Passing Down the Engineer Gene
Will Perri ’25 has wanted to study engineering for as long as he can remember. Over the years, Will and his father, David Perri ’93, would spend hours at a time discussing engineering, and once Will developed an interest in robotics engineering, WPI became the obvious choice for his university education. “It feels great to be enrolled in a school where I can study engineering and follow in my dad’s footsteps. My dad became an excellent engineer because of WPI, and I hope I can follow his lead,” says Will.
“Having Will enrolled at WPI is just one more bond that I have with him—and it’s an exciting one! We’ve been talking about technology for years, and I can’t wait to see what he does with his WPI education,” says David.
We’ve been talking about technology for years, and I can’t wait to see what he does with his WPI education.David Perri ’93
As an electrical and computer engineering major, David found his way to WPI while searching for both a strong STEM program and a small campus community. Today, he is the chief product and supply chain officer at Superpedestrian, where he is responsible for the product roadmap, supply chain, and engineering. The company is on a mission to transform urban transportation and protect the environment.
David recalls his time at WPI as being highly impactful in his life, and he credits the experience he gained during his Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) as especially formative to his professional career. Teaching basic statistics concepts to kindergarten students in the Worcester Public Schools system, he and his team members faced widely varying perspectives from their project partners, as well as from a student body made up of widely differing backgrounds, learning styles, and interests. This dynamic environment required the team to develop an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving that grew and stretched Perri in ways that inform his management style today. He currently leads teams with disparate skills, backgrounds, and approaches, and he still calls upon lessons learned during his IQP experience—understanding that everyone is different and brings something unique to a team—and that is what makes a team stronger.
David recently shared, “Part of the fun in leadership is spending the time to really think about how to provide an environment where you can bring out the best in people—exactly what we were trying to do when we set out to teach statistics to those Worcester kindergarten students during my IQP.”
In addition to the senior Perri’s positive academic experience at WPI, his experience as a pole vaulter on the Men’s Track and Field team allowed for another area on campus where he could strive for excellence. Beyond the welcome break from the rigors of WPI’s intense course schedule, the WPI athletic program helps student athletes increase their physical health, collaboration skills, and self-confidence; he also credits his athletic experience at WPI as a fantastic opportunity that allowed him to make friends. Having the hindsight of a full WPI experience, David is optimistic his son will have a positive collegiate experience. He encourages Will to take advantage of opportunities for extracurricular activities and to find his balance between the rigors of the academic coursework and the enjoyment of making new friends and fostering new interests.