Changing the World, One Engineer at a Time

Vanda Ametlli, IE Great Lakes Region Vice President/ Henry Ford Health System

After I graduated from college and in between the job search period, I took up “baking” (this is a still a continuous improvement journey). During that period, I joined a few baking blogs where dedicated people showcase their baking creations. This past week, I was checking one of my favorite blogs, “Love from the Oven”, where one of the recipes featured was “Lego Cupcakes for the FIRST Lego League”.

Immediately, I was intrigued but what stood out the most was not the recipe but the emphasis the contributor did on her positive experience with FIRST Robotics. Her motivation for explaining the story behind the dessert was based on “I find most parents I talk to have never heard of FIRST LEGO League, so I’m just trying to help spread the word”. Being involved with FIRST Robotics as a volunteer, I’ve also had a wonderful experience.

With Engineers Week approaching in February, this is a great time to reflect on what can you do as a young professional to advance and promote the field of engineering. There are many well-established programs that are always looking for volunteers but also the opportunity to tap into organizations such as food banks that need operational help in inventory and resource management.

One organization that IIE has build a partnership with is Future City Competition, where middle school students build their “future city” based on the given theme for the year at a regional and national level. The national winners even get to meet the president and a visit to the White House! Engineers can serve as mentors throughout the process or assist as judges or involve their employer as a sponsor. Mentoring and coaching young kids is quite a rewarding experience because you also get to learn on what motivates people and how you can help to make their imagination come to life. To find out schools in your area needing mentors – please visit:

There are 1000+ or so, young professionals in IIE, I urge you all to commit to at least one activity
in the next month to support advocacy for the field of industrial engineering. Let’s spread the word and image of engineering through one engineer at a time. Don’t forget to involve your younger siblings and cousins! We’ll assemble your stories and post them in the blog during Engineers Week

Other Organizations where Industrial Engineers can participate in:

-FIRST Robotics

-Girls/ Boys Scouts

-BEST Robotics

-Engineers Without Borders

Have you or your IIE chapter been involved with any volunteering organization or organized your own outreach event? How do you plan on promoting engineering during Engineers Week? Please, post below or email to share your involvement.

FYI: In case you’re interested in making Lego cupcakes –