Mentoring Tomorrow's Engineers

Providing students with direct access to some of the best engineering minds in the industry is the cornerstone of SWEA. At the start of the semester, student teams are matched with Southwire project engineers and lead project engineers, who mentor them and guide their progress throughout the year.

In addition to leading the teams' work, these engineers provide a glimpse into the wide range of career possibilities in nearly every engineering discipline, including electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering.

E2E Workshops

SWEA hosts several engineer-to-engineer, or E2E, workshops throughout the semester. These two-and-a–half-hour events offer the opportunity for students to meet with Southwire engineers, from recent college graduates to senior professionals, who discuss their careers, college paths and various types of engineering. This direct access to working engineers gives the teams key insights as they begin planning their futures.

Engineering Challenge Events

The real fun begins with the E2E Challenge events, which include hands-on engineering exercises like those typically found in college-level engineering classes. In these competition-style exercises, the teams have two hours to apply creative problem-solving skills, teamwork and engineering principles to complete tasks related to a specific engineering discipline, such as creating and managing an efficient paper airplane assembly line to demonstrate how industrial engineering is used to solve production challenges.

Industrial Engineering Competition

Paper Airplane Factory Simulation

Team Goal

Produce the highest quality and quantity of airplanes in four colors by deadline.


Manage inventory, while reducing scrap, waste and cost inefficiencies.


Just-in-time production, lean manufacturing, Kanban inventory scheduling, craft production.

The Result

From applying various assembly methods to improve speed and quality, to learning how to change over to a new product (different colored paperlanes) in mid-production, teams gained a first-hand understanding of manufacturing processes, inventory management and consumer demand. They also applied critical workplace skills such as leadership, communicating ideas, problem solving and teamwork.

I heard such positive things at E to E, I applied to college that afternoon!

SWEA Student, 2012

I was surprised at the variety of opportunities that this career has to offer.

SWEA Student, 2012

I definitely want to go into Industrial engineering because of the diversity of what I can do with a degree IE!

SWEA Student, 2012

@ 2012 Southwire Company |
One Southwire Drive | Carrollton, Georgia 30119