SOURCE: Society of Women Engineers

Society of Women Engineers

May 23, 2016 10:00 ET

The Society of Women Engineers and PepsiCo Announce Second Annual Student Engineering Challenge

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - May 23, 2016) - To encourage creative thinking and innovation among engineering students, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and PepsiCo have announced the launch of the second annual PepsiCo/SWE Student Engineering Challenge. The challenge invites engineering undergrad students to develop original, technical solutions that would improve PepsiCo's beverage dispensing equipment performance. Students are encouraged to develop ideas that will improve trade quality and increase productivity of PepsiCo's beverage fountain machines. The challenge will conclude August 5, 2016.

"PepsiCo is continuously looking for innovative solutions to improve our equipment and deliver optimal solutions for our customers while maintaining excellent product quality for our consumers," said Richard Velazquez, Senior Director, Emerging Technology and Innovations, PepsiCo. "Engaging the future generation of engineers with this challenge allows us to explore fresh approaches to improving our operations while engaging students with real-life engineering practicum."

To participate, teams must research and identify an opportunity for PepsiCo to improve its fountain equipment performance and develop a disruptive innovation. Students can participate in teams of up to four people and will compete for cash prizes and a trip to Philadelphia for WE16, the largest professional development and networking conference for women in engineering. WE16, which will take place October 27-29, provides opportunities for students to explore graduate school opportunities with leading universities and meet hiring managers from major engineering companies recruiting qualified candidates for engineering positions.

"Fostering creative thinking and innovation among students is so important to the development and success of our young generation of future engineers," said Karen Horting, executive director and CEO, SWE. "We see firsthand through our collegiate programming and regional meetings how brilliant these students are, and we look forward to the creativity that will result from this year's challenge."

Student teams impressed the judges with innovative solutions last year during the first PepsiCo/SWE Student Engineering Challenge. Amanda Harvey and Megan Henderson from Oklahoma State University tied with Jacquelyn Bradshaw and Katherine Crowley from the University of Oklahoma for first place. The OSU team designed a machine that could be made available in supermarkets to reuse and refill 2-Liter bottles. The OU team came up with a biodegradable oats packaging.

For more information about the PepsiCo/SWE Student Engineering Challenge, including submission rules and deadlines, visit For more information about the Society of Women Engineers, visit

About SWE

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is the world's largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit educational and service organization is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers. As a champion of diversity, SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in their personal and professional lives. For more information about the Society, please visit or call 312.596.5223.

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2015, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana.

PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose -- our goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth and shareholder value. In practice, Performance with Purpose means providing a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; finding innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce our operating costs; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for our employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we operate. For more information, visit

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