Mallory Slavis: EE@P Chair

This is another installment of our Meet the Board series. Today, we are featuring Mallory Slavis, the Exploring Engineering at Purdue (EE@P) Chair. She will be PSWE’s vice president next year. 

DSCN22961. Why Purdue?

Purdue landed on my radar after attending for volleyball camp while in high school, and after also attending PSWE’s Senior Sleepover, I was too in love with the Purdue atmosphere to even consider anywhere else!

2. Are you currently watching anything on Netflix?

Yes! I am currently learning American Sign Language, so I enjoy watching Switched at Birth and using it to practice.

3. How did you choose your major?

I chose my major after attending an Engineering Interest Seminar freshman year, and strongly relating to the presentation given about Industrial Engineering.

4. Any hobbies/clubs other than SWE?

Too many haha. I am a finance co-chair in Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed service fraternity), Vice-President of Apollonian Club (Third Street Suites Hall Club), Band Manager for Tower Six (an alternative rock band comprised of Purdue students), and I’m on the Leadership Team for WIEP’s i2R program.

5. How did you get involved with SWE?

I sought SWE out from the moment I came on campus, since attending their Senior Sleepover in high school was such a huge part of my decision to attend Purdue.

6. What is your favorite dessert?

This is a tough one for me, but probably cookies.

-Bailey Hayes


For FYEs’ Consideration: Chemical Engineering

This is another blog post in our series, “For FYEs’ Consideration,” where we introduce First-Year Engineering students to the different engineering disciplines at Purdue. Today, we feature Chemical Engineering. 

Chemical engineers solve problems using both their knowledge of chemistry and their engineering background. The School of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1911 and has since produced graduates who have gone on to hold executive positions in companies such as ExxonMobil, DuPont, and 3M. Many graduates have also held distinguished positions at other universities, such as Stanford and Northwestern.scientist working at the laboratory

Chemical engineers at Purdue can participate in research, study abroad, and clubs. There is a broad range of research opportunities, including research in polymers and materials, catalysis and reaction engineering, and nanoscale science and engineering.

Chemical engineers take math and physics classes just like all other engineering majors. In addition to these classes, they also, surprisingly, take a lot of chemistry classes, including organic chemistry. Because chemical engineers often work in manufacturing, they take classes on chemical processing, such as design and analysis of processing systems.

There are some really exciting study abroad opportunities through the school of chemical engineering; students have studied for a semester in Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and Singapore. There are also Spring Break and Maymester study abroad options. Chemical engineering students also have the option to co-op for companies such as DuPont and NASA. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the ChE Student Advisory Committee are two clubs associated with the chemical engineering program, and these are excellent opportunities for students to get involved.

After they graduate, chemical engineers typically work in manufacturing. Because it is a very broad field of engineering, chemical engineers have a variety of job options, including jobs in the oil, food, clothing, electronic, or energy industries. Students who wish to continue their education can pursue their Ph.D. or Masters Degree in chemical engineering at Purdue.

-Bailey Hayes

For FYEs’ Consideration: Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering

This is part of a brand new series called “For FYEs’ Consideration,” where we try to help First-Year-Engineering students figure out what discipline they want to pursue for the rest of their Purdue years. Today, we feature the AAE discipline. 

Aeronautical and astronautical engineers are involved in the design, manufacturing, and testing of aircraft and spacecraft. The first aeronautical and astronautical engineering degree was offered at Purdue by the School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, before it was established as its own separate school in 1945. thumbnail_AerospaceEngineering2.jpgOver the last ten years, most of the aerospace engineering graduates in the U.S. have graduated from Purdue.

There are many opportunities for aerospace engineering students at Purdue including Design-Build-Fly or High Altitude Balloon projects. Students can participate in research in the fields of aerodynamics, aerospace systems, astrodynamics and space applications, dynamics and control, propulsion, and structures and materials; and they can take classes to expand their knowledge in those areas. They are also required to do a major and minor concentration in one of the following five areas:

  • Aerospace Systems Design – involves studying design methods and techniques
  • Aerodynamics – the study of fluid properties involving airborne bodies
  • Dynamics and Controls – involves studying orbits, trajectories, and vehicle guidance
  • Propulsion – involves studying aircraft engines and rocket powerplants (and fuel)
  • Structures and Materials – the study of structural analysis of aerospace materials

There are also several study abroad opportunities for aeronautical and astronautical engineers, including studying at the University of Bristol in the UK thumbnail_aerospaceengineering3jand ESTACA in Paris, and co-op opportunities including one at Honeywell Aerospace.

