I Am An Engineer

“I am proud to be close to becoming part of the oldest alumni group of IEs on the planet.”

Barbara Venegas

Name: Bárbara Venegas

Hometown: Temuco, Chile

Status: Fourth-year Ph.D. candidate and Fulbright Scholar focusing on production, supply chain, service engineering

Undergraduate degree: Industrial Engineering and Computer Sciences

Research interests: Supply chain engineering, retail engineering, transportation and logistics

Adviser: Jose Ventura

In her own words: “I always liked math, puzzles, LEGOs and Rubik’s Cubes … becoming an engineer was only logical.”

“I want to be at the forefront of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies that help create faster, smarter, and more efficient processes.”

Rakshith Badarinath

Name: Rakshith Badarinath

Hometown: Tumkur, Karnataka, India

Status: Second-year Ph.D. student focused on manufacturing

Undergraduate degree: Electrical Engineering

Research interests: Additive manufacturing (3D printing), control, and automation

Adviser: Vittal Prabhu

In his own words: “Ever since I was a child, I have been curious as to how things work. I was exposed to manufacturing at an early age (my dad back in India owns a manufacturing company) and I was always excited to learn about machines, how they work, and what can be done to improve their productivity. This motivated me to closely follow technological advances in manufacturing. I prefer hands-on practical work where I can see the results (as opposed to theoretical formulations, etc). Currently, I am developing a robotics-based additive manufacturing system that includes designing control systems, electronic circuit integrations, and much more. I am hoping to develop a system that is advanced and smarter than what industry currently uses.”

“I have the opportunity to work with professors and industry so that my research has the most impact possible.”

Connor Jennings

Name: Connor Jennings

Hometown: Homewood, IL

Status: Third-year Ph.D. candidate focusing on data mining (production, logistics, and service systems)

Undergraduate degrees: Industrial Engineering and Economics

Research interests: Using data mining to predict when products will become technically obsolete in a market and when products will become too worn out to function properly

Adviser: Janis Terpenny

In his own words: “In general, engineering gives you the tools and methods to solve problems, but industrial engineering also teaches you to identify problems in large and complex systems. The combination of these two skills, identifying and solving problems, makes Penn State industrial engineering graduates uniquely positioned to make a large impact wherever they work.”

“I want to be a catalyst for other young women in STEM fields.”

Hong-En Chen

Name: Hong-En Chen

Hometown: Madison, WI

Status: Third-year Ph.D. candidate focusing on human factors and ergonomics

Undergraduate degree: Biochemistry

Research interests: Cognitive systems, human factors, decision making in design, engineering education

Adviser: Scarlett Miller

In her own words: “I’ve always been interested in understanding how people think and learn, what changes their minds, and why they make various decisions. My current research with Dr. Miller aims to help improve the skills and performance of medical residents in a surgical procedure. We are collaborating with Dr. Jason Moore in mechanical engineering at Penn State and Dr. David Han from the Hershey Medical Center. Our team built a simulation system to expose medical students to various patient anatomies through visual and haptic feedback.”

“I Am An Engineer” is a platform to showcase some of the extraordinarily talented industrial engineering graduate students at Penn State, and the faculty that are helping to shape their careers.

Here are their stories, in their own words.

Follow along here or on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter by searching #IAmAnEngineer.

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Home of the first established industrial engineering program in the world, the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) at Penn State has made a name for itself in the engineering industry through its storied tradition of unparalleled excellence and innovation in research, education, and outreach.

We are Innovators. We are Makers. We are Excellence in Engineering. We are Penn State IME.

The Harold and Inge Marcus Department of
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

310 Leonhard Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-7601

FAX: 814-863-4745