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Impact Award + Convocation Speaker, Fall 2023

Jaden Heidbreder

Jaden Heidbreder chose to study industrial engineering after her high school robotics team mentor recommended it. Heidbreder was torn between a business or engineering major at the time, and the lesser-known industrial engineering field ended up being a great choice.

“The purpose of an industrial engineer is why many students are drawn to an engineering degree in the first place,” she says. “Our main purpose is to solve problems and make systems better.”

The campus atmosphere, the enthusiasm of the students and the positive learning environment drew Heidbreder to the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University and have made her time as an industrial engineering major a rewarding experience.

Industrial engineering faculty members Daniel McCarville, a professor of practice, and Linda Chattin, a teaching professor, were both instrumental in Heidbreder’s growth as a student.

“Dr. Daniel McCarville strives to make meaningful relationships with each one of his students. He brings so much passion to his lectures and a positive attitude to every class. He pushes his students to succeed beyond a classroom setting and brings critical industry experience into his lectures,” she says.

“Dr. Linda Chattin challenges her students thoroughly. Although her classes are tough, she goes above and beyond in giving students the resources to succeed. It is apparent that she cares for her students and will put in the extra work to help them learn the material,” Heidbreder says. “It has been an honor to learn from these professors. The passion they have for ASU and for teaching create a positive learning experience that all teachers should strive for.”

In addition to the fun of solving problems and working on teams of students who share a passion for creating things, engineering has taught Heidbreder resiliency. 

“When I started engineering, I was very skeptical as to whether I was smart enough to complete an engineering degree,” she says. “Now that I’m graduating with honors, I have gained self-confidence that I did not have before.”

Outside of the classroom, Heidbreder was an active member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering chapter at ASU, serving as vice president of creative and web design her sophomore year and president her junior year. Her biggest achievements included building a close community of students outside of a classroom setting and hosting resume reviews and industry panel events with companies, including Disney, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Pepsi and Intel.

Heidbreder was also involved in helping her community through extracurricular activities. In Engineering Projects in Community Service, known as EPICS, she applied her engineering skills with a team of students and industry partner Circonomy Solutions to help her community by designing an automated waste audit system. 

She also helped improve processes for a homeless shelter in the West Valley during her senior capstone project with the nonprofit A New Leaf.

After graduating with magna cum laude honors, Heidbreder is starting her career at Northrop Grumman as an associate industrial engineer in Redondo Beach in Southern California. 

Heidbreder is taking with her ASU’s value of inclusion, which enabled her to learn from many diverse perspectives during her time as a student.

“If ASU and the Fulton Schools were not so vast, we may never get to work with so many great and different minds,” she says. “To be a successful engineer, we need to be able to work with all different types of people, and I believe that many minds are better than fewer when it comes to solving engineering problems.”

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ Fall 2023 class here.

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