Multidisciplinary Engineering and Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies Students and Alumni

This blog was created to continue our mission of creating community. To bring together students and the engineering community so they can learn about who we are. This blog is also for prospective students to understand that if they feel they don’t quite fit into some other engineering discipline, they may find a home here. Our doors are open, and we hope to see you in the NEST soon!

We are home to two very different kinds of engineering:
Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies (IDES)
Multidisciplinary Engineering (MDE)

Here in the MDE/IDES degree program, there is no ‘standard’ engineering student. We give rise to new and developing fields, ones that expand the breadth and knowledge of engineering to beyond the discipline itself. From Acoustical to Humanitarian to Global Defense, our school houses the engineers of the future. As students and alumni who view their engineering education and career differently, our strength and community is formed between the many diverse pathways that our students choose and develop. Students take classes across disciplines and go on to contribute to valuable areas of the workforce, attend top tier graduate programs, and even progress into professional schools. In MDE/IDES, students are encouraged to make a difference in the world and to apply engineering everywhere they go.

We are innovators, creators, self-starters. We are determined and adaptable. We are the future of engineering, today!


February 16, 2021

IDES Program Multiplies Grad’s Studies, Successes, and Next Steps

Don’t assume that someone who grew up near an airport, loved to go to air shows, graduated from a respected STEM high school, and earned admission into Purdue’s College of Engineering has settled into a long-term career as an aerospace engineer. It is true that 2006 graduate Corey Jorman has a job he loves at The Boeing Company. But with the Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies (IDES) program having provided lift for the takeoff, his journey is less predictable and more dynamic than you might think. Corey holds two non-AAE bachelor’s degrees and a JD in intellectual property. This self-described people-person focused on the manufacturing sector uses words like “harvesting” and “protecting” to describe his daily tasks as a lawyer. And this young alumnus ponders future destinations—with a possible MBA still on the radar screen.
December 20, 2020

Stepping Up in the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and an opportunity to serve, Abhipri Mishra (IDES '19 Pre-Med), a first year medical student at the Indiana University School of Medicine, is stepping up in a big way.
December 14, 2020

Celebrating Our Graduates! Leigh Witek, theatre engineer bridging artistic vision and technical execution

Leigh Witek, a December 2020 graduate in Multidisciplinary Engineering, is joining the ranks in a new field gaining ground in both popularity and need - theatre engineering. She is one of few who have graduated with the degree concentration at the only university with an ABET-accredited program for theatre engineering. Leigh also holds a B.A. in Theatre Design and Production from the College of Liberal Arts.
November 18, 2020

Explaining the sound of Purdue’s ‘clapping circle’

Purdue University’s chapter of the Acoustical Society of America can now explain the sound heard when someone claps at the infamous “clapping circle” on campus. Equally impressive, ASA members have proven the related theory of a Purdue acoustical engineering professor.
September 16, 2020

Senior Highlight: Ashley Foltz, Humanitarian Engineer in the Multidisciplinary Engineering Degree Program

Ashley Foltz, a senior in our Multidisciplinary Engineering Degree Program, was becoming a humanitarian engineer before she even knew it was an option to pursue. Her world travels, including a fateful semester abroad to Singapore, helped her discover her pathway. Lucky for us, Ashley's journey led her to our Humanitarian Engineering concentration. "Humanitarian Engineering was the perfect way to combine my engineering skills with my interests for anthropology and all things humanitarian."
September 16, 2019

My Path from Environmental Engineer to Entrepreneur

There's not a direct commercial flight between Honolulu and West Lafayette - not today, nor fifty years ago when I became a Boilermaker. If there's a metaphor that represents my path to, through and beyond Purdue, that's it. I haven't stuck to the direct flights. There have been layovers and backroads to get to where I needed to go. Where I started is very different than where I've landed. Much of it began with my choice to study at Purdue - and enter its Interdisciplinary Engineering (IDE) program.
April 3, 2019

Student Rebecca Dever, Humanitarian Engineering

Rebecca Dever, a current Multidisciplinary Engineering (MDE) student, is pursuing a concentration in Humanitarian Engineering. MDE Student Ambassador Caroline Kester conducted a Q&A interview with Rebecca to learn more about her interests and chosen path.
October 22, 2018

Student Christopher Nilsen, General Engineering

Christopher Nilsen, a senior in Multidisciplinary Engineering with a concentration in General Engineering, is known for his love of rockets and space! Spencer Tickman, a fellow General Engineering student in MDE, asked Chris a few questions to share with us his story.
September 3, 2018

Summer Internship: Audrey Moeller, Visual Design Engineering

During the summer of 2018, MDE student Audrey Moeller worked as a Distribution Project Management co-op at Duke Energy in Plainfield, Indiana As part of her co-op, Audrey managed smaller distribution projects such as replacing sensors on power lines and other improvements to the grid as well as analyzing and investigating financial reports.
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