Purdue Capstone Students Ace the Challenge with Atlas Air

Captain John Schumacher (far left) and FO Lauren Purnell (far right) with the students.

A team of seven Purdue University Aviation students recently spent two weeks in the Miami Training Center (MIATC) gaining real-world experience as part of their capstone project – defining problems and designing solutions.

The students worked on four projects within the MIATC: Pilot Hiring Data Analytics, Flight Operations Master Calendar, Jet Transition and Atlas Air Writing Style Guide. Each team had 20 minutes to present their findings to Flight Ops leadership.

A few students pose with FO Lauren Purnell (center).

“The capstone project, established as an integral component of Purdue’s Aviation Program, reinforces the significant contributions future talent can make on a well-established organization, such as Atlas,” said Leisa Spears-Snyder, Director of Workforce Development, Talent Acquisition. “Collaboration like this, between industry and education, is essential for the development of the industry pipeline.”

Atlas 777 First Officer Lauren Purnell and Captain John Schumacher are both Purdue Alumni and were instrumental in making this program happen.

“I’m so incredibly proud of what these students accomplished in just under two weeks,” said Lauren. “We gave them four challenging projects, with very lofty goals. Not only did they complete the projects, but they greatly exceeded our expectations with their deliverables. I hope this is the start of their professional journey with Atlas — we would be lucky to have any one of these students join the Company.”

“My experience at Atlas Air was a truly unique and unparalleled opportunity that left an unforgettable mark on my professional journey,” said Kyle Choi, one of the Purdue students who took part in the program. “The unique atmosphere and dynamic environment at Atlas Air provided me with insights and skills that have significantly contributed to my personal and career growth. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of such a remarkable experience. I am confident I will carry the lessons learned at Atlas Air with me throughout my future endeavors.”

Students during a tour of Miami International Airport (MIA).

Students in front of an Atlas aircraft at MIA.