Monday November 6, 2017

Minority Engineering Program helps Aspiring Aerospace Engineer take Flight

By Natalie O'Brien '19, Marketing Communications Intern

The Minority Engineering Program (MEP) held its 20th Anniversary Gala last month at the Kennedy Union Ballroom at the University of Dayton (UD). The celebration was attended by MEP alums, University leaders, faculty, staff and a large number of current program participants, including Alyssa Muttillo.

Muttillo is a mechanical engineering student with a concentration in aerospace engineering from Highland Heights, Ohio. In the future, she hopes to work for a manufacturing facility making airplane parts.
 
At UD, she works part time as an engineering Ambassador helping prospective students learn more about engineering at UD and whether the University is a good fit for them.

But Muttillo credits MEP with her making the difficult transition from high school to aspiring aerospace engineer. “Without the help of the MEP, I wouldn’t have gotten my co-op at GE Aviation,” she said.
 
When selecting a university to attend, class size attracted Muttillo to UD, but the transition from a small, all-girl school was not easy for her. “As a first-year student, classes were very intimidating, especially because I came from an all girls’ school with classes of maybe 15 girls,” Muttillo said. “I graduated with about 70 others. Walking into a class with 30 people, being one of five girls was weird. It was a hard transition.”
 
Muttillo is actively involved in programs including MEP, the engineering honors society, Tau Beta Pi, and the international mechanical engineering honor society, Pi Tau Sigma.

However, she credits the Minority Engineering Program with helping her the most as she dealt with the initial struggle. “MEP has helped me academically, professionally and socially. It allowed me to meet people when I was a first-year student; people who I still talk to,” she said. “We attended bi-weekly workshops covering academic success and the transition to college, went through how to talk to your professor with office hours, how to study for finals, how to get along with your roommate, all that good stuff.”
 
Muttillo explained that as she continued in MEP, it helped with career preparation. Before the University’s career fair, MEP held résumé reviews and then helped students practice their elevator pitches, look for scholarships and follow up after interviews.
 
Those career skills honed during MEP meetings helped Muttillo land her co-op with GE Aviation. Muttillo spent eight months working at the GE facility in Vandalia, Ohio, beginning the spring of 2017 through the summer months. The facility manufactures generators as well as the corresponding electrical components for airplanes, helicopters and drones.
 
Continuous improvement was an important part of her role at GE. “Continuous improvement is the continuous improvement of processes, parts and products. In the manufacturing industry, nothing is ever perfect, and there is always waste in a process; therefore, there is always room for improvement. In my facility, in particular, there were a lot of processes that were difficult and outdated and needed to be updated,” explained Muttillo.
 
In one example, Muttillo worked on a machine that required a very labor intensive and outdated process. She performed the tests and procedures to update the machine and managed the implementation process, which resulted in better ergonomics for the operator, reduced scrap and improved yield.
 
With the help of MEP, Muttillo also found her way navigating a field dominated by men. “The only thing that matters is who you are as a person; it doesn’t matter if you are a male or a female. As long as you respect other people and can work together in a group, it doesn’t matter,” said Muttillo.
 
The School of Engineering congratulates the Minority Engineering Program for 20 years of success in developing the next generation of engineers like Alyssa Muttillo.

Related Links

Photo Gallery

Previous Post

Next Post

Suggested Links

Social Media