A Recap of The WE15 Annual Conference


The greatly anticipated WE15 weekend began Thursday afternoon as the PSWE members loaded onto the bus from Purdue headed for Nashville, TN. We kicked off our first event early Friday morning with a Purdue Alumni Brunch led by Beth Holloway. After celebrating the accomplishments of PSWE and women in engineering, we headed over to the pristine Music City Center to begin the conference. Whether it was attending a diverse set of seminars related to STEM, networking with employers at the Career Fair, or preparing for a day of outreach, there were ample opportunities to grow personally and professionally on Day One of the conference. Later that evening, several of the students reconvened for a relaxing dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe before exploring the sights and sounds of downtown Nashville. On Saturday, hundreds of female engineers from SWE sections across the country came together to volunteer for an outreach event called “Invent It. Build It.” These volunteers encouraged middle school girls to pursue engineering through hands-on activities, friendly competitions, and exposure to educational resources. Outstanding SWE Section Award PhotoLater in the day, Northrop Grumman hosted a luncheon called “Women Defining the Future” that featured a variety of keynote speakers. More seminars, photo booths, and social activities followed until the “Celebrate SWE” dinner banquet in the evening where Region H members came dressed to the nines in red. There was plenty of delicious food, captivating speeches, and remarkable awards before the night ended with a #SWElfie (picture of PSWE). On Sunday morning, the PSWE team loaded back on the bus to return to Purdue after the conclusion of an incredible weekend filled with personal and collaborative growth, new friendships, and global support for women in engineering and technology!


Lin Koop (Competitions Director), Kitara Crain (Team Tech Chief Engineer), Jennifer Purucker & Sydney Worthington (Prototyping Leads)

Purdue SWE competed for the first time in the Team Tech competition at the Annual Conference. Team Tech is a Boeing sponsored competition where collegiate SWE sections work for a year with a company sponsor of their choosing. Throughout this year, the team works through the entire design process (brainstorming → design → prototyping) to help the company develop an innovative design and move the company forward.

This inaugural year was spent working with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to design a wastewater filtration system. Our overall goal was to surpass the EPA standards on nickel concentration allowed in a plant’s wastewater stream. We designed a prototype consisting of carbon absorption and KDF sheets to filter the water and were able to reach ADM’s overall goal.


During the conference our team presented our design process and findings to the Boeing board and was judged against the nine other teams. To our surprise the SWE President (yes I did say PRESIDENT!!!!), Colleen Layman, was present for our presentation and offered her assistance as the team finishes up the project over the next month.  Although we may not have placed, we pioneered the trail for future Purdue teams to take home the title!

We will be working with Caterpillar for next year’s project. If you would like to get involved contact Sydney Worthington (sworthi@purdue.edu).


“Annual conference recharged my excitement for SWE and engineering! I loved attending the sessions, getting to know SWE members from other chapters and sharing our knowledge to make SWE even better overall. Nashville is a beautiful city with great food and music so it was the perfect location for WE15. I hope to continue to attend annual conference as a professional, post graduation!” -Meredith Shannon, PSWE President

Session SWElfie

As an engineer, it seems that the most important thing is always supposed to be work, meaning that you will most likely work well over 40 hours every week. I have always been concerned about this knowing that family is very important to me. At the session, Momgineering 101, I learned how female engineers can balance work and family life, as well as some tips that will definitely help me in the near future.” -Leyla Acar-Miller, PSWE Social Chair

CAN’T express how awesome it was to get to spend time with my SWEople!!! Everyone that attended was wonderful! PSWE is part of why Purdue is great! We have amazing officers, and chairs and directors, but most of all we have amazing friends and women who are funny and interesting and VERY smart.” -Luisa Corredor, PSWE Networking Night Chair

Bummed that you missed out? Don’t worry! Click HERE to view notes from some of the sessions that covered a broad range of topics (from career and life transitions to inclusion and cultural awareness).

Be sure to mark your calendar for WE 16, which will be held October 27-29, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA. Click HERE to watch a video with more information about the historical city of PHL.

Have a great Halloween, SWEople!

-Haley Berner, Kitara Crain, & Erin Suttles


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s