Men's hockey forward finds a home in industrial engineering


By Mariah Chuprinski

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Adam Pilewicz, number 24 on the Penn State men’s hockey team, has put in four years of hard work on the team, and opponents and fans alike have taken notice.

What might be less well-known, however, is that the senior forward finds just as much success in the classroom as he does on the ice as an industrial engineering undergraduate student in the College of Engineering.

Wanting to find a major that used his skills and interests in math and physics, Pilewicz came across industrial engineering and its variety of career options.

“In every class I take, there is a new possibility and idea of where I could go with this degree,” he said. “Each class opens up doors that I didn’t even know existed within the field.”

The Sewickley native comes from a long line of Penn Staters: His parents met while they were undergraduates, and his brother and sister are recent Penn State graduates.

“When I got the call to play hockey here, it was a no brainer,” Pilewicz said. “I didn’t think twice about it and immediately told my parents I was coming to Penn State.”

Last summer, Pilewicz served as a mechanical engineering intern with Warren Design & Build in Warren, Ohio, working predominantly in computer-aided design and business operations.

“It was cool to see how things I learned in class tied in together in different ways in the field,” he said. “And I met interesting people along the way who I wouldn’t normally meet in the sports circle.”

Pilewicz said that though he has loved his time as a student-athlete, it hasn’t been without its challenges. The Morgan Academic Center has been key to his success. The center provides learning services and tutoring to support student-athletes in all the stages of their academic and athletic careers.

“It’s been difficult at times, and I’ve had my fair share of rough exams and rough patches,” he said. “But they give us tools to succeed at the Morgan Center, and along with a lot of my friends who are athletes, I’ve worked hard to get out from behind the 8-ball.”

Due to the disruptions of the 2020 hockey season, Pilewicz and all other Penn State athletes were given an optional extra year of eligibility. Pilewicz plans to play in a fifth season while finishing up some classes toward his degree, with the intent to graduate next spring.

The student spotlight series

The student spotlight series by the Penn State Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) aims to highlight innovators, makers and those that personify engineering excellence in their academic studies. Established in 1908, the department is home to the first industrial engineering program in the world and has made a name for itself in the engineering industry through its storied tradition of unparalleled excellence and innovation in research, education and outreach. To learn more about IME and how you can get involved, visit


Share this story:

facebook linked in twitter email


Megan Lakatos