Tag Archives: student life

Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE)

By IIE President Jamie Eckerman

‘What is the Institute of Industrial Engineers?‘ is a question I get a lot.  To professionals, I answer it by saying we are the Professional Organization for Undergraduate Industrial Engineering students that work to develop our members throughout their college career.  It sounds pretty nerdy and quite honestly, it is. But to colleagues, I answer that question with saying it was the best decision I made in college.  I began in this organization as the Alumni Relations Chair under the Programs board as a first-semester IE Student.  I helped plan a Homecoming Tailgate for Alumni and a Senior Banquet for graduating seniors (both great networking opportunities).  The following semester, I was elected into the Programs Director position which put me on IIE’s Executive Board and in a leadership role as a sophomore.   I was in the Programs Director position for one year (I served two consecutive terms) and the following year I was elected to President where I am currently serving.  I found that being in a leadership role this young was challenging but it was also extremely rewarding.  Being in charge of seniors who were anywhere from 2-4 years older than me can be intimidating but this taught me how to interact with those older than me.  Later it also built a network of IE Professionals as I was still in school.  Also, I can proudly say that these leadership roles are the reason I received both of my summer internships at NextEra Energy and Procter & Gamble.  These companies and so many others were extremely interested in how I received these positions so quickly in my college career.  The past year as President has been the most rewarding thing I have done in college.  It is amazing how much faculty, alumni, staff, and even our colleagues respect women in leadership roles. It truly has shown me how far women have come and just how much potential we truly have to make a difference in this world.  I highly encourage all engineers to join their respective organization like IIE.  IIE has changed my entire college experience, given me  opportunitiesI never thought possible, and developed me into the professional I am today.  It has changed my college career and has potential to change yours. 

A New Era

Grissom Hall, home of industrial engineering at Purdue, was recently renovated and reopened this year for students and faculty after a year of reconstruction. The renovations of Grissom Hall are part of the College of Engineering Strategic Growth Initiative project which is working towards increasing the number of students in the College of Engineering while also expanding opportunities and technology resources. The new renovations now allow for student collaboration, workspace, and a multitude of new technologies and resources available to the students and faculty. Although the total renovation time was short, less than a year, the new changes will leave an impact on students and the way they learn for many years.

Alyssa sitting outside of Grissom Hall

Alyssa Zielinski is a fifth-year senior from Arlington Heights, IL studying Industrial Engineering. We asked her a few questions about the renovations of Grissom Hall.

What are some major changes that you noticed about Grissom Hall after the renovation?

Overall, the building is more open. There aren’t any little offices around anymore; it’s now an open and collaborative learning space. People can interact with each other and that is something I’ve definitely noticed. You don’t have to wander through the hallways to get around rooms and classrooms. 

What do you think is the most important change to Grissom Hall? What is your favorite change?

The newly renovated inside of Grissom Hall

The most important changes in the building are the updates. Before, Grissom Hall felt closed, cramped, and felt clustered – it didn’t feel like you could work with each other very well. Now there is a more interactive space for people to work with each other. My favorite change is probably the collaborative space studios. They can be used for interviews, small study groups, and group projects. The renovations allow for Industrial Engineers to have a space for themselves.

How has the atmosphere of Grissom Hall changed?

They are trying to focus on this new era of education where things are interactive and open and people are focusing on working with each other. The renovations to Grissom Hall make this a possibility.

Do you plan on spending more time in Grissom Hall now that it is renovated?

Oh, absolutely! Before, I never felt like Industrial Engineers had a space for themselves. Now Industrial Engineers have a designated study space for themselves where they can feel at home and feel like this is their space. So I definitely plan on spending more time here.

How will this renovation change the way you study Industrial Engineering?

The renovations are going to help me study Industrial Engineering better because it gives us a space for ourselves and I can wonder around and find another Industrial Engineer that is in the same boat as me. I have a designated place I can go to study or work with others.

