GEP: Global Engineering Program

Engineer your global career. That's the directive to students from Purdue's Global Engineering Program (GEP), which puts the academic and career development of students at the heart of international experiences.

"Companies tell us that they need global engineers, and that's what we're working toward," says Becky Hull, who promotes GEP work- and study-abroad opportunities to students in her position as Civil Engineering's study-abroad liaison. Interim director Dan Hirleman (head of Purdue's School of Mechanical Engineering) and assistant director Yating Chang head the program.

GEP equips students to engineer global careers through a variety of programs, including spring break, Maymester, and summer programs; engineering internships and co-op assignments at international locations; semester or academic-year student exchanges or study abroad with partner universities; and Purdue's GEARE program.

GEARE, the Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education, works in partnership with prestigious universities in Germany, China, India, and Mexico to provide undergraduates a domestic corporate internship, a later international internship at the same company, one semester of study abroad, and a two-semester co-located global design team project. (A graduate-level version offers six months of mentored research experience at a GEARE partner university.)

"When [our] students are hired, they have an edge over those who have not gone abroad," says Hull. Mechanical engineering junior and GEP participant Kim Dietz attests to that: "Now I have a better understanding of how to prepare myself for an international career."

—Rebecca Goldenberg