Silicon Valley Study Away Spring Break Trip

In response to the challenges associated with international travel, Purdue International Program has expanded the traditional study abroad programs to include domestic study away model. During the 2022 spring break, Global Engineering Programs and Partnership (GEPP) office supported the Office of Professional Practice in offering the first study away program to Silicon Valley. Twenty two students participated in the program and spent 8 days in the greater Bay Area. Students visited nine companies including Joby Aviation, Zoox and Lucid Motors and interacted with engineers and managers as well as Purdue alum.

Joseph Tort

Associate Director Global Professional Practice

Our inaugural study away program for ENGR 10301 Silicon Valley and the Tech Industry was a phenomenal success. Students had the opportunity to visit startups and tech giants spanning diverse industry sectors. On each visit students were greeted by Purdue alums and had opportunities to engage with company CEO’s, CTO’s, and VP’s. This provided an excellent opportunity for students to build their networks, industry knowledge, and confidence. I know that many students will go back to Silicon Valley in the near future as interns, full-time employees, or entrepreneurs. It was an exciting to provide this opportunity to students, and we are looking forward to expand this program in future years.

Stephen Sposato

Executive Director, John Martinson Entrepreneur Center - West, in Palo Alto

Joby Aviation visit was one of the most impressive startup visits. They covered the details of design, manufacturing of each part, traceability of each component, their carbon fiber build process, assembly, titanium 3D printing, and their flight testing approach.

Our visit to Zoox was stepping into the future of autonomous vehicles. Think of it as Uber without the driver. We toured their vehicle production line, discussed the complexity of navigation systems, software, assembly and testing. They were recently acquired by Amazon.

Lucid Motors builds a premium luxury EV. Our visit was an engineer’ s dream. They covered the intricacies of vehicle design and all the detailed engineering and testing for each vehicle part. They showed us their innovative battery and motor designs which are superior to their top competitors.

Francisco Montalvo

Assistant Director for Global Projects
Office of Professional Practice

The trip was a unique experience for everyone, I think aspects of it being domestic really helped have very smooth logistics but it being California and Silicon Valley it still brought a huge cultural and mindset shift experience to all of us. The general business/entrepreneurship culture and energy there is so rich that aside from some really fun visits, the students still absorbed a ton in terms of personal growth.

More information on this program

Group of students outside
Group of students outside with Boilermaker flag and an Applied Materials sign
Group of students inside
Group of students on a rock outside
Group of students outside hiking
Group of students with a Boilermakers flag and a car
Group of students with an unicorn statue
Group of students in a simulated cockpit