SWE Senior Sleepover

My name is Katherine Rothe, and my first year at Purdue, I joined the Society of Women Engineers to connect with other young women in engineering. The great thing about SWE is that there are plenty of opportunities to be involved, and one of the best ways is to be a hostess for Senior Sleepover. Every fall and spring, SWE hosts a group of high school seniors looking at Purdue for engineering.
Being a hostess honestly made me wish I had done senior sleepover while I was trying to decide where to go. It is an opportunity to get the college experience for 24 hours: going to classes, sleeping in a dorm room, eating in a dining court. But there are plenty of other opportunities to have fun during the Senior Sleepover, from activities with the other girls to scavenger hunts for iconic Purdue landmarks. 
A group of my friends decided to be hostesses together last year, and all of us had so much fun showing off our beautiful campus to prospective students. Senior Sleepover is a great experience for both future and current students. 
This year’s Senior Sleepover will take place November 13th-14th. The Senior Sleepover Chairs are looking for female engineering students to help out with the event. Hostesses are required to live in the dorms, but there are plenty of other ways to get involved besides hosting!
If you’re interested in volunteering, as either a hostess (both days or just Friday), or as a day volunteer (Saturday only), you can sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16pN2XnsgFZWUEIIt3zf4qVOT_HbWCP4vY_aL21aDZF8/viewform?usp=send_form 
If you have any questions about Senior Sleepover, please email Mallory Slavis at mslavis@purdue.edu, or Amy Cox at cox167@purdue.edu. 

SWE For You and Me

By PSWE President Meredith Shannon:

As another syllabus week comes and goes, I reflect back on my time at Purdue. I’m going into my super senior year in Industrial Engineering. Long story short, I did not come to Purdue for engineering. In fact, I spent my entire freshman year undeclared and looking into other majors. Engineering was my #3 spot on the potential major list. Before I officially joined the College of Engineering, I joined a student organization called the Society of Women Engineers to see if engineering could be a good fit for me. At the time, I was attracted to the free food more than anything. I attended a few meetings here and there and did my best to keep up with all the events going on. It was nice to be around at like-minded girls my age and hear their stories and passion for engineering.

It wasn’t until the first few days of First Year Engineering that I knew I had truly found the right path. That excitement reflected in my desire to be involved with SWE. I did my best to attend more events, ran for a chair position, got said chair position, and it was all up from there. SWE kept me from going crazy on weeks where I had more homework than hours in a day with social and outreach events to get me away from my desk. It helped prepare me for finding an internship with the many professional networking and development events as well as grow me as a young professional. I have made great friends and met inspiring women while in SWE. For me, SWE is a support system, a challenge to make me a better engineer, and a facilitator to make me a global citizen.

Every year, the Society of Women Engineers continues to grow in membership and event size. So for all those future engineers, I highly encourage you to check us out; join and learn what SWE is about! Thinking of your future can be scary, but remember you have 400 other women engineers who have your back.

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.

Being Involved: Symphony Orchestra

Kelsey (on right) enjoys a spring day with her roommate and best friend, Mallory (left)

My name is Kelsey Delehanty and I am a sophomore in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue. During my freshman year, most of my school day was taken up with my STEM classes: First Year Engineering, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics. This wasnt a problem for me; after all, I decided to pursue a major like engineering because I enjoyed these types of classes. However, too much math and science still put a strain on my brain, which was why it was nice for me to have a non-engineering related outlet, like Purdues Symphony Orchestra.

Id been playing the viola in my schools orchestra since I was in 4th grade, but upon graduating high school, I was unsure whether I would continue with it in college. I loved playing my instrument, but I was never too serious about it. I was worried that I wouldnt be up for playing in a college-level group.

However, once rehearsals started, my doubts were assuaged. The group was lively and very accommodating of a nervous freshman. I might not have been on the same playing level as the five juniors that made up the rest of the viola section, but I certainly learned a lot from them. Most importantly, it was time out of my day that I could take a break from the stress of my other classes.

