On February 6, the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing held a panel discussion with government and industry leaders on the value of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees. The idea for the event came from CU Denver engineering graduate students who were familiar with what a career in academia looked like from their interactions with their professors, but wanted to know what opportunities graduates with advanced degrees were like in government and industry. The college assembled a panel of individuals with PhDs who work in government and industry to field questions and share their perspectives.
The panel consisted of Angela Hager, engineering specialist with the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure; Rasool Khadem, founder and president of MedInventive LLC.; Prajwal Kulkarni, director of Walls Practice at Inflection IT; Peter Stoltz, vice president of Beam and Plasma Physics at Tech-X Corporation; and Eric Tan, senior research engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The panel shared stories of what motivated them to pursue PhD studies, the skills they gained, how their PhD has benefitted them in their career, and how they evaluate experience versus education when evaluating candidates for hiring. Attendees had several questions about how to launch a start-up company, including how to get funding and advice. Many students were able to stay after the event for individual discussions with the panelists.
At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.