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September 2013


September 17, 2013 | Industrial Roundtable Career Fair

Students further along in their academic career use the Industrial Roundtable, or IR, to help land a permanent position.

Industrial Roundtable logoRepresentatives of more than 300 companies will be on campus to talk about their companies, collect resumes, meet students, and interview for internships, co-ops and permanent positions.

The Industrial Roundtable will be held on Tuesday, September 17, and Wednesday, September 18, on the Purdue Memorial Mall (rain locations: Mackey Arena and Lambert Fieldhouse), with interviews scheduled by the companies on September 18 - 20. Head out to the IR dressed in business casual (nice collared shirts; pants or skirts), armed with your resume and well versed in the companies you are most interested in, and talk to company representatives, greeting them with a firm, confident handshake. 

First-Year Engineering students are welcomed and encouraged to attend.


Sept 28, 2013 | Homecoming, Family Day & Alumni Weekend

Look for First-Year Engineering representatives from 9 to 11 a.m. at the School of Engineering Education’s tent outside of Armstrong Hall. Click here for more information about this event.

General information about Alumni Weekend can be found here.

General information about Homecoming can be found here.

General information about Family Day can be found here.

 A Year of Celebration: School of Engineering Education Marks Tenth Anniversary in 2013-14

On April 9, 2004, Purdue's Board of Trustees voted to establish the Department (now School) of Engineering Education, the first academic unit of its kind in the word. In addition to a doctoral program in engineering education, the school is home to First-Year Engineering and Multidisciplinary Engineering/Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies. We're celebrating our ten-year milestone with a series of activities throughout the 2013-14 academic year.

Spring 2014 Registration Process

Registration and advising for the Spring 2014 semester will occur for most first-semester students in a three-step process:
  1. All students enrolled in ENGR 13100/19500 (EPICS Learning Community) will be given an assignment on Blackboard which will require students to view a presentation concerning the First-Year Engineering plan of study and Spring 2014 Registration.
  2. Advisors will visit each section of ENGR 13100/19500 (EPICS LC) to provide individualized advising and to issue a student registration PIN.
  3. Students will register on myPurdue during the time specified on their registration time ticket. Registration time tickets can be viewed on the Academics tab in myPurdue.

Students in the following categories are required to meet with an advisor in the advising office (ARMS 1300) after Fall Break (October 7-8, 2013), but before their assigned registration time (no appointment necessary, as the advising office operates on a walk-in basis):

  • Students currently not enrolled in ENGR 13100/ENGR 19500 (EPICS LC)
  • FYE Honors Program students, who will meet individually with their advisor
  • Students who intend to pursue a major outside the College of Engineering
  • Students who have only one to two courses remaining to complete the First-Year Engineering plan of study

Students not in the First-Year Engineering program are to be advised in their current college advising office.

Transition to Major

After semester grades have posted, the academic record of students in the First-Year Engineering (FYE) Program are reviewed by the FYE advising staff.

Students who meet the following criteria will be entered into the Transition to Major process:

  1. Have credit posted on their Purdue transcript for all FYE required courses with the required grades;

  2. Have a completed Major Form on file (the Major Form is made available to students as a homework assignment or sent to their Purdue email during the first part of the semester).

During the Transition to Major process, if a student meets the requirements outlined in the College of Engineering's Enrollment Management Policy, the student will find a home in a professional school or program in the College of Engineering.

IMPORTANT: Students who have credit posted to their Purdue transcript for all First-Year Engineering required courses (with the required grades) and have completed the Major Form, but do not meet the requirements outlined in the College of Engineering's Enrollment Management Policy, will remain in the First-Year Engineering Program for the following semester, up to four semesters (see Fourth–Semester Policy for details).

Take a Tip from Your Student Advisors

In addition to professional academic advisors, First-Year Engineering employs student advisors, including Sadie Holbert (SH), a senior in Aeronautics and Astronautics; Mitchell Jones (MJ), a senior in Civil Engineering; and Kris Miller (KM), a senior in Mechanical Engineering. Here, Sadie, Mitchell, and Kris offer their take on making the most of your experience as a Purdue engineering student.

