Purdue Bucket List: Fountain Run

Written by Jacob Villiger

One of my favorite Purdue traditions has to be going on a fountain run.  It’s certainly one of the most interesting ways to go through campus, and it can be a lot of fun.  It all starts out at Loeb Fountain, just outside the Beering building.  After dousing yourself with a lap or two through the ring of jets, head out of the plaza across the street to the John Purdue Fountain.  It may look small, but the water’s waist deep!  Sloshing through John Purdue fountain is a great way to cool off on a hot summer day.  As you turn to leave Memorial Mall, you can stop to get a drink from the Lion’s Head Fountain.   If you’re really thirsty, you can get four drinks, one from each head.  Continuing on, the pool by the bell tower is your next stop though it’s not much of a fountain.  It may look a little grimy, but make sure to at least dip your foot in on the way by.  Finally, you reach the end of your run: the Engineering Fountain.  The giant geyser in the center of the 38-foot tall sculpture rains down on anyone who draws near.  Once you get soaked in the Engineering Fountain, you’ve finished your run.  That is, unless you decide to turn around and do another fountain run going the other way!

I think the best kind of fountain run, especially during your first few weeks at Purdue, is a fountain run with a group of new friends.  I remember going on a fountain run during Boiler Gold Rush as a part of my first week on campus, and again a little later with friends I’d just met from my floor in Shreve.  A fountain run is an easy activity that just about anyone can enjoy,  and it’s a good way to have fun and get to know people that you’ll be seeing a lot throughout the course of the year.  I’d say that going on a fountain run should be on almost any Boilermaker’s bucket list, and if you’re like me, it’s probably a Purdue tradition you’ll want to experience more than once.

Balancing Greek Life and Engineering

Hi, my name is Abi Lutes and I’m a third year Industrial Engineering student. I wanted to share my experiences in being an engineer and in a sorority. I am a sister of Phi Sigma Rho, a unique sorority. You have to be in Engineering or Engineering technology in order to join. It’s amazing being a part of this sorority because you are with a big group of women engineers! You always have someone in your classes to study with or sit by and you have plenty of older girls there for homework help.  The best part though is you still get everything that comes with any other sorority, the social and philanthropic aspects!

I personally had no interest in going Greek until a group of girls on my floor freshman year invited me to a callout for “the engineering sorority.” I had no real interest in joining but tagged along to the event just to check it out. That’s when I fell in love. I still remember the first girl I met in Phi Sigma Rho. Her conversation with me about the house and her sisters was so full of passion. I kept coming back to the events and when I toured the sorority house I made up my mind I wanted to join.

I love being in a sorority because there’s always someone willing to do homework, order burritos, or binge watch 5 episodes of Netflix with. I met some of my best friends in the world by joining this sorority. I bonded with my pledge class and was blessed with the best big in the world. The experience has been so rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I love my sisters and am so grateful to be a part of this organization.

Many people ask how we are able to manage our time. It’s simple, really. Your college experience is what you make of it. If you put in work and use your time wisely, you can do anything you want. My big in the sorority worked full-time at Subaru, took a full semester of classes, and held a position in our sorority all at once! Engineers are in the marching band, in Greek life, on student councils, on the gymnastics team, in the chess club. You name it, engineers can do it. And we have! Don’t let a busy schedule keep you from having a fulfilling and exciting college experience. You will have more free time than you think! Find your place here at Purdue and never look back.

Andrew Leahy on PSEF

Andrew Leahy

Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering; minor in Computer Graphics Technology

How has being a part of PSEF benefited you academically and professionally?

I count myself lucky to be a part of any great organization on campus, and the Purdue Student Engineering Foundation (PSEF) is in my opinion the best around. I have the opportunity to meet so many great Boilermakers who pour their hearts into this organization; to better Purdue engineering and themselves.

