WVU Tech’s Amy Haddix is no stranger to advancing the field of engineering.
The chemical engineering major from Elkins, West Virginia, has served as president of WVU Tech’s Student Government Association for the past two years. She also serves as secretary of both the WVU Tech chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the Association for Women Engineers, Scientists, Or Mathematicians Empowerment (AWESOME) – promoting engineering education is just a part of who she is.
This month, her passion for the field and leadership experience allowed her to represent WVU Tech at the American Society for Engineering Education’s “Insights from Tomorrow’s Engineers” workshop in Arlington, Virginia.
Haddix was one of more than 40 engineering students from schools throughout the nation to attend the event.
“Only a small percentage of engineering schools in the country were present at this conference. Being able to say that WVU Tech was represented brings a chance for others to hear about the school and all it can do” said Haddix.
Funded by the National Science Foundation and ASEE, the event was the second phase of the “Transforming Undergraduate Education in Engineering” initiative, which is designed to determine the types of qualities engineering graduates should possess in the modern engineering environment.
The ultimate goal of TUEE is to create recommendations that colleges and universities can follow to instill these qualities in their engineering students.
The multi-year series of meetings completed its first phase in 2013, where students defined 36 Knowledge, Skill and Ability traits (dubbed KSAs) that would prepare future engineers to address modern engineering challenges.
“These were things such as good communication skills, self-drive and motivation, and the ability to identify, simulate, and solve engineering problems,” said Haddix.
During the phase 2 workshop, Haddix said students worked in teams to discuss the importance of these KSAs within the engineering profession and determine how each KSA was being promoted in the more than 70 colleges and universities represented.
For Haddix, the workshop was an opportunity to exchange ideas with students from colleges and universities of all sizes; ideas that she could bring back to WVU Tech.
“Every school operates differently. However, we can still experience some of the same problems and want the same solutions,” she said. “The big thing that I took away is a national need for practical application in hard science and math classes and projects in classes that apply classroom principles at an earlier level.”
She said she’s in the process of sharing what she learned, and that WVU Tech is producing graduates who can work effectively and confidently in the engineering industry.
An example of this herself, Haddix will graduate in May and has already committed to a production engineer position with the Dow Chemical Company in South Charleston, West Virginia.