G.R.I.T. (Global, Research, Industry, Teams)
Your Purdue Engineering education is so much more than just going to class. Purdue ME offers you numerous opportunities to expand your skills and abilities through experiential learning, whether it's working in industry, studying abroad, participating on a team, or conducting world-changing research as an undergrad.
It's our goal to have 100% of our undergraduate students participate in one or more G.R.I.T. activities before they graduate. Now is the time! Take advantage of these opportunities!
Purdue offers you unprecedented opportunities to study overseas, with unmatched academic and cultural experiences. International experience is guaranteed to give you a leg up in the job market, as every industry is now globally connected. That's why 40% of Purdue ME students study internationally (the national average is only 5%).
We have relationships with schools across the world, from Asia/Pacific, to Europe, to South America. This means that your study abroad experience integrates perfectly into your Plan of Study, allowing you to graduate on time, and have the experience of a lifetime!
Long-Term Engineering Abroad Program (LEAP): LEAPs are available for students who want to experience living abroad for an extended period of time. Purdue partners with universities around the world and most programs have no language requirement. Check out the complete list of LEAPs offered through Global Engineering Programs.
Short Term Engineering Program (STEP): Faculty-led STEPs are fast-paced, unique international experiences typically lasting from one to three weeks. Credits earned vary by program, and most will involve a combination of industry visits, lectures, site visits, class work, and visits to tourist destinations. These programs may take place during Spring Break, May/Summer or Winter Break, and you will typically earn one to three credits. Check out the complete list of STEPs offered through Global Engineering Programs.
Summer Undergraduate Research in Global Engineering (SURGE): Getting international work experience at a research lab overseas during the summer can be a great way to burnish your CV and gain professional/working skills in an international environment. Check out the complete list of SURGEs offered through Global Engineering Programs.
Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education (GEARE): You want an international experience, but you also want to work in industry. GEARE enables you to do both! It provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to integrate language study, study abroad, cultural training, domestic and international work/research experiences, and global design team projects into the 4-year Engineering curriculum. Students completing the program will earn a Global Engineering Studies Minor while enhancing the intercultural competencies necessary to be effective leaders within the global work environment. Learn more about GEARE.
Undergraduate Research at Purdue ME: Purdue is known worldwide for its research programs and facilities, from the largest academic propulsion lab in the world (Zucrow Labs), to the largest academic HVAC lab in the world (Herrick Labs), to the largest academic hydraulics lab in the country (Maha Labs). But these are not just for graduate students! Many undergraduate students conduct research with faculty members. Not only can you get hands-on with your chosen field, but it's also a huge networking advantage and resume builder when you begin to look for a job. Faculty are looking for students like you, so take advantage of it!
Other research options include:
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF): The SURF program is helping students across engineering, science, and technology disciplines discover a world of opportunity available to them through research. By closely working with other creative and innovative people, students explore, discover, and transform ideas into reality to advance society and improve people's lives. SURF matches undergraduates with a faculty member and graduate student mentor who introduce them to the research tools used on the cutting edges of science, engineering, and technology.
Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI): The DURI program is designed to involve Purdue undergraduates in the interdisciplinary research environment of Discovery Park. The program provides opportunities for students to work with faculty affiliated with Discovery Park on cutting edge research projects that involve combining two or more disciplinary strengths. Working closely with faculty, students experience the excitement, challenge, and power of truly interdisciplinary research in the fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment that is Purdue's Discovery Park. DURI offers 50 part-time (6-10 hours/week) student internship slots per academic semester.
Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP): The Vertically Integrate Projects Program gives undergraduate students the opportunity to earn academic credit while engaging in authentic and extended research and design projects with interdisciplinary and vertically-integrated teams.
Part of being a successful Purdue ME student is making a connection to industry – whether it's through an internship, co-op, job opportunity, design project, or even an international work experience. Julia King and our Office of Industrial Experience can help you make that connection!
Internships allow you to experience several different employers over the course of your time at Purdue. The duration of an internship experience is typically one semester, often during the summer. We also ask that you enroll in a free online internship class, ME 39699. This includes pre- and post-internship surveys for you and your employer, to help both of you get the maximum benefit from the internship.
Co-Ops take this a step further, enabling you to alternate semesters between working full-time with a company, and attending classes. Not only do you get a proper salary, but you also get months of real-world experience and a strong connection to a potential future employer! (Please note: The required co-op courses - ME 29199, ME 29299, ME 39399, ME 39499, ME 39599 - are now free - no fees).
GEARE: You want an international experience, but you also want to work in industry. GEARE enables you to do both! Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education (GEARE) is Purdue’s premier international work experience program. It provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to integrate language study, study abroad, cultural training, domestic and international work/research experiences, and global design team projects into the 4-year Engineering curriculum. Students completing the program will earn a Global Engineering Studies Minor while enhancing the intercultural competencies necessary to be effective leaders within the global work environment. (Please note: The required GEARE internship courses - ENGR 39799 and ENGR 39899 - are now free - no fees).
Mentoring: Mentoring offers Purdue ME students the chance to build one-on-one relationships with Purdue ME alumni, who have a variety of backgrounds and a wide range of experiences in industry. Through casual meetings over coffee, Zoom, email, or phone calls, mentorships help students grow both academically and professionally. It's one of the best ways to benefit from the experience of those who have gone before, and succeeded in Mechanical Engineering.
Senior Design: Companies are looking for your skills to help them solve tough problems. Tackle an industry project as part of ME463 Senior Design, and you'll build a strong connection to a company that wants to hire bright engineers!
Curricular Practical Training / Optional Practical Training: International students studying at Purdue also have the opportunity to gain work experience while in America. Learn more about Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) and set up an appointment to discuss your options further.
Engineering Student Organizations: ME organizations like Purdue Mechanical Engineering Ambassadors (PMEA), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Pi Tau Sigma, and Women in Mechanical Engineering (WiME) allow you to bond with fellow ME students, and give back to your community. There are many other Engineering organizations and societies available, such as Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).
Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS): EPICS is a service-learning design program in which teams of students partner with local and global community organizations to address human, community, and environmental needs.
Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP): The VIP program provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to earn academic credit while engaging in authentic and extended research and design projects related to active research areas of Purdue faculty members and national, international, and industry-sponsored design challenges. Students can participate on interdisciplinary and vertically-integrated teams (first-year through seniors) with faculty and graduate student mentors for multiple semesters to address these real-world research and design challenges.
Motorsports: Purdue is well known for its success in motorsports; many students have gone on to careers in NASCAR and IndyCar. Being a part of Baja, Formula, Electric, Solar, or other teams is not only exciting, but it's also a guaranteed boost for your future job hunting!
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