PSEF has helped me grow as an individual. It has helped create a strong academic foundation through the help of study sessions, peer mentoring, and multiple classroom-aide resources. Being among so many likeminded people has helped me focus and develop new studying techniques to excel in the classroom and succeed. Fellow PSEF members have shown me how to utilize all that Purdue has to offer and the benefits of forming a relationship with your professors. But PSEF extends beyond the academic level, and establishes strong industrial connections for all members to benefit from in a professional manner.

I have been given access to connections in different industries across the nation to help me prepare for life beyond college. Past members actively reach out to us and openly help us in any way they can. Our broad expanse of Purdue alum in industry gives me the chance to learn more about what I want to do in my future and how to prepare for different challenges like interviews. We also have resume building sessions and a resume book which shows how to format your resume so you stand out and reveal your best qualities. Additionally our organization has two faculty sponsors and a professor that we work closely with. They have been my mentors here at Purdue, both inside and outside the classroom, and because of their passion for student success I know the direction that I want to head toward on a professional scale. PSEF has undoubtedly provided the tools necessary for any member to enter their professional field both prepared and experienced.

How has PSEF supported you throughout your time on campus?

PSEF is unique in that a small group of engineers at Purdue are able to come together to support, represent, and showcase our school all while becoming lifelong friends and colleagues. Our work is completely volunteer, and to know that there are an outstanding group of individuals who similarly want to give to Purdue and the engineering program makes me ecstatic. These people have become my second family and will always be there for them. They have pushed me to perform with excellence, they have encouraged going outside of Purdue and serving the local community, and they have shared their wisdom and experiences to help me make the right decisions as a student. I have learned from my peers what it means to be a Boilermaker and what gives me pride to wear gold and black.

One of my favorite things about PSEF is to share my experiences at Purdue as an engineer with prospective students. If I am enjoying it so much at Purdue and I couldn’t be happier, then I want others to have what I have. My goal is to set the inner fire in each student to pursue their dreams and make the most of their collegiate experiences.

What other organizations are you involved in on campus?

Other than PSEF, I am also involved in Greek life on campus as a brother in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, a seasonal member of the Purdue Swim Club, an active staff member of the Christian retreat Boiler Awakening, and a recurring Intramurals player.

Do you know what you would like to do after earning your degree?

With my degree, I am looking towards working on the design of aeronautical systems and aircraft. But after earning my degree, I am more interested in attending graduate school to receive my MBA. This is very important to me, and I am still unsure where I would go. However, Purdue is specifically in my sights for graduate school because of their unique Engineering Management masters program they offer.

What advice do you have for incoming freshman at Purdue?

The one piece of advice that I always give to freshman is to get involved on campus. Our campus organizations will give you the best experiences here at Purdue. You will have plenty of free time your first semester to join clubs and sports team, so find a couple of things that interest you and jump on it! You will find that many of these people in the clubs with you will become your best friends and help you throughout your years here.

Weathering through those First Internship Jitters by Varsha Ganapathy

*This post was originally featured on purduewiep.blogspot.com

  Coming out of my last final this semester, I felt nothing but relief, excitement, and immense confidence; it was time to take on summer. This summer would be special as I was going to take that leap into adulthood by working at my first internship with a steel manufacturing company. It was going to be that initial taste into what life after college will be like and honestly, after that semester of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics, how hard could this really be?
        As I drove up to the main building on my first day of work, I was pumped. Ecstatic. Meeting the other interns and going through orientation only elevated my anticipation for what was to come.  The completion of our safely training marked the end of orientation and all of the interns were sent to their respective departments; I was stationed to work at the rolling mill where steel slabs and ingots are rolled out into flat plates. I tagged along my mentor as we attended the daily mill meeting, a meeting I would not forget.

