Nurturing the Next Generation of Engineers

There may be no more important factor in ensuring the continued vitality and impact of the engineering profession than attracting and nurturing the next generation of engineers. Brianna Migliaccio, President of the ASME Chapter at New York University and a member of its engineering school’s Class of 2020, joins Executive Director Tom Costabile and Michael Cowan, Director of Strategic Communications, for a discussion about what inspired her to pursue studies in mechanical engineering and why the opportunity to serve as an engineering leader means so much to her.

As President of the ASME Chapter at NYU, Brianna has been instrumental in bringing mechanical engineering industry experts from the industry to provide career advice and create networking opportunities for the students. Since she became the President, the Chapter has grown and she has also implemented different programs working with the local universities as well as planned “socials” for students to network with each other.

T.C: Tell us why did you decide to go into mechanical engineering?
B.M: I was interested in engineering from my high school. When I entered my high school in ninth grade, our school implemented a program called “Project Lead the Way” and with that program I learned about various types of engineering. I did principles of engineering, civil engineering and architecture, and civil engineering. I knew then that I wanted to do engineering following high school and after that in my senior year I only applied to engineering colleges. I started as a chemical and biomolecular engineering major and I switched to mechanical engineering in my freshman year because it was the most hands-on broad major that was applicable in almost anything you want to go into.

T.C. You and I have something in common. When I was in college many years ago, I was also the president of the local ASME Chapter at the Manhattan College. Tell me what are some of the things that you do with your chapter?
B.M: Some of the things I have planned for ASME is working with local universities including Columbia, Cooper Union, and Stevens. We will be having networking opportunities for you to get to know those who are in your major and be able to talk to professors and people in the industry. I have also had companies come to NYU to give presentations and talk about their role in the mechanical engineering industry. We are also planning on going to E-Fest and competing in the IAM3D Challenge, so I am gathering a team for it.

T.C: From your perspective, what would constitute the most meaningful ways that organizations like ASME can encourage and inspire the next generation of engineers?
B.M: I think one of the most important things to do for current mechanical engineers in college or high school is for professionals to talk about their experiences in the industry. For example, when you came to NYU and gave a presentation, that was a great opportunity for all of our students. Everyone continued to talk about how much they loved hearing career advice from you and your career experience. With mechanical engineering being so broad, there are so many different career paths you can take, so it’s great to get some personal advice from people who already went through it.

Listen to the full conversation in a recent episode of the podcast ASME Today & Tomorrow.

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