MDE and IDES Students - Empowering Purple

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!

Special Note: The 2021-22 Multidisciplinary Engineering Student Society (MDESS) has plans to continue this mission forward. Stay tuned for many more updated student perspectives!

Empowering Purple

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!
April 30, 2018


“The stars are always aligning in the background.” I find a lot of peace in this simple statement. Many times throughout my collegiate career, I’ve found myself cemented in a state of confusion and discouragement. I’m sure a lot of students, especially Purdue engineering students, can relate. You study for a week straight, completely prepared, only to feel lost when curve balls get thrown your way come exam time. As the semester moves on, you find yourself calculating how many points you’ll need in order to pass the class because no matter your best efforts, you just feel like you’re being defeated. I’ve been in this place so many times that it almost feels like I live there, and I can never overcome these punches. But I’ve recently come to understand that that just isn’t true.
December 7, 2017

Student Perspective: Eric Swanson

Eric is a senior from Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a Multidisciplinary Engineering (MDE) student with a concentration in Acoustical Engineering. He is involved with the Purdue chapter of the Acoustical Society of America, along with being name president of our newly-minted Multidisciplinary Engineering Student Society!
November 16, 2017

Student Perspective: Leigh Witek

Leigh is a sophomore from St. Louis, Missouri! She is a Multidisciplinary Engineering (MDE) student with a concentration in Theatre Engineering. Leigh is actively involved with Purdue Theatre, and The "All-American" Marching Band, Kappa Kappa Psi, and SWE.
September 19, 2017

Student Perspective: Leanna Chan

Leanna Chan is a senior from Warsaw, Indiana studying Multidisciplinary Engineering with a concentration in Medical Systems Engineering, a Self-Designed Plan of Study. She is also working towards a minor in biotechnology and a certificate in entrepreneurship and innovation. Leanna is actively involved on campus as a member of the leadership team for Women in Engineering’s Outreach Program, an undergraduate research assistant for the Healthcare Ergonomics and Analytics Lab, and is currently working with other MDE/IDES to develop the MDE/IDES Student Society.
September 19, 2017

Student Perspective: Brenna Ryan

Brenna Ryan is a senior from St. Louis, Missouri studying Multidisciplinary Engineering with a concentration in General Engineering/Pre-Med. In addition to MDE, Brenna is actively involved on campus as the Gold of Philanthropy and RRLT for the Purduettes and the Programming Executive for Purdue's Chapter of College Mentors for Kids.
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