After they graduate, aerospace engineers can work in manufacturing, engineering services, and research. They can also work for the federal government developing aircraft and aerospace products at facilities such as NASA. Thirteen out of the twenty-three astronauts who have graduated from Purdue had a degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, including Neil Armstrong and Janice E. Voss.

-Bailey Hayes and Subhiksha (your editor)

How to Prepare for the EXPO

Note: Some of the featured advice will be similar to that given before IR. But, since most of it still applies here, I’ve included that too. 

The Career Expo is tomorrow, even though it’s only the end of January. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s our second biggest career fair (second only to IR). As always though, we’ve got you covered. Here are several simple things to do to prepare for it:

1. Create/update your resume.action-verbs-on-resume

If you haven’t done so in a while, MAKE THAT RESUME. Even though some companies encourage you to apply for jobs online anyways, it’s always good to make that great first impression. Who knows, some recruiters conduct interviews the very next day. If you want a pro to help you, the CCO has walk-ins for resume reviews. TIP: use action verbs to describe your past job experiences and leadership roles. Oh and be sure to update your contact information on the top of your resume!

2. Practice your elevator pitch.

Come up with a 30 second/1 minute blurb about who you are, what you’re interested in, and why you are interested in the company. Word of advice: practice it in front of a mirror prior to meeting company reps. Or, even better, practice it in front of your friends/peers/family/dog. That way, you can probably get some tips from them to make it better. Well, unless your dog can give you sound advice, it might not be that helpful; your cat will probably do a better job at that. But, I digress.

3. Pick out your business casual outfit.e6f2263a228bcd7d0201cecab54d27dd

Unlike in the fall, when IR was held in Memorial Mall, the Expo will be held at Mackey Arena. Even though it’s going to be indoors, I would still recommend wearing something warm especially since it’s snowing this week. If you choose to carry different shoes to change into once you get there, go for it. Feel free to mix it up a bit, too; if you don’t want to wear a blazer and a blouse, try wearing a nice sweater with muted colors. Just make sure it’s not a festive one–you really don’t want to embarrass yourself.

4. Research on companies you’re interested in.

This is super important: NEVER approach a company without knowing what they do, or worse, without knowing who exactly they are. Otherwise, you’ll end up talking about why you like food to PepsiCo the entire time. You want to make yourself stand out, so try researching on some of the cool things you like about them (i.e. the 787 Dreamliner for Boeing). This also helps you start a conversation with recruiters because it shows them you’re genuinely interested in working for their company.

5. Relax!

Remember, don’t feel too intimidated by the recruiters there! In addition to looking at your resumes, they just want to get to know you better and find out what you are passionate about. The best thing to do is to make connections with them (mention that you’re involved with SWE or other organizations!). Even if the first time doesn’t go that well, you’ll get better as the day goes along!

I hope these tips help you all tomorrow! Good luck! 🙂

-Subhiksha, your editor

Alumni Spotlight: Stevie Kennedy

This is an installment of Alumni Spotlight, a series that showcases a PSWE alumnus and her experiences. Today, we talked to Stevie Kennedy who majored in chemical engineering at Purdue and now works at Air Liquide. 

“1. Where do you work, and for how long have you worked there?

I work for Air Liquide, Large Industries. I’ve been with Air Liquide 3.5 years now. I started in the ALLEX program where every 6 months for 2 years I rotated locations and positions to get to know the company and to see where I would like to end up in my final placement with the company. I’ve been the plant engineer at our Nederland Texas Air Separation Unit on the Gulf Coast Pipeline for a year and half.

2. What did you major in at Purdue, and why?

I majored in Chemical Engineering because I love chemistry, but I was swayed by family members to do engineering. Engineers are able to see a problem from start to finish, apply it, and put solutions into action!

3. Why did you join PSWE?

I joined PSWE to be more involved, meet people, and start a network at Purdue and beyond. SWE also helped with (and still does) help with professional development too, which was so useful for me at Purdue.

4. What do you like and dislike about your job?

I like the unknown of the job! Being at an older plant, every day is so different, you don’t know what to expect. Of course you perform preventative and predictive maintenance, but every problem that comes up is a unique challenge and opportunity for me to learn even more about the technology that I’m working with.  I dislike the fact that I am the only female at my site (~18 people), but I get along with everyone well. I have joined our Women’s Initiative Network as the Operations Chair to bring more operations personnel (females and female advocates) into the network for more ideas and opportunities to keep us females in the field still involved with the on-goings of the Air Liquide hub in Houston.

