GEARE Alumni Highlights - Part 1
This week I had the opportunity to meet and talk with GEARE alumni Alfa Satya Putra. Alfa was a part of the 2006 GEARE cohort and graduated from Purdue in 2009 with a Bachelor’s and Masters in electrical engineering. He is currently back on campus pursuing his Ph.D. in the school of engineering education. In our conversation, said that campus “feels familiar but different at the same time” with some buildings and technologies, such as the food delivery robots, being new to him.
While completing his undergraduate education, Alfa completed the SURF program (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship). During that experience he worked on a project involving “laser scanning for autonomous vehicles” and he worked specifically on “navigation decision-making”. In the Spring of 2007, he studied abroad in Shanghai, where he took some electrical engineering courses and some Chinese cultural courses. He also had the opportunity to work on a design project with students from the Shanghai University, working on “creating a wall climbing robot”. He then went on to complete his international work experience with GM in Shanghai, working on “updating design handbooks”.
After returning to Purdue, Alfa continued his studies at the graduate level in electrical engineering. Upon graduation, due to the economic climate, “there were not a lot of job opportunities available.” Because of this, he decided to go back to his home country of Indonesia, where he worked as a Lecturer at a University, teaching “computer science and engineering courses”. When he completes his Ph.D., Alfa plans to “become a professor or work at an administrative position”.
Alfa commented that the GEARE program is a “great opportunity to have a new experience”. He said that he has some Chinese ancestry and enjoyed the opportunity to experience the culture while studying and working abroad. Going abroad gave him the opportunity to “appreciate other cultures and how big the world is”.