Angello Vindrola is the first graduate of a double degree program between Purdue Polytechnic and the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) in Lima, Perú.
In January of 2017, Vindrola had nearly finished his mechanical engineering degree at UTEC, when he decided to up the ante. Instead of graduating, Vindrola left behind everyone he knew in Perú to augment his education with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology from Purdue Polytechnic.
“It’s a carefully thought-out program,” said Elizabeth Barajas, global programs coordinator in Purdue Polytechnic’s Office of Globalization. “Students start at one university and seamlessly pick up classes at the other. The credits are accepted by both universities, resulting in diplomas from each.”
Vindrola spent the spring, summer and fall semesters of 2017 working on Purdue curricula. His research centered on electroactive polymers, which are polymers that react in size and shape when stimulated with electric voltage, responding in a similar fashion as human muscles when stimulated by the body’s nervous system. “I’d like to discover creative and useful ways to use this phenomenon,” said Vindrola.
Vindrola completed all the Purdue requirements and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering technology in December of 2017. He stayed at Purdue for the spring 2018 semester as a visiting scholar in the lab of José Garcia Bravo, assistant professor of engineering technology. Vindrola returned to Peru last month to turn in his thesis and walk with his class.
“We are exceptionally proud of Angello,” said Barajas, pointing out that Vindrola received the highest GPA award for his cohort. “He is a stellar student. Angello didn’t just complete the program. He exceled in it.”
Besides Vindrola, only one other person – another UTEC senior – has applied to the challenging dual-country, dual-language program. That student will arrive for the Purdue portion of the curriculum in December.
Barajas would like to see someone from Purdue accept the challenge of the program. She recommends applicants be highly motivated and willing to spend extra time on their education. Students who wish to complete their Polytechnic degree and then travel to Peru to complete a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering can contact Barajas (firstname.lastname@example.org).