will continue to be anything but ordinary, we strive to improve our online offerings and communications to better serve families who are unable to visit. With the growing necessity of marketing and communications, we made some changes to increase support across programs in Engineering. We are fortunate to have a breadth of skill sets within our office, and Aurie Swartz, Assistant Director of the Office of Future Engineers, has graciously transitioned into focusing on marketing and communications. Heather Coar, Assistant Director of Communications, who has been a key contributor to OFE these past 6 years, will focus her talents exclusively on supporting the Minority Engineering Program and the Women in Engineering Program. I want to thank Heather for her creativity and diligence in messaging the voice of OFE and, especially crucial this year, for transitioning our website to a new template which made information more accessible to families at a time they needed it most.

It takes the entire community to attract and enroll students in the best of times but certainly I’ve been inspired by how we’ve all come together in this challenging recruitment cycle. We are truly grateful to all of our remarkable partners including all of the Professional Schools and Programs, Office of Admissions, College of Engineering, our alumni around the world, and so many more.

Thanks so much for perusing our annual report. Please let me know if you have any questions, feedback, suggestions, or collaborations you would like to discuss.

David Bowker
Director of the Office of Future Engineers
Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach

Our Mission

Aspire to inspire all middle school through high school students to consider engineering as a career, dedicated to recruiting a diverse and academically gifted student body to the First-Year Engineering (FYE) program at Purdue University, and continued engagement of Purdue Engineering Alumni in the development and growth of future leaders in engineering.

Our 2019-2020 Staff

David Bowker

David Bowker

Amy Glenn

Amy Glenn

Associate Director
Heather Coar

Heather Coar

Assistant Director, Communications
Aurie Swartz

Aurie Swartz

Assistant Director, Operations
Lindsay Elias

Lindsay Elias

Office Manager
Click here to view bios of our current students and staff

We are also helped out by an incredible group of current students and interns who assist us with daily operations, web and 2d design, and communications for our office. The Purdue Student Engineering Foundation (PSEF) also collaborates with OFE in our information sessions and events, making valuable connections with prospective students and families.

Our Approaches


We educate middle school and high school students, as well as their teachers and counselors, on what being an engineer is all about. Through presentations ranging from what an engineer does to planning a career in engineering to how to pay for college, we hope to get more students of all backgrounds interested in engineering.


Through on- and off-campus events, social media outreach, targeted email, a responsive website, print materials, and personal interactions, we seek to connect with high-achieving students from around the world to provide them with an insider's perspective of Purdue Engineering and campus life to help them determine if Purdue is right for them.


We constantly seek to partner with both current students and alumni to expand our outreach to middle schools and high schools all around the world.

Student Development

We empower students to increase their skills in public speaking, interpersonal communication, writing, 2D design, project management, and much more.

Daily Presentations

We offer daily Engineering Information Sessions on weekdays all year that see over 20,000 visitors annually and are typically led by current engineering students. The presentation focuses on the first year experience and opportunities available to all Purdue Engineering students, and it also incorporates an interactive team project similar to what students encounter in our First Year Engineering courses.

School/Class Visits

We also visit high schools to discuss a range of topics in the field of engineering, including how to prepare for college, engineering careers, and Purdue Engineering itself. High schools can also request for an OFE representative to visit their high school via virtual platforms.

Strategic Events

We host a number of strategic events annually, each one with a distinct theme, making it easier for our prospective and admitted students and their families to remember Purdue Engineering long after they have attended and have a firmer idea of what Purdue Engineering has to offer.

Social Media

We have an in-house marketing and communications team that maintains social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and BlogSpot. The team uses these channels to increase click-through rates on the web through various social media campaigns throughout the year.

Print Media

In addition to our digital media outreach, we also provide future students with informational and motivational materials during campus visits and through direct mailings. Our mailings focus on admitted students to congratulate them on their admission to Purdue Engineering and provide them with swag to show off to their friends and family.

Alumni Network

We work with our vast alumni network around the country and across the globe to help us with our outreach efforts through alumni open houses, visiting college fairs, and talking with prospective students in their respective areas about Purdue and Purdue Engineering.

Our Feedback

I thought your team did a wonderful job, and I couldn't be happier with the information and smoothness of the overall presentation. Thank you, I look forward to applying and taking a visit in the near future if possible.

Everyone was so down to earth that it gave me a good insight into the campus vibe even though I was not there in person. It was great to get advice on applying to Purdue. Overall a great presentation.

I wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to organize and attend the Engineering Open House in Woodstock. It was such a pleasure to speak with everyone and hear all the different perspectives of the school--it really gave me a great idea of what it means to be a Boilermaker.

Thank you for holding such an amazing virtual presentation. I thoroughly enjoyed the initial overview of Purdue engineering and appreciated the individual student stories about how and why they chose to major in engineering. Aurie did an excellent job of explaining things and answering questions. I hope I can visit your campus sometime soon as I am very interested in Purdue and more specifically, engineering.

We have visited 11 schools [...] and our Purdue visit was the best one. After learning about the program, we found that it took everything we liked about each program and rolled it into one.

Latest Statistics

Below are the year-over-year trends comparisons of the number of admitted and enrolled students for various categories and the academic profiles of First-Year Engineering students:

Application and Acceptance

Enrolled student demographics

URM Enrollment profile

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 1-Year Change 5-Year Change
Black or African American 38 33 52 41 23 -44% -39%
Hispanic/Latino 85 119 135 138 126 -9% 48%
Native American or Alaska Native 1 2 1 4 2 0% 100%
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 2 0 2 2 2 0% 0%
Two or More Races 80 82 122 113 137 21% 71%

First-Year Engineering Class Data

Below are the average achievement metrics for the new-beginning First Year Engineering class over the last 3 years.

  2018 2019 2020
SAT - Composite 1402 1414 1410
SAT - Math 729 738 735
SAT - Critical Reading 679 683 684
ACT - Composite 31 32 32
High School GPA 3.78* 3.79 3.80

*Enrollment Management changed how they calculate unweighted GPA beginning with the 2018 academic year.

Summary of Activities

In-Person Events

458 events

14,609 guests

Virtual Events

65 events

8,375 attendees

Email Marketing

44 campaigns

454,408 emails

Print Marketing

2 print pieces

20,000 copies