PURCHASE, NY (March 20, 2017) – Encouraging female students and professionals to pursue STEM education and opportunities is more important than ever. To help strengthen interest and participation in STEM fields, PepsiCo and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) have proudly kicked off their annual PepsiCo/SWE Student Engineering Challenge. Now in its fourth year, this competitive program encourages undergraduates to compete for scholarship prizes and a trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota to attend SWE’s annual conference, WE18– the largest professional development and networking conference and career fair for women in engineering, taking place October 18-20.
“Given that women represent only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, and only 14 percent of engineers are women, PepsiCo is particularly committed to expanding and encouraging STEM opportunities among young girls,” said Olga Sellmann, Ph.D, R&D Project Manager, PepsiCo. “Engaging the future generation of female engineers with this annual challenge allows us to explore fresh approaches to improving our operations while engaging rising graduates with real-life engineering practicum."
Beginning today, participating teams compromised of up to four undergraduate students are invited to research and develop a solution in response one of the following themes: efficient sensing systems, alternatives to PET beverage packaging and the recyclability of industry-standard beverage coolers.
To officially compete, eligible teams must visit the Challenge website and submit their poster proposals online by July 2, 2018. Following thorough review, three finalist teams will be notified and asked to formally present at the WE18 annual conference in Minneapolis. A judging panel of PepsiCo executives and industry leaders will select the grand prize winning team, which will be announced and celebrated on the last day of the conference at the WE18 Celebrate SWE! event.
“PepsiCo is a leader in diversity and inclusion for women in STEM and SWE is thrilled to continue our partnership in 2018,” said Karen Horting, Executive Director & CEO, SWE. “The PepsiCo / SWE Student Engineering Challenge represents an empowering opportunity for SWE’s collegiate engineering students and is the highlight of our conference every year.”
To date, this program has awarded 27 students with cash prizes and a funded trip to the SWE annual conference to present their proposed engineering solutions to a panel of PepsiCo judges. Each year, the SWE annual conference represents the perfect place to gather female students and professionals to network and learn more about STEM opportunities from industry leaders such as PepsiCo. This year, SWE anticipates more than 13,000 attendees on-site at WE18.
For more information about this year’s PepsiCo/SWE Student Engineering Challenge, including submission instructions and deadlines, please visit http://pepsicostudentchallenge.swe.org.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2017, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of our company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. We believe that continuously improving the products we sell, operating responsibly to protect our planet and empowering people around the world enable PepsiCo to run a successful global company that creates long-term value for society and our shareholders. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is the world's largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit educational and service organization is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers. As a champion of diversity, SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in their personal and professional lives. For more information about the Society, please visit www.swe.org or call 312.596.5223.