As the meeting commenced, I felt myself teleporting to another planet; abbreviations and numbers were thrown around and the phrases used seemed like a foreign language. My once in-the-clouds confidence began to follow an exponential decay even with all the side explanations from my mentor.  After the meeting, I made my way to my desk and that was when it all hit me. Was I really cut out for all this? I did not understand anything at that meeting even though a lot of it had to do with concepts I learn in my major.  What if I mess up, what will all these experienced engineers think of me?  I could not fathom the thought of becoming fluent in the language that was so casually spoken here. Just minutes after these thoughts I heard crashing against the roof in the form of a torrential downpour; to my mind at the time (which was in slight panic mode), this was a bad sign.
        Fast forward a month and these concerns took a turn for the better. By now I would have attended and spoken at numerous mill meetings, assisted with the completion of an important experiment, and was starting to understand all the abbreviations and common lingo used at the plant. I was given the freedom to go off on my own and figure out how each part of the mill fit in with the other and got to inspect defects on plates firsthand. I befriended the operators, asked them about their responsibilities and how they would go about resolving a certain situation; the operators spend the most time with the machines and plates, making them a wealth of knowledge and information for almost anything that happens at the plant.  Speaking with the engineers at the plant gave me insight into how a lot of the machinery worked and how specific delays or malfunctions can lead to different defects on the plates.

That first month taught me a lot, but most importantly to ask questions, and a lot of them.Curiosity does not always kill the cat, it makes it more alert and observant of what is going on. I made sure to clear up any doubts I had at the start of my internship and it sure made the transition a lot easier. My curiosity often led to impromptu projects and allowed me to interact with a diverse group of individuals on an everyday basis. My opinions where always heard and sometimes challenged but it all contributed to the learning experience. I no longer doubt whether I can undertake a particular task because there is always a way to the solution and a person to talk to. My confidence level continues to rise a little every week and I am excited to see what the next month will hold and how much I will learn in that time. There may be another horrible thunderstorm again, but it will not bother me because I know I can get through it.

Alumni Feature: Courtney Carlstrom

Courtney Carlstrom, BSChE ‘15, Currently Employed By: Ecolab in Joliet, IL

Prior to graduating from Purdue, I worked with the Office of Future Engineers (OFE) as a communications intern. I had the opportunity to support marketing planning, social media management, and present recruitment material to families and students interested in pursuing the First-Year Engineering Program. Working as a social media intern for the OFE had great benefits for me both academically and professionally. It allowed me to gain skills in the area of communications, which allowed me to perform better in my technical classes when I wanted to convey ideas or concepts. It was also a great opportunity to learn how to perform in an office environment, rather than a classroom. Working in the OFE also taught me how to balance projects and was a great model for how to form employee/supervisor relationships.

My supervisors cared about both my academics and my life on campus, which made me feel like part of a smaller community. They also were very supportive of my academic workload, and allowed me to move my work schedule around when necessary in order to keep up with my classes. While on campus I was also involved in the Purdue Student Engineering Foundation (PSEF), and the Women in Engineering Program (WIEP).

Now that I have earned my chemical engineering degree from Purdue, I am looking forward to being immersed in the first steps of my career – working as a safety engineer at Ecolab in Joliet, IL.

Feature Interview: Minority Engineering Program

Name: Santiago Ibarra Rico

Year: Senior

Major: Aeronautical Engineering

Hometown: Bogotá, Colombia

What program(s) are you involved in? I have been involved in SEW, Preface, ABC, and MITE.

Tell me a little bit about this program? Both the SEW and Preface programs are programs that target students in middle school and underclassmen in high school. These programs introduce the students to engineering by showing them that engineering is not only about math, but also about using your imagination to solve everyday problems. We also scale down larger engineering feats to a smaller magnitude so that the students can view larger problems in a smaller way.

ABC Bootcamp and MITE are different from the two other programs in that they target upperclassmen in high school. MITE helps prepare students for the SAT and also begins to show them the type of material that they will see if they choose to pursue an engineering degree after high school graduation. ABC, on the other hand, begins to expose incoming Purdue freshmen to the curriculum that they will begin once school starts in the fall.

