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IE Undergraduate Julie Shields Named Swanson School’s 2018 Co-op Student of the Year

PITTSBURGH (November 14, 2018) … The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering Cooperative Education Program named Julie Shields, a senior industrial engineering student, its Co-op Student of the Year. Shields worked three, four-month rotations with FedEx Supply Chain.

“I started in a standard engineering role where I designed over one million square feet in warehouse layouts, and I later became a sales representative where I presented the layouts to potential customers,” said Shields. “Each experience with FedEx Supply Chain has allowed me to grow my technical, professional, and personal skills.”

“During Julie’s third rotation, she was lead engineer on a complex $350 million bid, which the company ultimately won,” said Maureen Barcic, Cooperative Education Director at Pitt. “Outside of her co-op experience, Julie is also a member of Tau Beta Pi, Students Consulting for Non-Profit Organizations, Alpha Pi Mu, IIE, and was the Co-Chair for the 2017 Freshman Engineering Conference. She holds a 3.9 GPA and has been awarded two national scholarships.”

Shields will utilize the skills that she gained from her co-op experience as she starts full time with FedEx Supply Chain in January.

The other finalist was Xavier Strittmatter, a chemical engineering student who worked for Johnson & Johnson/McNeil Healthcare. Cole Burden, a civil engineering student, was awarded the Co-op Tenacity Award for his work at American Bridge.

Honorable mentions include:

  • Robyn Moyer, Electrical Engineering, ZOLL LifeVest
  • Julia Marzocca, Mechanical Engineering, Nissan
  • Sean O’Brien, Mechanical Engineering, Nissan
  • Logan Higinbotham, Computer Science, Ansys
  • Jessica Rodgers, Mechanical Engineering, FedEx Ground
  • Casey Kinol, Chemical Engineering, Lubrizol
  • Abigail Wezelis, Computer Engineering, ANSYS
  • Jenna Rudolph, Mechanical Engineering, Cleaveland/Price, Inc.
  • Rushil Shah, Industrial Engineering, The Bank of New York Mellon
  • Casey McBride, Bioengineering, Mine Safety Appliances

The 2018 Co-op Employer of the Year is Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. “We have had a great relationship with the Consumer Healthcare Division of J&J for many years,” said Barcic. “They have hired over 60 co-ops in the Fort Washington, Lancaster, and Lititz, Pennsylvania locations and have given tremendous opportunities to many of our students. They have also hired a number of these individuals on a full-time basis.”

Other employers who were nominated include:

  • Connors Group
  • FedEx Ground 
  • Philips
  • Human Engineering Research Lab (HERL)

About the Cooperative Education Program
The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering Cooperative Education Program was reestablished in 1987 with the initial goal of 20 percent participation among undergraduate students. By 2018, almost 50 percent of undergraduates at the Swanson School participate in the co-op program. More than 6,500 students have participated over the years, with more than 80 percent completing all three required rotations.


Contact: Leah Russell