WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – With a company like GE Aviation moving to Lafayette, Purdue officials said it will have a lasting impact on the university’s programs and students.
“We think it’s going to impact the student experience.” Associate Engineering Dean for Research Melba Crawford said. “There will be closer relationships with engineers at GE, maybe internships, maybe increased design projects. We think it’s going to impact multiple departments.”
Crawford said GE Aviation may influence students’ career paths.
“I think that this will potentially impact the areas that students will go into when they see the close proximity of such a fantastic advanced manufacturing facility between GE and Purdue that will actually influence the students,” Crawford said.
“Anytime you can come to a program and one of the partners in that program is just down the street so you have access to them does nothing but offer opportunity and hope and that’s really what you want to do for an incoming student,” Aviation Technology Associate Professor Mike Suckow says.
Crawford said with the company’s focus on high-tech, innovative design it will impact several departments at Purdue, not just engineering. Suckow agrees.
“Having access to that for our programs and being able to challenge our faculty and our students to keep up is just going to have trickle down effects that we just can’t even fathom yet,” Suckow said.
Suckow said the aviation technology program fits hand-in-hand with GE Aviation’s goals for highly skilled workers.
“The industry is in a real critical phase for labor so this is a wonderful opportunity for us to expand the program and offer more students with more opportunities,” Suckow said.
The move may influence change at the Purdue Airport as well. Suckow said a lot of people ask about the possibility for scheduled flights from the airport. He said with GE Aviation’s decision to come to town it’s not out of the question.
“Time will tell. Time will tell. As GE comes in and becomes kind of an anchor we’ll see what else is attracted to be in the neighborhood. It’s possible,” Suckow said.