External Relations


The Engineering Ambassadors Network (EAN) is a collaboration of engineering and STEM organizations from universities and colleges across the United States. WPI was one of the four founding schools of the Engineering Ambassadors program, developed in 2011 to address the challenges today's organizations face to recruit diverse, top-notch STEM engineering talent. The network has grown to 39 programs nationwide.  

Through WPI’s participation in the program, more than 22,000 students (about the seating capacity of Madison Square Garden) have been impacted by the STEM outreach activities offered by WPI Engineering Ambassadors. The presentations and hands-on activities serve as an eye-opener to young students on how engineering is intertwined with all facets of modern life. As a recent example, the Engineering Ambassadors offered a special program on Systems Engineering sponsored by the New England Chapter of INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) in February 2024.  

Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that focuses on how to design, integrate, and manage complex systems over their life cycles. At its core, systems engineering utilizes systems thinking principles to organize this body of knowledge. 

The New England Chapter of INCOSE exists to bring like-minded people together to celebrate and further Systems Engineering and Systems Engineers. They currently support Engineering Ambassador programs at both WPI and UConn.  


Engineering Ambassadors standing in front of sponsor banner for special systems engineering presentation

From Left to Right: Peter Huie (External Relations), Tia Lee, Mikaela Milch, Fatimah Daffaie, Taya Yakovenko

Engineering Ambassadors Systems Engineering Special Program at WPI  

100 students from Quinsigamond Elementary School visited the WPI campus in two groups during the week of February 5th, 2024, to learn about STEM and Systems Engineering. In typical fashion, the students arrived at the Rubin Campus Center Haglund Room bursting with questions about the autonomous robots they saw moving across campus. WPI Engineering Ambassadors, Taya Yakovenko (senior in Mathematical Sciences), and Fatimah Daffaie (junior in Biomedical Engineering), skillfully directed their excitement over the robots to the Systems Engineering presentation.  

Using the assertion-evidence approach, Fatimah and Taya were able to actively engage students in a technical conversation and invited them to become Systems Engineers through an exercise that captivated their imaginations by creating an assembly line where they worked with their families and friends to build a large meal. 

A hands-on activity, led by Tia Lee (senior in Mechanical Engineering) and Mikaela Milch a (senior in Computer Science and Data Science) connected the prevalence of Systems Engineering to Taya and Fatimah’s presentation. In this activity, students worked in teams to figure out a Systems Engineering approach for assembling food packages for delivery. Through the activity, the Ambassadors worked hand in hand with Quinsigamond educators to help the students understand how the concepts used in the activity applied to Systems Engineering. 

Following the hands-on activity, WPI Engineering Ambassador Emma St. Clair (sophomore in Mechanical Engineering) provided a college readiness talk that allowed the students to imagine a typical day in the life of a college student at a STEM university. The program, as always, culminated in an ambassador led campus tour where students were able to experience campus life firsthand and say farewell to the beloved Gompei statue overlooking the WPI Quadrangle. 

Engineering Ambassadors is a professional organization with an outreach mission. The hope is that someday these same Quinsigamond students will return to campus to cross the bridge as first year students and become Systems Engineers after crossing the bridge at graduation.  

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Learn more about the New England Chapter of INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering):