You are here

Designing Leaders Program

The 2020 Application Period is Now CLOSED

As a student who is about to start a career as an engineer or technologist, you need to find a way to stand out to potential employers. A recent survey of US companies showed that leadership is considered a key characteristic that they are looking for with future hires. The Designing Leaders Program is an educational experience developed by the UL College of Engineering to provide you, its students, an opportunity to develop stronger leadership skills.

Program Description

The Designing Leaders program is an eight-session lecture series held every spring semester. Sessions include speakers who are carefully selected for their prestigious positions and involvement in the community and industry to provide you critical leadership knowledge. Past speakers have included presidents, CEO’s, and owners of large and small businesses. Politicians, published authors, state officials, inventors, and many more have also participated.

Program Content

Participants will take part in discussions related to presentations given by experts regarding a wide variety of skills commonly associated with successful leaders. Participants will also learn about contracts, budgeting, writing proposals, public speaking, and much more.

Requirements for Participation

All participants must be selected to participate:

Apply to be considered for selection. The Designing Leaders program has selective membership for no more than 40 participants who are selected by a special committee.

Interested undergraduate students should apply at the end of the Fall semester of their senior or junior year. Freshman may not apply. Sophomore applications are processed as low priority. Graduate students may apply at any time.

All participants must be in good standing with the University:

Maintain a minimum of a 2.75 cumulative GPA with at least 60 hours of undergraduate coursework and not be on any academic probation, disciplinary probation or deferred suspension with the University.

All participants must be a current UL Engineering or Industrial Technology student:

Must be a current student majoring in Industrial Technology or Chemical, Civil, Electrical & Computer, Mechanical, or Petroleum Engineering. Both undergraduate and graduate students may apply.

All participants must adhere to the attendance policy:

Commit to attending all eight sessions, a make-up session and a final banquet for a total of ten Tuesday nights. Attendance is mandatory. Each session is held from 6 pm - 9 pm on a Tuesday night during the Spring Semester. Because of scheduling conflicts the banquet will be held on a Thursday.

Attendance at each session is mandatory and no more than one session may be missed. An absence should be reserved for an emergency or illness only. A second absence will result in removal from the program; there are no exceptions to this rule. If one of the sessions is canceled because of unforeseen circumstances a mandatory make-up session will be held to take its place.

2020 Meeting Dates:

All Sessions are held in Madison 101 on Tuesdays from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

January 21
February 4 and 18
March 3, 17 and 31
April 7 and 21

Possible Make-Up Session: 4/28/2020

Banquet Date: Thursday, 4/23/2020

Selection Process

  • Interested students should apply here. Online applications only.
  • Send all questions to
  • All applications are due on or before 1/17/2020
  • Notification of selection or denial will be sent by email on or before 1/19/2020

Applications will be processed in this order:

  1. Number of spots available
  2. Date submitted
  3. Cumulative GPA & number of hours completed
  4. Anticipated date of graduation
  5. Classification (Priority given to Systems Engineering PhD students and seniors who meet the requirements)
  6. Student organization participation
  7. Leadership qualities demonstrated by application question answers

Designing Leaders Application

**Every Systems Engineering PhD student is required to complete the program before graduation. This does not mean automatic admittance to the program. All Systems PhD students must apply, meet the requirements, and be accepted to the program. Failure to complete the program before graduation will result in a delayed graduation date.**

Student Recognition

All graduates of the program will be invited to a completion banquet and receive a special plaque. Graduating Seniors will be given a stole to commemorate participation and will be recognized by name at their Commencement Ceremony.