Entering Lafayette in the fall of 2008 as an undecided engineer, I never would have guessed that almost four years later I would be weeks away from completing a 120-inch-wingspan airplane with the SAE Aero Design East team. Nor would I have imagined taking two constitutional law classes to complete my minor in government & law. This is just a sample of the opportunities I’ve had since becoming a mechanical engineering major.

I’ve always had a propensity to be an engineer, even though it took me well into my sophomore year to figure out what engineering really meant to me. For engineering majors, even those searching for non-engineering positions, the mindset of an engineer is invaluable. The engineering program at Lafayette offers a top-tier curriculum and professors who offer insights in both theoretical and practical applications of knowledge. The hands-on approach to learning has truly prepared me to feel comfortable entering the industry when I graduate.

Of course, I’ve played around with my future a little and maybe I see myself going to law school after working for a few years. I’ve always been interested in being a patent lawyer, and my engineering background is yet another asset to attaining that goal. The curriculum is strict but it leaves room for those interested to expand their knowledge outside the field of engineering. The main idea I’ve taken away from my education is that I’ve garnered a vast skill set, with proficiency not only in computational math and science, but in technical and legal writing, computer programming, machining, manufacturing, critical reading, and so much more. This strong background will undoubtedly propel me in the direction of success.

Looking beyond my experiences, other students in other disciplines of engineering have had similar opportunities. The research, environmental community service, and industrial innovation you’ll read about in this issue shows that Lafayette engineering has far reaches both in breadth of application and in global outreach. After graduation in May, my engineering peers and I will step off the stage knowing that the real-life experiences we’ve had over our four-year journey will stand the test of time as we progress to graduate school, the industry, or to wherever else our scholarly minds will take us. Hopefully after reading this issue, you’ll gain new insights on engineering that will pique your interest in one of Lafayette’s strongest and most prized divisions.

Best wishes,

Jared R. Piette ’12
B.S. Mechanical Engineering