A masterful combination

Picture of Elisabeth Schwartzers

Elisabeth Schwartzers’ job title is a mouthful. She is a 2.7L/3.0L Nano Valvetrain Design and Release Engineer for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan.

“It’s a lot of words to say that I’m responsible for overseeing a set of components within a set of engines,” Schwartzers says. She oversees the valvetrain within the 'Nano,' the 2.7/3.0L V6 Ecoboost gasoline engines, at every stage from conception through phase-out.

Before she finished her BS in mechanical engineering at Purdue in 2016, Schwartzers knew she wanted to get a master’s degree. But at the same time she was planning on starting graduate school, she was offered a great job with Ford, so she had a decision to make.

“That was really where I wanted to work,” she remembers. “Online courses seemed like the perfect solution, allowing me to work on my master’s while I gained technical knowledge in an industry I love and before I start a family with my fiancé.”

Schwartzers says choosing "Purdue Online Learning, College of Engineering" was easy because she already knew the caliber of Purdue professors. “They are industry and research leaders. I could tell they cared about the students."

“That has continued to be my experience with online courses. Purdue has managed to make me feel like I’m still on campus, still sitting in the lecture hall in front of my professor and about to walk into a lab.”

Now seven courses into her master’s studies, Schwartzers says she’s learned that what she’s getting online with "POL, CoE" matches exactly what on-campus students are getting.

“The professors chosen to teach these courses are the same professors who teach the on-campus students,” she says. “And they do not treat on-campus and off-campus students differently in terms of expectations for deliverables, deadlines, and projects. They challenge and push us to discover connections between our coursework and the industry we work in or are interested in.”

Schwartzers says "POL, CoE" also has let her choose the classes that she’s truly interested in. “I wanted to learn more about analytical and numerical solutions to heat, mass and energy transport, as well as gas dynamics and thermodynamics. Purdue allowed me to do that from the very first class of my master’s program.”

Schwartzers also knows firsthand the value of combining know-how gained in industry with academic knowledge: “There’s a lot to be said for experience within industry — it’s fairly priceless. But technical knowledge is worth its own weight. The coursework and classes through Purdue have helped me fill in technical-knowledge gaps.”


Writer:  Linda Thomas, Featured Word, Inc.