There are so many activities to get involved with on campus, and I feel its very important to pick at least one and stick with it.  It could be used as an opportunity to continue with something already familiar, like orchestra in my case, or maybe intermural soccer, or a photography club. It could also be a chance to try something new, a previously unexplored activity, like joining the swing dancing club, or the Purdue Bells.

Doing engineering 24/7 no matter how much I like it would probably drive me insane. I was glad I was able to find an enjoyable pastime to distract me from the stress of my schoolwork and I would certainly recommend the strategy to any other future engineers.

Society of Women Engineers

My name is Kitara, and I am the current Secretary of the Purdue Society of Women Engineers (SWE) section, a widely decorated chapter of a worldwide organization that supports women in engineering. At Purdue, we are one of the largest organizations, comprised of 400+ general members and 40+ board members. On campus, SWE has a hand in many events from Industrial Roundtable (the fall job fair), minority inclusion events, outreach programs, intramural sports, the Grand Prix race, Homecoming float building, and so much more.

I started with SWE during my sophomore year as a general member and soon fell in love. After attending almost all of the events (and I mean 3 to 4 events per week), I decided to apply to be a board member and help plan the events for an organization that makes my life at Purdue so much fun. I became the Corporate Relations Chair and invited companies to speak to SWE members about developing their professionalism, then took a giant leap and became one of four officers.

With such a large organization that plans and participates in so many events, the four officers are pretty busy all through the summer and continuing into the school year. To begin with, SWE has 8 directorships that oversee different areas of the organization. I am so lucky to be able to work with Competition Teams & Outreach to plan everything from Grand Prix to inviting high school seniors to spend the night with Purdue students to competing in the Homecoming festivities. Within Competition Teams, we are working this summer to complete our Team Tech presentation we will be presenting at the annual SWE conference in October. We have worked the past year with ADM to build a filtration prototype the company can use in their plants and factories. Outreach is just as much fun! We are working to develop new activities to motivate elementary through high school students to pursue engineering.

Working with these directorships is not all the secretary does; I also plan the annual trip to the SWE conference, which will be held in Nashville, TN this year. We are taking 16 Purdue students to meet with other professional and collegiate members from around the world to grow our organization’s network and learn new ways to improve our SWE chapter.

Being secretary has been such an enjoyable role so far, and it’s only just started. I can’t wait for this year to begin! Shout out to the other officers and board members that are putting in so much of their time this summer to help the Purdue Society of Women Engineers be even more AWESOME!

If you want to learn more about what I do or how to get involved with Purdue SWE please email me (kcrain@purdue.edu). I would love to hear from you!

ROTC and Engineering at Purdue

Sometimes you’ll see us walking around on campus in our uniforms. Sometimes you’ll hear us chanting our running cadences in the early hours of the morning. Most people can recognize us from the way our hair is cut, how we walk, talk, and hold ourselves. It’s hard not to notice the 340+ ROTC cadets and midshipmen walking around campus…and if you were a male coming to Purdue between 1888 -1964, we’d be standing in formation together

ROTC stands for Reserve Officer Training Corp, and its ties to Purdue are almost as old as the university itself. What is now known as ROTC started as “The Corp” at Purdue in 1888, and up until 1964, all males were required to join. Purdue ROTC today is quite different that it was in 1888, but it continues to be one of the best college military training programs offered in the country.

Here’s how it works: you go to college whilst simultaneously receiving military training for four years through one of the four services – Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force (for the military buffs out there…yes, I know that Navy and Marines are the same branch, but good luck getting a Marine to admit that). You are both college student and a military officer in training. When you graduate Purdue, you’ll also commission as an officer in one of those branches. In exchange for the military helping you out with college expenses through scholarships, living stipends, and/or tuition assistance, you owe that branch anywhere from four to ten years active duty service. Not a bad deal, but of course after four years of Air Force ROTC myself, you can imagine I am rather biased at this point.

