Engineering, Business, and Leadership: A Potent Formula
Adam Perruzzi, BS/MS Industrial Engineering/Engineering Management, 2017—While growing up in Southwest Harbor, Maine, Adam Perruzzi (BS/MS’17) was enthusiastic about math, science, and engineering. In addition, he was also interested in business management and leadership.
“I realized from a young age that the real purpose of engineering is delivering value to customers and creating a benefit for society,” Perruzzi explains. “So, when I was in high school, I looked for universities that would combine a degree in industrial engineering with a focus on business issues. Northeastern was the obvious answer.”
Perruzzi has capitalized on the many resources at Northeastern dedicated to engineering management, entrepreneurship, and leadership. He took advantage of Northeastern’s Galante Engineering Business graduate certificate program while also earning a BS in Industrial Engineering and an MS in Engineering Management. As part of his master’s curriculum, Perruzzi also attended the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program and graduated as a Gordon Fellow.
“My real passion is planning and optimizing processes,” notes Perruzzi who has a strong interest in transportation systems. “In order to derive the most value from a system—whether it’s a transportation asset, a healthcare device, or consumer software—it has to perform optimally. That’s how you create real value.”
Perruzzi participated in an interdisciplinary capstone engineering project with students in civil engineering and the College of Arts Media and Design, which focused on a redesign of Northeastern’s Forsyth Street to relieve congestion and create safer pedestrian and bicycle conditions for students, faculty, and visitors. During a co-op at Walt Disney World, he helped manage the logistics and inventory behind the theme park’s vast, highly efficient network of parks and resorts. At Northeastern, Perruzzi served as treasurer for the Institute of Transportation Engineers, which is a student club, and was active in many other activities such as president and treasurer of the band service fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi, and contributing over 500 hours of community service with various organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. He graduated as one of Northeastern’s Huntington 100 for 2017.
Currently, Perruzzi is working at the Volpe Center, a public research lab housed in the U.S. Department of Transportation, where he had his co-op. This consulting group helps public transportation agencies solve problems and optimize their operations. Since September 2016, Perruzzi has studied how machine learning can be applied to sift through data related to railway suicides—and increase our shared understanding of how they can be prevented.
“My experiences at Northeastern have focused on so many topics, but they’ve all centered on using engineering tools to create a benefit for a company, consumers, or society in general,” says Perruzzi. “I’ve learned to look beyond engineering for engineering’s sake, and see the bigger picture. That’s going to be invaluable no matter where my career path takes me.”
Perruzzi’s next big transportation project is a personal one. In September, he’s moving to San Francisco to join IBM as an enterprise applications consultant in its Global Business Services group. He will travel the country extensively as he helps companies get the maximum return on their investments in extensive enterprise resource planning software. “I’ll be analyzing data and processes to see how these technologies can help companies work better and more efficiently,” Perruzzi points out. “It’s really an extension of all the work on business and process management I’ve already done at Northeastern.”