Chelsea Szpond

2015 An Engineering Mind


Chelsea Szpond loves roller coasters. But for her, it’s not about riding them. It’s the thought behind them.

The industrial and systems engineering major said engineers do more than build impressive structures; they create environments.

“Where should a new roller coaster be built? How many people should a waiting line accommodate? How do people travel through an amusement park? Is there a way to make foot traffic flow more easily?” she asked. “I learned that industrial engineering was the perfect major for me—I really liked the idea of an engineering type that incorporates social science and physical science.”

And when it came to creating her perfect campus environment and representing the UM-Dearborn experience, this Difference Maker has done just that.

She’s the president of Alpha Pi Mu, the industrial engineering honor society, and she’s working on creating an ISE recruitment video for high school students. “I did not even hear about industrial engineering until I was already a freshman in college. I want this to change for future generations, as industrial engineers are responsible for so many things around us,” she said.

Chelsea also is active in the Society of Women Engineers, earned a High Achievement Award at the National Ergonomics Design Competition for Student Teams, and works in a co-op with DTE Energy.

The 2015 Honor Scholar recipient said she feels fortunate to have found a college campus and field of study that’s continuously challenging and rewarding.

“Throughout my college career, I have put a strong emphasis on continuous growth and learning," she said. "I always live by the motto, ‘Do not limit your challenges, challenge your limits.’”