As a senior, there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled in order to graduate. One of those fulfillments for an ISE student, like myself, is Senior Design Project. Senior Design Project is a year-long course where you and a group of students are paired with a client to help them solve a problem. 

There are plenty of times both in high school and college where I would ask myself if the information I was learning would actually be helpful in the real world. Senior Design Project, or ISE 495, puts that to the test.

My team is working with a manufacturing company here in California to help them research different alternative energy sources they can use to generate electricity at their factory. We use the project management skills we’ve learned in courses like ISE 315 and the more analytical and statistical knowledge from ISE 225 and 435. 

This course allows us to act as consultants for the company; we’re given a problem, we have to map out how we are going to tackle it, and then implement our plan. Lots of ISE students go into consulting after graduation, and it is really great to get a glimpse into that kind of work.

The course is broken up into two semesters – ISE 495a and 495b – so that the first half can focus on coming up with a solid project plan and the second half can focus on really implementing our plan and coming up with a solution. The course is led by two Professors, or “coaches”, who have lots of career experience leading projects and being managers in their respective industries. 

Senior Design Project is definitely a challenging course, but having this exposure to real-world problems and work only makes me feel prepared for the work I’ll do after I graduate.

Mahima Varanasi

Mahima Varanasi

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @mahima On campus I am part of OWN IT, a women's leadership team who plans an annual summit based on amazing women helping each other out. Outside of Viterbi, I am involved in political campaigns.

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