College of Engineering alumni Samantha Melchiori featured in Crain’s

Melchiori sees the art in problem-solving, which made her the perfect choice to lead a partnership between Caterpillar and the University of Illinois at Chicago that has students tackling some big challenges for the heavy-equipment maker. The 92-year-old company's future hinges on helping customers gather and analyze data from earth-moving machines at construction and mining sites to increase productivity.

Who knew? Melchiori earned a bachelor's in art and worked as a publishing assistant at local luxury magazine CS. She went back to school after the 9/11 attacks to earn a degree in mechanical engineering.