Best academic resources:

  • Talk to your TAs. My philosophy is, they're getting paid to do this job; take advantage of that. Give yourself every chance to be successful.  —KM
  • Go to your professors' office hours. Don't be afraid.  —MJ
  • Talk to upperclass students. Get involved in a student organization specific to your major--you'll meet a lot of upperclass students. They can share advice and help you with programming and hands-on projects. That was the best decision I made since coming here: getting involved. —SH

Best place to study:

  • Not the computer labs—they're very loud. Somewhere quiet. —SH
  • A quiet place that's free of distraction. Put Facebook and Twitter away. Put the phone down, and STUDY. —MJ

Something you know now that you wish you’d known when you were a first-year student:

  • Professors aren't as scary as what they come off to be. They're pretty normal people for the most part. They want you to succeed. Just work hard and motivate yourself. —KM
  • You don't have to buy textbooks from the bookstore. Purdue hosts a webstie for book exchanges. You can buy from other students for a fraction of the cost. —SH
  • The academic community wants you to be successfull—assuming you take the first step and try to be successful. —MJ

Best place to eat on Sunday:

  • Cary Night Spot, or Harrison Grill for milkshakes. —SH
  • Order in from China Draqon.  —KM
  • Chipotle.  —MJ

Fun things to do that don’t cost much or require a vehicle:

  • The bowling alley or billiards at PMU. —MJ
  • Intramurals. Twelve of us started Lb-F [pound-force] Athletics, and we've done volleyball teams, football, basketball, handball, cornhole, whiffleball, softball, innertube water polo. Anything you've ever wanted to do, we've probably done it. —KM
  • The co-rec—you can play water volleyball in the pool. —SH

One last word of advice:

  • Study abroad. You can still stay on track. —KM
  • Go to class! —SH
  • Prioritize. Make a schedule and stick to it. If you're smart about how you spend your time, you're going to have more time to do things outside of school, and you'll be academically successful. —MJ

Diversity Presentations for First-Year Students

The Diversity Action Committee, composed of faculty and staff from across the College of Engineering, has been advising the Dean of Engineering on diversity matters for over ten years and delivers annual presentations on cross-cultural communication and diversity. The faculty of ENGR 13100 have adapted the same presentation to be delivered during class time and homework time.

Content from the Diversity Action Committee's presentation is being integrated into multiple class sessions, beginning in the first week of the semester, with an extra emphasis (and an extended conversation) in week 8. Additionally, as part of the normal rhythm for ENGR 13100 this semester, students listen to some of the lecture content outside of class through online video modules. In addition to online modules on using tools such as MATLAB and Excel, and online modules covering topics such as teaming and sustainability, the ENGR 13100 faculty are preparing a module on diversity for students to watch in preparation for the class session focused on diversity.

Iceberg graphic The goals of the presentation are to prompt students to think about the numerous types of diversity (visible differences as well as ones that aren't visible, a concept illustrated through an iceberg metaphor—see graphic at right), understand why the College values diversity, and understand the trends that affect the engineering workplace and what to expect in their careers beyond Purdue. Furthermore, these presentations are designed to promote awareness and mutual respect of differences and to begin a conversation, using a common vocabulary on diversity, that will continue throughout the students' academic careers at Purdue and into the workplace. These presentations are followed with a course assignment that asks students to partner with someone they do not know; identify their differences, both visible and invisible; and attend a cultural event with which neither has any familiarity and that stretches both partners. Before and after attending the event, students discuss each of the following:

  • Reasons for selecting the event, and how it stretches each student
  • Students' thoughts and feelings on arriving at the event
  • During the event: what was observed, what was felt, what was learned about the topic and themselves, and anything that surprised them

A reflection paper on these three topics follows, in a team writing format; then students write individual reflections; and, finally, they analyze how this experience can be incorporated into an engineering teaming situation.

Focus On: Undergraduate Research

It's only your first semester at Purdue, but it's not too early to think about engaging in research as an undergraduate student.

The SURF program, administered by the College of Engineering, provides current sophomores and current juniors (rising seniors) an intensive, summer-long, paid experience that allows them to perform research in an academic environment. In addition to SURF, you can look into opportunities around the country with government agencies including the National Science Foundation, whose Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) web site is searchable by subject area, state, and other variables.

Or you can simply keep your eyes open for opportunities that cross your path. When Athena Davros, a recent graduate in materials engineering, was a First-Year Engineering student taking a seminar taught by Prof. Carol Handwerker, the professor offered research opportunities to anyone in the course who was interested. “I jumped at it,” Davros says—and she worked with Prof. Handwerker throughout her undergraduate career.

