Future Chemical Engineer Meghan Thai on why she chose to minor in Supply Chain Engineering Technology


Major: Chemical Engineering

Minor: Supply Chain Engineering Technology

Expected date of graduation:

May 2023

Why you pursued supply chain as a minor:

I wanted to learn an industry-related topic and explore courses outside the engineering curriculum. This is why I chose supply chain as I saw it was related to industry. I was surprised to learn how important the supply chain is to industry. As every industry process (manufacturing, sales, shipping, etc.) revolves around supply chain. This helps me understand how an engineer is involved in the supply chain and what other roles are part of supply chain.

Why you think that knowledge of supply chains is important for engineers in organizations today:

During my first internship, I found it common for engineers to be with each other. However, as engineers work to improve the processes, we sometimes neglect other perspectives (operators, scheduling, shipping, etc.) as we are about reducing hazards and saving costs. Thus, by understanding the supply chain process, from customer order to shipping, as an engineer, you know what part of the process you’re affecting and who you should consult regarding changes. In other words, supply chain is the best way for an engineer to understand the structure of an industry.

Some of your favorite memories as a student in your Industrial Engineering Technology (IET) classes:

IET 343: The opportunity to have breakfast with Paul from Moderna and ask questions related to global vaccine transportation. Especially hearing the story of how he jumped from a process engineer to a leader in the supply chain for a global pharmaceutical company.

IET 214: The final team presentation as it led me to jump in as a leader and use my engineering knowledge to talk about quality standards. This course gave me many opportunities to give my engineering perspective on parts of the supply chain.

Advice for future students:

Taking many leadership roles, whether a small or large project, taking the initiative to communicate to higher-ups, or a leadership position in an organization. Especially when you see no one else wants to lead or take initiative on your team. Taking the role “no one wants” constantly will help you build your confidence. You will find yourself more vocal, easily communicate with different people, and help others grow and shine in what they are best at. This is the best practice for becoming a leader.

Be proactive. If you have time to do something early, do it. Over time pushing back assignments will cause heavy workload buildup and reduce time to check on the quality and make edits. This is common in the industry as you get multiple projects to work on. Practicing this over time will help develop time management skills.

Future goals and endeavors:

To be a leader in operations to make continuous manufacturing improvements and bridge the gap between engineers and other operations roles.