5. How do you balance your work and personal life?

I make an effort to join groups and stick with their events in the Golden Triangle area of Texas. It’s important to follow through and expand your network (personally and professionally) so I continuously look for ‘extracurricular’ opportunities to be involved in Air Liquide, the community, and my church. It can be hard at times when the plant trips or has a major unplanned maintenance item that keeps you at the plant for a very long day(s) or late into the night. Everyone’s very flexible here and we try to rotate personnel so that people get their time off that they want/need. Everyone’s all in it together though when something happens, which makes the team here so great – it feels like a big family. We take advantage of quiet moments when the plant is running well because we know that there will be a time later where all hands must be on deck to see something through. I always try to prioritize my day and week too. Some things can wait for tomorrow and somethings can not. Sometimes it gets hard to distinguish that, but it’s important to remember that some things really can wait so you can take time for yourself.”

-Subhiksha, your editor

MOWs: Liz Jaye, Roselin Bains

This is part of an ongoing series that showcases our Members of the Week in the past weeks. Today, we feature both Liz Jaye and Roselin Bains. 

imageName: Liz Jaye
Major: FYE (most likely Nuclear Engineering)
Year: Freshman
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Fun Fact: I love crafts like origami, knitting, coloring, and sewing.
Favorite part about SWE: I love that I am able to get to know a lot of upperclass women in engineering who are so friendly and great at giving advice.



Name: Roselin Bains
Major: Industrial Engineering
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Fun Fact: I can speak three languages.
Favorite part about SWE: Being able to interact with future colleagues who share the same interests as me.


-Nan Jia

Industry Insights: Michelle Wellman

This is part of an ongoing series called Industry Insights, where people in the industry share their stories. Today’s is Michelle Wellman. 

“Hi! My name is Michelle Wellman and I graduated from Purdue in May 2015 with a BS in Biological and Food Process Engineering. While in school, I always knew I wanted to work in the food industry specifically in production. Out of college, I got a job working for Land O’ Frost as the Food Safety Manager. I’m responsible for our regulatory programs (HACCP, GMP’s, SSOP’s, etc.), Pest Control Program, Foreign Material, and Microbiological Program. I also work closely with the USDA inspectors in our plant in case they have any issues with something we’re doing in our process.

Throughout my career so far, I have learned so much and grown more as a person. I wanted to share a few things with you that I’ve learned both in the Industry and in life!

1. Explore new hobbies or reignite old ones: In high school and college I was constantly going. I joined many different clubs, was involved in sports, and still tried to spend time with friends and family. After graduating college and working for a smaller company, I felt limited with extracurricular opportunities. There didn’t seem to be a lot of “extra” ways to get involved with “clubs” at work; Purdue had provided many different clubs and sports teams that you could join/ participate in and it didn’t seem like my company did. Luckily, this lady I worked with had a volleyball team she was trying to recruit players for, and she asked me if I wanted to join. In high school I loved playing volleyball, but in college I didn’t have the time to play. I love having the time to get back to playing, and it was great finding someone who had the same interest I do! Don’t be afraid to try new things or reconnect with past hobbies.

2. Organization: In college, I was very organized. I color coded every subject, had matching folders and spiral notebooks, matching pens that I would write with in my planner for corresponding homework assignments… I had a system that worked for me and kept me on task. In industry, it was completely different. I struggled trying to organize all my work and I would find myself making many different “To-Do” lists in various places. It wasn’t as easy to correlate a work assignment with a color. It took me a while, but I was able to classify my job into different categories, and color code each category. I recommend finding a way early on to keep track of your assignments, what you’re working on and due dates. Things can pick up very quickly, and if you know a system that works best for you it makes your job 10 times easier!

3. Travel! After graduation, I moved somewhere where I knew no one. I had no friends or family within a 1.5 hour radius, and I’m not one who is very outgoing and meets people easily. I was sad that all my friends were in different places around the US (and other countries), but I took that as an opportunity to travel! I was able to go to Honduras, New York, New Jersey, California, and Evansville within my first year of work. I love traveling, and even though my friends weren’t close, it gave me new destinations to travel to. Taking vacation time to go on a trip (even if it’s a weekend getaway) is important so you don’t burn yourself out. Although my close friends aren’t close geographically, I know if I need a quick place to travel to they are always there for me!

I hope these tips help or at least give you something to think about in the future!”

-Leann Demorest