What do you do for this program? For SEW and Preface I served as a Program Assistant. As a program assistant I was in charge of answering any questions that students had. I also had the opportunity of directing my own project, an egg drop. This project was a simplification of the landing of the Curiosity Mars Rover. For this project students had to construct a shell that would protect an egg as it fell from one or two stories, very similar to what NASA engineers did to protect the rover as it landed in Mars.

For ABC and Mite I served as a tutor to the students where I was able to interact with students on a one-on-one basis. I not only answered questions about the work they were given but also questions ranging from Purdue courses to campus life.

What is your favorite part of the program? I truly enjoyed working with and getting to know the students that I interacted with because only a few years ago I was in the same positions that they are currently in. I was also able to see the students’ growth throughout the programs.  Engineering is not for everyone and while some students decided that they did not want to further pursue engineering, some others grew more passionate about engineering which is the program’s goal. However, all students were able to expand their knowledge about engineering and learned why this major did or did not interest them; something that is truly vital when preparing for education after high school.

Why did you get involved in this program? I first learned about the programs from Dr. Cinthia Sanchez, MEP’s Outreach and Retention Administrator, and having previously worked with younger students I saw it as a good opportunity to expand the minds of younger students that will become future engineers.

How has this program affected you as an engineering student? I have had the opportunity to work alongside and gain knowledge from other engineering students that are not only pursuing their bachelor’s degree but also their master’s or PhD.

Would you recommend this program to incoming students?  I would highly recommend these programs to any and all incoming students because it gives them a perspective that not all other incoming students are able to obtain, and for ABC students it allows them to get to meet and befriend other students that they will be working with during their schooling.

Do you have any advice for incoming minority engineering students? My advice to all students, not just minority students, is to stick with it and most important of all, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, remember that MEP is in a way your family away from home and anyone here will do whatever they can to help you succeed and reach any goal that you set for yourself.

Did you participate in a similar program when you were younger, and if so, how did it benefit you? I did not participate in any similar programs when I was younger. However, after seeing these programs’ results, I would highly recommend them to any student that is interested in learning more about engineering.

How has MEP or this program benefited you academically and professionally? I became a part of MEP in January and in that short time I have grown a lot. I have also been able to meet a lot of highly motivated and friendly individuals that share my same goal and are more than willing to share their experiences and knowledge with me.

What other organizations are you involved in on campus? I have been involved with College Mentors For Kids as well as AIAA.

So what do you plan to do professionally? After graduation I plan on pursuing a job in either consulting or computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and later returning to school to pursue a master’s degree in engineering.

Making the World a Softer Place

My name is Katie Polson, and I am a rising sophomore in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. This summer I am working at Procter & Gamble as a Product Supply Fabric Care Technical Engineering Intern in Cincinnati, OH. What that title really means is that I am involved in several projects supporting Downy® Fabric Softener.

Through the interview process, and especially when I started my internship, I was very nervous that I would lack the technical skills that other, more senior engineers possessed. I had only just completed my first two semesters as an engineering student and only a few weeks prior had I been actually admitted to the School of Mechanical Engineering. I had yet to take a thermo, statics, or fluid dynamics class, but there I was – a technical engineering intern at a Fortune 500 company; needless to say, I was more than a bit intimidated.

However, as I neared the end of my internship, I can say with confidence that Purdue’s first- year engineering program prepared me well for industry. I have been able to build a technical mastery of the Downy® making and packing processes. I have earned Intermediate Level Certification in Micro Clean Design. I have created my own test plans and run trials at our plants to find the root cause of issues and I have grown and developed my analytical and problem solving skills. My first-year engineering courses taught me how to systematically approach a problem like an engineer and helped me learn the right questions to ask when I lacked understanding. I found this skill set far more useful than knowing a plethora of fluid flow equations, since those are easy enough to look up.

Katie wearing her Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

This summer, I learned that having a passion for engineering and genuine curiosity can take you much further than a long list of completed courses. There is no class at any university that could have taught me all the specific skills and knowledge set I would need to succeed as a Fabric Care Engineer. However, what Purdue did was equip me with the set of skills that all engineers need to be successful – thinking like an engineer. Because of this, I was able to be a successful engineer working on real projects and leaving a lasting impact in the projects I worked on.

