Category Archives: inspire

So you want to be an Engineer (or Scientist or Mathematician)?

Currently among the TEDxRoseHulman group we have people on three different continents all doing different work. I am personally doing cryogenics in Slovakia; Donnita is working on drugs in Indianapolis, IN; and Nate is doing orthopedic research in Terre Haute, IN. Marcel is doing mechanical design in California, and Ranjana is doing amazing work in India.

It’s true that engineering will take you amazing places, but to where?

“Where” doesn’t have to be a new land across the sea or even a different state, but a new field of work. Engineering varies from transportation, energy, food, medicine, production and even fields that don’t exist yet. Almost anything can be improved by engineering. An Engineer can go to any field anywhere.

Engineer comes from the Latin word “cleverness”. But it is more than just being clever. It is thinking in a new way, not outside the box but by finding a new box. 33% of CEOs have majors in engineering. Both of these facts are interesting but point out a something that’s even bigger. Engineering solves problems in the best way possible and becomes successful because of it.

So you want to be an Engineer? Be willing to take the risk with the new idea. Try to solve a problem more than one way. Take it apart and put it back together even better. You can do it bigger, better, faster, stronger.

If Say Anything says it right: Just “Do Better”.


Engineering + Food = Success

Source for the picture.

I’m in Bangalore, India for the summer, and I can’t resist eating as much Indian food as I can while I’m here. One day, my mother took me to a new restaurant chain that I had never been to before – ‘Adiga’s’ – and mentioned to me that the Chairman and CEO was actually an engineer.

Vasudev Adiga was a working engineer when he was asked by his father to take over a failing family restaurant. At first, he wasn’t successful – he was ran himself into debt and there was endless competition around the city that ate away at his business.

Eventually, by researching other restaurants to find what made them successful and concentrating on those elements in his own restaurant, Adiga was able to make his business profitable and expand throughout the city.

In other parts of southern India, chain restaurants have risen in popularity to deliver fast, good quality Udupi cuisine, and some have even reached international fame. In Bangalore, however, Adiga’s is the first chain to really gain staying power and popularity. They even have plans to expand throughout India after receiving some private equity funding.

I doubt it was a coincidence that the man to turn the restaurant around and grow it into a franchise was an engineer by training. He was able to effectively identify the problem areas and create workable solutions to them and created a base model that can now be used throughout the country, a systematic approach of which any engineer would be proud.


Plumpy’Nut: One Example of How Engineering Impacts the World

Hey everyone – I’m Ranjana, another one of the student organizers for the TEDxRoseHulman event. Like Claire, I am so grateful for all the support we’ve received and can’t wait to see the final result.

The theme of our event is inspiring Rose students to realize their full potential after graduation. While it seems easy to take the first job offer or graduate school acceptance that comes our way, sometimes we need to also examine the bigger picture. As students of science, math and engineering, we can actually change and impact the world for the better, even if it means taking a less conventional route after college.

One real-life example that sticks out to me is the invention of a simple, peanut-based paste that is used to help nourish extremely malnourished children in third-world countries, Plumpy’nut. Plumpy’nut was invented by a nutritionist and Michel Lescanne, a French food processing engineer, who together formed the French company Nutriset. Plumpy’nut lasts for two years and doesn’t need to be prepared or refrigerated. Perhaps its best feature, though, is that it doesn’t require medical supervision, making it easier to administer and use. Rich in essential nutrients, Plumpy’nut could very well be a big stepping stone to combating malnutrition (at least, one subset of malnutrition worldwide).


Lescanne’s invention is just one example of how engineering can be used to develop tools that can help change the world and tackle the world’s biggest problems. Hopefully Rose kids will be inspired to do something similar with their lives!

Hello, Everyone!

Hello, everyone!

I can’t believe how excited I am that a TEDx event is coming to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology! As one of the student organizers, I am so grateful to all the university support to bring this great event to Rose-Hulman.

As an engineering student, I spend a lot of time studying, sometimes so much so that I forget why I want to become an engineer in the first place. I want to change people’s lives for the better. The entire TEDx experience exists to remind people that everyone can do something great. Personally I can’t think of a better base than an engineer to get things going!

Our theme is “Step 2: Inspire”. I am personally inspired by the constant mixing of engineering and art, music and culture, math and English, the creation of something new. My personal inspiration currently is the song “Ghost” by Skip the Use. What inspires you?