Purdue has one of the best Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC programs in the nation (see my previous statement). Couple that with one of the best engineering schools in the country, and you’ve got a pretty formidable combination. Over half of the 340 Purdue ROTC cadets and midshipmen I mentioned before are engineering students, myself included.

Now, it’s no secret that Purdue’s engineering curriculum can be quite rigorous. Add to that physical training three times a week before the sun is up, an academic course one to two times a week, a two-hour Leadership Lab once a week, and various ROTC-related extracurriculars, and you’ve got one heck of a schedule. Welcome to the life of a Purdue ROTC engineering student.

If you catch an engineering ROTC student and ask them about their experiences and their degree choice, they’re likely to say that their choice of major has assisted them in their ROTC responsibilities and vice versa in several ways:

Time management—I’d bet that nearly every engineering student will tell you time management is critical to have a healthy college experience (let’s take healthy to mean decent grades, a social life, and sleep…we can ignore our late night eating habits for now). Engineering students have to practice time management every day. That practice comes in handy for ROTC students when they are juggling ROTC responsibilities on top of their academic ones – learning time management through one program helps you manage your responsibilities in the other.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving– Applying critical thinking to problem solving… ROTC or Engineering? If you answered both, you’re getting the point already. Much of our ROTC training is dedicated to learning how to critically think and make smart decisions under pressure (a skill I imagine faithful taxpayers want in the leaders of their military). Conveniently, getting a bachelor’s degree in engineering is essentially a four to five year-long course in critical thinking and problem solving. While the problems in engineering vs. ROTC might be different, the fundamentals of critical thinking stay the same. Practice in one helps you in the other.

Public Speaking & Presentations –Part of our academic ROTC curriculum includes learning how to construct and practicing how to give good briefings…sometimes a little too often (Death by PowerPoint is a hazard for us in the military). ROTC students are usually very comfortable–and if not comfortable, they are at least practiced in hiding it—with getting up in front of peers to give presentations. That comes in handy when it comes time to present your engineering project to your peers and professors.

Leadership –This is one area that I feel where ROTC engineering students get a slight advantage over non-ROTC engineering students. Don’t get me wrong, there are a TON of other places/clubs/organizations at Purdue that provide leadership development to rival ROTC. However, the driving purpose and ultimate objective of ROTC is to mold cadets and midshipmen into leaders. The Air Force ROTC’s mission is very literal about this, stating, “Develop quality leaders for the Air Force.” It’s hard to find a student organization like it anywhere else on campus. We learn the principals, ethics, morality, and legality of leadership, we do leadership studies, and we practice it among our peers. Having someone with that kind of experience can come in handy in a project team and in a project management setting as an engineer.

So, will being in ROTC automatically make you a better engineering student or vice versa? Nope. But the skills you practice and learn in one of those programs can transfer well over to the other if you know where to apply them. The funny thing is, the majority of cadets and midshipmen will not be engineers in the military when they graduate. So why do engineering and ROTC? Well, some do it for the scholarship opportunities…others just really really (really) like to take classes that sound like they’re out of Star Trek—“Transonic Aerodynamics” is an actual class (AAE 513). The truth may be somewhere in between. Regardless of why we chose Purdue ROTC and engineering, there’s no better place to do it than Purdue University.



Dead Week

We’ve almost made it through another Dead Week here at Purdue!

Every year, Dead Week comes along. At first, it’s exciting! It’s the last week of classes! It’s almost summer!

StewYou’re going to be good this year and start studying for Finals early.

Or maybe not.

But then suddenly you realize that you have two lab reports, a project, and a presentation this week.

You learn that it’s not called Dead Week because campus is calm, but because they’re trying to kill you.

Somehow, you make it through and get everything turned in. You might have even done a decent job!

And at the end of it all your brain, like this week, is dead.

…Just in time for Finals!

Stay strong, friends! You can do it!