Nicole Futch: Study Abroad

When the summer began, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew I had signed up for a study abroad program in New Zealand and Australia that would run for a month. I knew that I would be studying rainforest conservation and corresponding policies in both countries (yes, there is a rainforest in Australia). I also knew that it wouldn’t be like anything I had ever done before.

This program turned out to be one of the highlights of my life, to say the least. Previously, I had never thought that I would be able to see what I saw that early in my life. I got to take opportunities that would have never arisen if I had just gone there on a visit; for example, our class stayed with a Maori family for three days in New Zealand, learning about their history, culture, and current ways of life. Had I been just a tourist, I don’t think I would have gotten an opportunity like that. I believe that the experiences I’ve had on this trip will help me in my future endeavors, as I have learned many things during this course.

The first thing I learned was how to travel, as this trip was extremely travel-intensive. Simply traveling to and from these places required six different flights (three of which were international and made us go through customs), two separate hostel stays, countless hours of getting into and out of assorted vehicles, and learning how to exchange and use foreign currency and payment systems, to name a few.

I also learned many things that could benefit me in a classroom. In fact, I was one of only two engineers out of 20 students on the program. Being such, I more or less proved myself as being able to think analytically and see solutions wherever problems arose. I got called on for mechanical difficulties, computer problems, and even questions about how the airplanes we were on flew (good thing I’m an Aerospace engineer).

This program, however, rounded out my mind to be able to think more along the lines of a biologist, who is trained to know about the things of nature and who doesn’t have to think in steps all the time. This different way of thinking helped me to see that the answers I seek are, in fact, actually right in front of me sometimes.

Finally, I learned about other people. There were 20 students in the program, including myself. The program was set up to require everyone to live, work, and study as a unit, very nearly 24/7. This organization made it crucial to understand and learn to work with all of the different personality types that surrounded me for the entire month. All of these skills will be helpful to me in both my current education and a future career, plus I will have a fantastic experience to remember as well. This was one of the best programs I’ve ever completed, and I know I’m way better off because of it.

Äventyr på Sverige (Adventures in Sweden)

My name is Ashley Devore.  I just finished my sophomore year in Environmental and Ecological Engineering.  In my two years at Purdue, I have joined many clubs and organizations and have been able to participate in many cool and unique experiences.  This summer I got to participate in my most exciting experience yet: studying abroad!

This summer I went on a 10 day Maymester program to Sweden.  The focus of this program was on sustainability, and was open to students who had taken CE/EEE 350/355.  There were about 17 of us students who went, and it was the first year of this program; most were either in Environmental and Ecological Engineering or in Civil Engineering.  We went to Sweden because Sweden has implemented many sustainable practices and has gained prominence as being a very sustainable country.  We looked at what Sweden was doing to be sustainable in all of its different sectors, such as energy, food, water, and government.  We also compared what the U.S. does and what Sweden does and looked at why it is possible for Sweden to do certain things but not the U.S. and vice-versa.  I definitely learned a lot about sustainability in Sweden, as well as a lot about Sweden culture. 

While I was in Sweden, my group and I stayed in the capital city of Stockholm.  Stockholm is a very unique city in that it is actually an archipelago of islands all connected together by bridges and public transportation.  Stockholm is definitely a modern city, but it is still rich with history; there are modern parts of the city, and then there are older parts of the city. 

As I said above, we looked at sustainability in Sweden across its different sectors.  The first sector we examined was Sweden’s government.  We went to several of Sweden’s government offices and learned about what they do there and got an overview of Sweden’s government system and what role environmental issues play there.  Sweden has at the moment 8 political parties represented; in fact, the green party in Sweden actually holds a lot of power!  Sweden also has a monarchy, but they are mainly symbolic and do not hold any real power.  While we were looking at Sweden’s government, we went to the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament), Stockholm City Hall, and the Royal Palace.

