Opportunities Abound in Weldon Undergraduate Program

After graduating four classes and welcoming the seventh class later this month, the Weldon School finds itself near capacity and growing programmatically. Upon their return, students will find a few changes to the program, including co-op opportunities, more engagement with alumni, a developing study abroad exchange, and a new format for Senior Design.

Currently, two-thirds of Weldon Undergraduates have industry and three-fourths have research experience at graduation.  "Upon the program's inception, it was obvious that industrial experience was integral for success. The Weldon School undergraduate program has always included internships. The program has matured, and now we can offer our students co-op opportunities as well," Maeve Drummond, the Weldon Undergraduate program coordinator says.

"Last summer, Ethicon Endo-Surgery and Eli Lilly hired the first Weldon co-ops. We learned how to best manage a co-op schedule with the rigorous Weldon program. It was such a success for the students, we started spreading the word amongst our corporate partners and are now offering many co-op opportunities."  Drummond reports that ten students are involved in co-op at the time of publication, and that the program is always looking for more opportunities for students.

Earlier this summer, Professors Ann Rundell and Eric Nauman visited University of Galway in Ireland to explore a study abroad opportunity. This month, faculty from Galway will be visiting the Weldon School and finalizing details for a study abroad program that will be offered next school year.

Professor Rundell has also been leading the curriculum committee that made some slight adjustments to Senior Design capstone course. This school year, seniors have the choice of the previously typical one semester senior design or two semesters.

“A two-semester senior design option allows time for projects that may include tissue engineering, cell culture, or further development of a project. The senior class was really enthused when they were offered these new opportunities,” states Weldon Assistant Head, Andrew Brightman.

But opportunities aren’t just opening up for students. The school is always thinking of new ways to enlist the talents and expertise of Purdue Biomedical Engineering alumni and friends to further enrich the student experience.

Over the last year, the number of speakers in classrooms and seminars has increased to give students even more of the outside perspective. After a few successful Industry-sponsored Senior Design projects, the School will be seeking project Design ideas for next school year. Friends of the school can expect a formal request around the end of 2010.

“There are also giving opportunities for travel sponsorships for students preparing to attend Galway next year,” adds Brian Knoy, the Weldon School’s Director of Development, “and in today’s economic climate, economic support of top-notch students is becoming increasingly important.” To learn more about these and other giving opportunities, please contact Brian Knoy.  

If you would like to have a Weldon Co-Op at your organization, would like to speak to an undergraduate class, or have an idea for a senior design project please contact Maeve Drummond.