Industrial engineering senior awarded S. Balachandran Service Scholarship

March 14, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Emily Leight, a senior studying industrial engineering, has been awarded the S. Balachandran Service Scholarship through Alpha Pi Mu, the national industrial engineering honor society.

Leight is receiving the scholarship in recognition of her service to Alpha Pi Mu as the Penn State chapter’s current president. The scholarship, in the amount of $1,000, was established in 2016 by Swaminathan Balachandran, a longtime professor of industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

During her time as president, Leight has worked hard to further the Penn State chapter of Alpha Pi Mu’s mission to serve the college. This past fall, Leight and the other members of Alpha Pi Mu hosted a Proctor and Gamble information session and résumé-building event with a visiting alumna. The event was open to the entire College of Engineering and was a success.

In addition to her position as the president of Alpha Pi Mu, she also is a participant in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering’s Undergraduate Research Program, which pairs undergraduate students with professors to participate in research projects.

Through her involvement with the program, Leight has spent the past four semesters doing research with Professor Ling Rothrock. She explained that their research uses data from one of BP’s oil refineries in Washington, which has implemented simulation-based training for the operators of their hydrocracker, one of the big towers in the refinery process.

“I’m analyzing the performance data of the refinery to see whether or not the simulation-based training has improved performance or just made the conditions better on the refinery,” Leight said.

As a member of the Schreyer Honors College, Leight also is using her research with Rothrock to write her undergraduate honors thesis.

In the past, Leight has been the recipient of a Material Handling Education Foundation Inc. scholarship for the 2017-18 school year. She is also a teaching intern for IE 330: Engineering Analytics.

In her free time, she can be found leading tours around the Leonhard Building for visitors and prospective students.

Originally from East Greenville, Pennsylvania, Leight is Six Sigma Green Belt-certified and scheduled to graduate in May with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering.

Following graduation, she will begin a full-time position as a supply chain project specialist with Lutron Electronics, where she worked as an intern the past two summers.

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Last Updated March 14, 2018