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2019 "Beautify Grissom" art contest showcases IE creativity

Photo of 2019 Beautify Grissom winners
Three of five “Beautify Grissom’ winners
(l to r): Patrick Stuff, Erica Chadwell, & Julia Conversa
Five undergrad IE students competed in the 2019 “Beautify Grissom” painting competition. Launched by the Purdue chapter of the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE) in 2013, students compete yearly by painting what IE means to them.

IE students, faculty, staff, and the IE Advisory Council voted, and the winners were announced at a reception on April 26. Varshini Srinivas won 1st place, Patrick Stuff won 2nd place, Julia Conversa won 3rd place, Angie Wells won 4th place, and Erica Chadwell won 5th place.

The winning paintings will be hung in Grissom Hall's Student Excellence Center. Congratulations, IE artists!

Varshini Srinivas, 1st Place for "Boilers' Map"

BG #1 Painting by Varshini Srinivas

I have to admit that for the first week or so I had the worst time trying to come up with an idea for this canvas. Then over spring break I got to travel home, which is a 22-hour journey, and during those many hours stuck in a tiny economy seat I decided to re-watch the Harry Potter franchise (I fell asleep during the fourth movie and abandoned the idea). I am going to sound like a massive nerd, but the Marauders Map from the third Harry Potter film bore an uncanny resemblance to the travelling salesman problem (TSP) we were introduced to in IE 335, and I had my "Eureka!" moment.  That was the spark I needed to inspire my work, "The Boilers' Map", which encompasses a canonical example of optimization, the TSP, some childhood nostalgia and - I swear I am not trying to be corny - even some problem solving.  I had to create a layout for my map, decide how much material to purchase... this is starting to sound like IE383, isn't it? In the end I think I have produced a piece I feel represents my belief that engineering can be fun and playful as well as pivotal to progress in modern industry (or in my case, adapting some of the stuff I learned in class to make an off-brand Marauders Map).

Patrick Stuff, 2nd Place for "Engineering 150 Years"

2nd place BG Painting by Patrick Stuff

Purdue is world-renowned for our leaders who forge the future. From Apollo 11 & Neil Armstrong planting the flag on the moon, to Gus Grissom & the rest of our 22 astronauts, to advances in almost every field known to man, Purdue alumni have been changing the world for the better for 150 years. In this piece, I wanted to pay tribute to some of those pioneers in the field of IE. Whether it be Frank & Lillian Gilbreth, Alan Pritsker, James Barany, our distinguished alumni, incredible faculty members (past & present), or current IE students, Purdue IE has been changing history since 1955 and will do so for the next 150 years and beyond. 

In this piece, I tried to incorporate all of that into one work. I included portraits of the most influential Purdue IEs, including Gilbreth, Pritsker, and Barany. I also wanted to show that advances like theirs aren’t something that has just happened in the past and is done with, but that every student at Purdue has the chance to change the world. That is why for the 4th bubble I included two generic Purdue IEs, to show the potential for greatness that is cultivated each and every day here. I included a shout-out to student groups at Purdue with the IISE logo on the student shirt. Each one of these portraits is projected off of one of the faces of the people helping to plant the flag on the moon, in similar fashion (the poses are identical) to the iconic image from Iwo Jima in WWII. Just as those men dedicated themselves to our country and creating a better future for our nation, the people in this image dedicated themselves to Purdue and to creating a better future for the world. Above, I drew the earth as seen from the surface of the moon, with booming industry represented by the cityscape. The "150" over the earth is in tribute to the 150th anniversary of Purdue. The bottom left corner contains some words related to Purdue IE, including the 4 pillars our school values: Manufacturing, Human Factors, Operations Research, and Production Systems.

Julia Conversa, 3rd place for "Endless OpportunitIEs"

BG Painting by Julia Conversa

In this painting, each piece of the Engineering Fountain represents one of many possible career paths for an Industrial Engineer. Throughout my time here in the Purdue Industrial Engineering program, I have learned just how many different paths I can pursue after graduation with my IE degree. I think the way our major prepares us for such a wide range of opportunities is a beautiful thing. I wanted to represent that in the way that each possible field is only a piece of the fountain, but when you see them all together, it becomes a whole picture of what we have learned and gained from our IE degree. Each aspect of the fountain is outlined with words that relate to the specific topic of that piece - manufacturing, supply chain, computing, operations research, human factors, and health care. These are in no way all-encompassing of the skills learned as an IE, but simply show part of the many bits of information that all come together to build a well-rounded degree that paves the way for a future of endless opportunities.

Angie Wells, 4th place for "Our Founding and Our Future"

BG Painting by Angie Wells

As graduation for me is fast approaching, I wanted to create a painting that is symbolic of the time I spent here at Purdue. I entitled it Our Foundation and Our Future because Purdue’s Industrial Engineering Program has prepared me for the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. The bottom half of the painting depicts the foundation of Industrial Engineering. The "roots" include the "founders" of IE (Fredrick Taylor, Lillian Gilbreth, Frank Gilbreth), calculus and physics concepts, computer programming, time studies, ergonomics, Markov chains, etc., all of which I feel encompasses the majority of what I have learned from my time in Industrial Engineering. The future is depicted by the college graduate and the globe, to represent the limitless, global opportunities being a Purdue Industrial Engineer affords you.



Erica Chadwell, 5th place for "gIant lEaps"

BG Painting by Began Rodder

This painting represents Purdue IE students going out of their comfort zones to further their growth as engineers and Boilermakers. When I thought of IE and Grissom Hall, I thought of many things but one thing I thought of was the glass meeting room, commonly called the fishbowl room. I was inspired to have my painting include something related to it as a small hint to Grissom. I took inspiration from a saying about how a goldfish’s growth is constrained by the size of its bowl. By depicting a goldfish jumping from an empty small bowl to a large bowl filled with Purdue and IE symbols, I am trying to show that there are many opportunities in Purdue IE for students to learn and grow from. I know that there have been times that I was afraid to take jump into something new, but I can honestly say choosing Purdue IE gave me so many opportunities I would have never had if I was afraid to go out of my comfort zone. I hope that this painting is relevant to Purdue IE students at any stage in their journey and I hope it reminds people that growth happens outside of your comfort zone!

"Beautify Grissom" Contest

Writer & Photographer: DeEtte Starr,