Impact Award, Spring 2023
Imaya De Silva
Looking for a balance between technology-oriented and business career options, Imaya De Silva chose to seek an industrial engineering degree.
“I thought it would provide a solid foundation in whatever path I choose to follow in the future,” she says. “I was surprised by how many different industries need industrial engineers and how the skills you learn are so versatile.”
Even more unexpectedly, De Silva found that the methodologies industrial engineers use to improve various processes in work-related systems can also be applied to the challenges of everyday life.
Through her growing knowledge of engineering, she says, “I have learned how to manage my personal life more efficiently and make it more enjoyable.
The multidimensional applications of industrial engineering endeavors are reflected in the variety of ways De Silva has applied what she has been learning.
De Silva attributes much of her success with that project to her thesis director Daniel McCarville, a professor of practice in industrial engineering.
“He taught me to communicate concepts effectively and to teach in ways that provide value for whomever you are trying to teach,” she says.
De Silva’s academic performance earned her six semesters on the dean’s list. Among other achievements, she was awarded a Tempe Diablos Scholarship, worked as an industrial engineering intern over one summer for American Express, and in 2020 and 2021 did separate internships with NXP Semiconductors.
She also led a NEXT Education Workforce capstone project involving research to develop prototypes of learning spaces to improve learning for K-12 students and enhance educator collaboration and team functionality.
De Silva also managed a group of students in a project to assemble an autonomous electronic automobile using MATLAB, a programming and numeric computing platform.
As a Kappa Kappa Gamma member, she has contributed her management and methodological skills to support the sorority’s fundraising and philanthropic events.
In addition, De Silva has been using her industrial engineering skills to help the sorority members improve their time management, communication, work-life balance and interpersonal skills.
De Silva’s next step is graduate school at the University of Southern California to pursue a master’s degree in industrial systems and engineering.