Encouraging female students and professionals to pursue STEM education and opportunities is more important than ever. To help strengthen interest and participation in STEM fields, PepsiCo and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) have proudly kicked off their annual PepsiCo/SWE Student Engineering Challenge. Now in its fourth year, this competitive program encourages undergraduates to compete for scholarship prizes and a trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota to attend SWE’s annual conference, WE18– the largest professional development and networking conference and career fair for women in engineering, taking place October 18-20.
“Given that women represent only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, and only 14 percent of engineers are women, PepsiCo is particularly committed to expanding and encouraging STEM opportunities among young girls,” said Olga Sellmann, Ph.D, R&D Project Manager, PepsiCo. “Engaging the future generation of female engineers with this annual challenge allows us to explore fresh approaches to improving our operations while engaging rising graduates with real-life engineering practicum.”
Beginning today, participating teams compromised of up to four undergraduate students are invited to research and develop a solution in response one of the following themes: efficient sensing systems, alternatives to PET beverage packaging and the recyclability of industry-standard beverage coolers.
To officially compete, eligible teams must visit the Challenge website and submit their poster proposals online by July 2, 2018. Following thorough review, three finalist teams will be notified and asked to formally present at the WE18 annual conference in Minneapolis. A judging panel of PepsiCo executives and industry leaders will select the grand prize winning team, which will be announced and celebrated on the last day of the conference at the WE18 Celebrate SWE! event.
“PepsiCo is a leader in diversity and inclusion for women in STEM and SWE is thrilled to continue our partnership in 2018,” said Karen Horting, Executive Director & CEO, SWE. “The PepsiCo / SWE Student Engineering Challenge represents an empowering opportunity for SWE’s collegiate engineering students and is the highlight of our conference every year.”
To date, this program has awarded 27 students with cash prizes and a funded trip to the SWE annual conference to present their proposed engineering solutions to a panel of PepsiCo judges. Each year, the SWE annual conference represents the perfect place to gather female students and professionals to network and learn more about STEM opportunities from industry leaders such as PepsiCo. This year, SWE anticipates more than 13,000 attendees on-site at WE18.
For more information about this year’s PepsiCo/SWE Student Engineering Challenge, including submission instructions and deadlines, please visit http://pepsicostudentchallenge.swe.org.