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Impact Award, Spring 2021

Nathan Chmelnik

Nathan Chmelnik knew he wanted to pursue a career where he could learn how to implement mathematical analyses into the business sector. After some research, he learned that industrial engineering would be a good fit for him due to its focus on data and statistics.

“What I find most interesting about industrial engineering is how we learn to find the very best answer to a problem through optimization strategies and statistical analyses,” Chmelnik says. “The techniques we learn are so powerful because they help us quantify the best solution to problems we face.”

Throughout his time in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, Chmelnik worked in a variety of positions that pushed him outside his comfort zone.

“Those roles helped me learn the importance of hard work and dedication, but also the importance of forming social relationships,” Chmelnik says. “As a result, my biggest achievement has been the connections I have formed with those around me. My connections with my friends and mentors have helped me develop so much as a student and as a person.”

One of those connections was with classmate Lorenzo de Guzman, who Chmelnik says was a great mentor and friend.

“He has helped me build important relationships with my classmates and has encouraged me to pursue opportunities outside of my comfort zone that have helped me grow,” Chmelnik says. “He has truly been a positive influence in my time at ASU and I thank him for all his support.”

Earlier this year, Chmelnik served as the conference director for the 2021 Industrial and Systems Engineering, or IISE, Western Regional Conference. The conference planning process provided a great opportunity for him to grow his skills outside the classroom in what he says was a fulfilling, educational and fun experience.

Chmelnik received the New American University President’s Scholarship along with the John A. and Helen R. Butler Memorial Scholarship in his time at ASU. He also received the Modern Woodmen Hometown Hero Award and was a finalist for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Leaders in Education Award.

In the fall, Chmelnik will be returning to ASU to begin his master’s degree in industrial engineering through the 4+1 accelerated degree program.

“I hope to use my technical skills to lead a department of a large company someday and I also want to use my skill sets to do consulting for nonprofit organizations and help them improve their processes,” Chmelnik says. “After retiring from my engineering career, I’d like to become a teacher to encourage students to develop a passion for mathematics.”

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ Spring 2021 class here.

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