Skip to Navigation Skip to Page Content

Opportunities take IMSE student to new places

A man looks at the camera with a lake in the distance.

Industrial engineering senior Jesse Schmidt stands in the foreground in South Africa, an MU Engineering study abroad excursion he participated in last summer. Photo provided

Jesse Schmidt has no fear of the unknown. When choosing a school or a program to study, he didn’t mind trying something new. When traveling, he chose a destination fewer people picked, and when talking about the future, he doesn’t mind the thought of exploring the world outside of his suburban, Minnesota town.

“I wanted to go to school out-of-state,” Schmidt said. “I wanted to go south. I made a trip to check out [the University of] Illinois. On the way back, my dad wanted to stop at Mizzou.”

Growing up in Shakopee, Minn., a city southwest of Minneapolis, university campuses weren’t new for Schmidt, who participated in engineering summer camps and took dual-credit courses in high school through the University of Minnesota. However, it was the University of Missouri’s campus that won him over.

“We went to eat at Shakespeares [Pizza] that first night,” he said. “Being there and seeing the campus — it wasn’t spread out — I knew that was the atmosphere I wanted to be in.”

A recipient of the Arlow and Agnes Ferry Scholarship, Schmidt said he chose to study industrial engineering during Summer Welcome after talking to the faculty members in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department and learning about the applications of the discipline.

“They told me it’s a multi-sided engineering degree because you can apply it to anything,” Schmidt said.

Now a senior, Schmidt is conducting undergraduate research as the lead student engineer for MU Engineering’s Industrial Assessment Center. His research focuses on creating a training tool that takes trainees through a virtual plant facility and helps them learn how to find ways to become more energy efficient. The virtual tour would include preset flaws that trainees would identify as areas for energy savings.

“It’s a learning tool for the IAC,” said Schmidt, who began his undergraduate research at the beginning of the spring semester. Other experiences working in industry include working school holidays for Manus Products in Minnesota of and  a recent summer internship with TE Connectivity.

He said he enjoyed the work experiences because not only did he learn on the job, but he also taught others who took his place. He also taught a group of high school students during MU Engineering’s study abroad trip to South Africa last summer.

“I always wanted to study abroad, and I knew about the options available through engineering,” he said. “I decided on going to South Africa because no one else I knew had ever been there.”

Schmidt said he enjoys the research and work opportunities he’s gained through the department.

“I really do like all of it — optimization, energy conservation. I like the department as a whole,” he said.