Temple’s National Engineers Week will take place throughout this week.
Presidents Day for many Americans means a day off work, but for prospective and working engineers, it is anything but.
Founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Engineers Week recognizes profound impact engineers have had on society, while emphasizing the importance in technical fields of study such as math and science.
Four years ago, the College of Engineering sought to establish an engineers week on Main Campus that involved students not only from the school, but those in other science- and math-based fields of study. Through informative demonstrations and keynote speakers, National Engineers Week allows the chance for the college to be recognized for their achievements in engineering in conjunction with promoting the field of study for those who are undecided or looking to transfer.
“The idea is to showcase our students and our faculty and what they are doing and working on as well as our field of study,” said Steven Lengkeek, assistant dean of the College of Engineering. “[The College of Engineering] has one of the higher transfer rates of other people coming from other degrees and transferring to engineering. A lot of it is because we have people coming to our building who take non-engineering related courses and they see what’s going on and get excited.”
The poster competition, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23, offers the opportunity for undergraduates and graduates alike to present a three-minute presentation, summarizing their research to a panel of four judges, one being the university’s bioengineering chair.
Undergraduates who utilize opportunities to study as a lab assistant, or those who participate in summer research program generally present their research findings. Similarly, graduate students use it to showcase research and accomplishments pertaining to their specific field of study in the college. A first, second and third place winner is selected among graduate students and a first place winner among undergraduates.
“Winning the [poster] competition would be an excellent item to put on a graduate application. If you are a master student, it would also be a bonus if you’re trying to pursue a Ph.D.,” Cheryl Sharp, assistant director for graduate studies, said. “If you want to get involved in interdisciplinary research it will open up doors as well.”
National Engineers Week also grants the opportunity for student organizations involved within the college to showcase their involvement within the university and the community.
“Many of the organizations participate in community outreach activities in addition with various competitions throughout the year,” said Sharp, who also cited the construction of a ramp by members of engineering student organizations that allowed a local family’s son easier access to their front door.
Notable biochemist Dr. Bruce Alberts will be delivering his presentation, “Urgently Needed: A Redefinition of Science Education,” tomorrow, Feb. 22, at the College of Engineering.
Throughout the remaining week, there will be other presentations such as lab tours and lectures given by faculty professors which will encompass a wide array of topics central to the college and interdisciplinary studies.
Additionally, valuable networking opportunities will take place following Dr. Alberts’ presentation along with an alumni reception on Sunday, Feb. 26 where students will be able to interact with the speaker, along with faculty and alumni, allowing them to collaborate for future research projects as well as discuss interdisciplinary research throughout the university.
Although National Engineers Week at the university is relatively new, those involved said participation from faculty and students grows yearly, fostering ideas that continue to make the engineering program more popular.
Mark Staver can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.