October 22–24, senior engineering students and several faculty traveled to tour businesses across the Pacific Northwest as part of a senior trip tradition. This is the first time students have been able to fully participate in person since 2019.
Every year since 1959 the senior engineering tour has been a requirement for graduation. Bryce Cole, associate dean and professor of engineering, said, “The senior trip exposes students to large projects in engineering and allows them to ask questions of employers face-to-face. Our colloquium series allows the latter a couple of times per quarter, but the senior trip allows students to have exposure to multiple employers and projects in just two days.”
This trip helps senior engineering students get a better idea of what work life is like in industry. Students networked with former alumni and other engineers, getting tips on how to land a job or internship.
Tawni Lloyd, a senior bioengineer said “I am not going straight into an industry. However, it was interesting to see where engineers work and that there are a multitude of opportunities. There were many moments during the bioengineering tours that I was reminded of current or past curriculum. It gave me a better appreciation for the classes’ material and why it matters.”
Students explored different locations based on their engineering concentration, visiting worksites specializing in their areas of interest. The civil engineering students toured Brightwater Treatment Plant, Earth Solutions Northwest, and Washington State Department of Transportation. The electrical and computer science departments visited Echodyne and Keysight. Mechanical engineering toured Boeing and Nucor Steel. The bioengineering department explored a research lab at University of Washington. The students also spent time together as a group, with everyone enjoying trips to Amazon and Microsoft locations.
Delvin Peterson, professor and dean of the School of Engineering, said, “This trip allows our students to see what engineers do in their professions, to see cutting-edge designs first-hand, and to start forming networks with professional engineers. It’s an excellent opportunity for students.”
The engineering department is committed to preparing graduates for life after graduation, in part by hosting these trips. For more information about the excellent education offered by the engineering department, visit wallawalla.edu/engineering.
Posted on Nov. 16, 2023.