Stockholm City Hall
Royal Palace

We then looked at Sweden’s energy.  Sweden uses a lot of biogas for their energy so they are very green.  We got to go to a district heating plant and saw how it operated.  It was very cool because it brought some of my classes to life and applied things I had learned that year (such as thermodynamics)

We also took a look at Sweden’s transportation.  Sweden uses a lot of public transportation; we didn’t use a car once while we were there!  We mainly used the subway and bus systems, as well as LOTS of walking (no wonder everyone is so fit there!).  We got to opportunity to attend lectures about Sweden’s bus fleet, which is unique because all of the buses run on bio-fuel. We also got a tour of the Arlanda Airport, and got see what sustainable things they do there.

Arlanda airport

In addition, we also took several tours of wastewater treatment plants.  One tour that we saw was of an experimental waste water treatment plant where they are doing labs and experiments.  Another was of a working wastewater treatment plant that cleaned water so it could be returned to the sea.  That one was cool because they produced bio-gas from their activities which they then sold to other companies and people to use. 

Wastewater Plant

While in Stockholm we also spent a lot of time at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.  We would go to KTH to attend lectures put on by professors and learned about a number of different topics, such Sweden’s bus fleets, robots, and algae farming.  KTH is a beautiful campus and we all had a great time just hanging out on campus as well.  We even got invited to hang out with some of the students there, and we ended up playing soccer with them.  That was a really special experience because afterwards we saw that we were near the 1912 Olympic Soccer Stadium, and we went and checked it out.

KTH Royal Institute of

We also had time for some touristy stuff as well.  While we did have homework assignments while we were there, we quickly learned that if we stayed on top of them we could still have time for lots of fun stuff.  For example, one day we went on a boat tour of the archipelago.  It was a 3 hour boat ride, and we ended up going to a little island and hiked around.  It was very nice because we got to see some beautiful views and it was just fun to be on the water too.

Studying abroad is a great way to spend your summer, and I am so glad that I went on this trip.  I did a lot of new things and was really brought out of my comfort zone.  If you are ever thinking about studying abroad, I highly recommend it.  You will get to experience and learn so many new things, and make many lasting memories.  My study abroad experience will definitely be a highlight of my college career.

Interning with Intel

My name is Alex Marcellus. I am a junior in Computer Engineering, and this summer I worked as an Application Developer at Intel. I worked in Intel IT as part of the Collaboration and Productivity organization. I got the job through the Industrial Roundtable, a career fair that is put on by the Purdue Engineering Student Council during the fall of every school year. An Intel recruiter was at the fair. I handed him my resume and talked for a while about the company and about what I knew from previous internships. After an interview at the Union the next day and a couple interviews over the phone, I learned that I would be interning at the Intel offices in Folsom, CA.

One of the first things I learned when I went to Intel is that anyone from any major could find an internship there. Many of my friends at the company are Computer Engineers and Electrical Engineers working on the microprocessors and software there, but I have also met Industrial Engineers working on processes, or even Chemical Engineers and Material Engineers working on cutting edge materials for new products. Many of the interns I eat lunch with every day even major in diverse fields such as business or supply chain management.

Computer Engineers even get a choice in what type of work they do. Since Intel is a microprocessor company, many ECE graduates are working on those, but I have the opportunity to work on higher level software. Although most of the rest of my team are Computer Science graduates, I am working on web applications that employees throughout Intel use to collaborate with each other and increase productivity, regardless of the work that they’re working on or what product group they are working with.

The one main takeaway that I am bringing back from Intel is that you should always keep your eyes open no matter what company you are interning at or what you are doing. You may love what you are doing like I do, but there are always opportunities to see what other people are doing or how other companies operate. Who knows, you may find something that you love even more. My experience with Intel has taught me a lot about both working in a corporate environment, and what a Computer Engineer can do when he or she leaves Purdue with a degree.

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