Chad Celestin, whose successful class project as a Purdue University Calumet student blossomed into a job for the Strack & Van Til food market chain, is the first recipient of the university’s College of Technology Outstanding Graduate Alumni Award.
The Highland resident graduated from Purdue Calumet with a baccalaureate degree in industrial engineering technology (2010) and a master’s degree in technology (2014).
Project saved $$$
He began attending Purdue Calumet while serving as a Strack & Van Til store manager. For his undergraduate senior project, a requirement in his academic discipline, he established time standards and implemented a process efficiency plan and quality control system for the Strack & Van Til distribution warehouse center.
The project produced significant cost savings for the supermarket chain and earned him a position as Strack & Van Til’s first industrial engineer.
As a graduate student, he completed another project that enhanced other processes for his employer, contributing to increased productivity, efficiency and revenue.
Started internship program
Celestin also has established an industrial engineering internship program at Strack & Van Til, which has attracted 11 Purdue Calumet technology students. Additionally, he teaches technology courses at his alma mater as a limited term lecturer.
“Chad is an outstanding example of an alumnus and industrial partner who continues to help us produce job-ready alumni to make an impact in industry and the economic development of our region,” University Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Mohammad Zahraee said.