Her classmate Ross Rucker, also a recent graduate in materials engineering, had a roommate who’d taken part in a research project, and Rucker wanted to do the same. He asked his academic advisor how to find a project, and was put in touch with a professor (Handwerker). Both he and Davros have conducted research (for academic credit) on the development of tin “whiskers” in electronic components and solder—a problem that causes devices to short-circuit.

pottery specimenRucker went on to participate in SURF on a joint materials-anthropology project whose goal was to determine the composition of pigments used on 2,000-year-old pottery specimens from a Peruvian excavation (see sample at right). “We were able to trace substances to different mines in Peru and track the movement of the people over time,” he says.

Their experiences, Davros and Rucker agree, make for good resume-builders. “I also just got to find out if I liked materials engineering,” says Davros, who as a co-op student continued in research at DePuy Orthopaedics, working on cement-less coatings for total-joint replacement systems. “In general, it’s just a good learning experience.”

Click here for a list of undergraduate research resources.

Honors Update

by Jennifer Alter, Assistant Director, Engineering Honors Program

Hello from the First-Year Engineering Honors Program! It seems like it was just yesterday since the excitement of STAR, initial registration, Boiler Gold Rush, and Move-In. The Engineering Honors Office started off the semester with a Welcome Reception on August 18, where students were encouraged and motivated by Dr. Eric Nauman, Director of the Engineering Honors Program, Dr. Timothy Sands, Provost, and Dr. Rhonda Phillips, Dean of the Honors College. Now that we are several weeks into the Fall 2013 semester, students seem to be finding their way around campus, adjusting well to their new environment and settling into the wealth of in-class and out-of-class opportunities that Purdue offers.

We followed up their first week of classes with an all-Engineering Honors low-ropes course event at Boiler Challenge on campus. Under the supervision of trained team-building facilitators, students spent a few hours working in teams and depending on each other to complete various tasks designed to foster teamwork and trust. The students seemed to have a great time succeeding in the tasks and getting to know each other!

Delving into chemistry, physics, math, and composition courses is keeping our students busy, as well as helping them to feel good about what they already know while opening their eyes to how much there still is to learn. Additionally, through classes like ENGR 14100: Honors Creativity and Innovation in Engineering I, our Honors students are starting to become acquainted with the field of engineering. As they tackle complex assignments, they are beginning to stretch their minds in ways designed to make them stronger and more creative problem solvers.

Even though the semester just started, we will also begin planning schedules for the spring semester in mid-September, and students should expect an email from me with more details about soon. I will meet with each Honors student to do individualized planning for the Spring 2014 semester, and then we will look forward to another busy semester of learning and growing! 

We certainly have a busy semester planned for our Honors students. I look forward to developing and maintaining excellent relationships with our Honors Program community through this semester and year.

First-Year Engineering Portal

The FYE portal, available at, is a one-stop resource for First-Year Engineering students to access information related to the ENGR 131 & 132 courses and First-Year Advising.

screen shot of FYE portalThe ENGR 131 & 132 page will be updated frequently with upcoming course events. The FYE Advising page contains a variety of information, including the FYE Plan of Study.  In addition, the portal provides links to the plan of study for each engineering school at Purdue.  This provides easy access to the information for students, and allows for the plans to study to be easily compared.  The portal also features a variety of callouts and events that may be interesting to First-Year students.  This information is presented in a calendar format so students can easily identify events that meet their schedule.  Further, the portal provides a method for anyone in the Purdue community to submit a request to have their callout or event displayed on the FYE portal.

Resources, Resources, Resources...

All First-Year Engineering students have access to a wide range of campus resources which will assist them in the following subject areas: chemistry, physics, math, engineering courses, writing and science selective courses.

Below are links to resources available to students through the First-Year Engineering website:

  • Academic Help and Tutoring Resources
    ( > FYE Advising > Click here for the main FYE Advising page... > Resources > Academic Help and Tutoring Resources)
  • Personal Help on Campus
    ( > FYE Advising > Click here for the main FYE Advising page... > Resources > Personal Help on Campus)

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Purdue Engineering Class of 2017

First-Year Engineering Program
School of Engineering Education
Armstrong Hall of Engineering, Room 1300
Phone: (765) 494-9713
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm
Advisor Walk-In Schedule (for current students only)

For more information about the FYE program, visit