February 12, 2010

SIUC to host 29th annual Engineering Day

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill -- Hundreds of high school students will have the opportunity to explore the world of engineering next week as Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Engineering plays host to the 29th annual Engineering Day events.

Organizers expect about 400 students to attend the Thursday, Feb. 18, event, which is aimed at introducing them to engineering concepts.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the annual SIUC Engineering Day activities. Participants begin registration at 8:30 a.m. that day with events concluding by 2 p.m.. Contact John W. Nicklow, associate dean, at 618/453-4321 for more information.

John W. Nicklow, associate dean of the engineering college, said student engineering organizations coordinate much of the event, which has been a fixture on campus since the early 1980s.

“The event is a wonderful way to engage the community and region's schools, helping them explore career opportunities in engineering,” Nicklow said. “Watching high school students simultaneously have fun with projects, rely on teamwork, and meet new people is just icing on the cake.”

Nicklow said watching the students discover their technical and analytical skills through the “Mind Games” portion of the event is particularly satisfying.

That portion of the event involves competitions that stress problem solving and teamwork. Events planned include the Saluki Egg Drop, in which contestants design egg-carrying devices that can allow the egg to withstand a fall from height. Another event is Boats Afloat, which has participants shape boats out of aluminum foil and test how many pennies it can support without sinking. The day's events also include various programs organized by SIUC engineering students.

There also are several events happening earlier in the week leading up to Engineering Day.

Things get started on Monday, Feb. 15 with a blood drive. The blood drive, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and located in room A 131 in the Engineering Building, will be run as a sort of contest between the SIUC College of Engineering and the engineering student councils at SIUC’s sister campus in Edwardsville. Participants can show their Saluki spirit while helping fill a community need by donating blood.

On Wednesday, Feb. 17, Engineering Day organizers will hold a banquet at the SIUC Student Center beginning with appetizers at 6 p.m. and a buffet at 7 p.m. College of Engineering officials will present student awards following dinner.

The guest speaker for the banquet is Ozzie Lomax, a 1979 SIUC alumnus in electrical engineering who in now manager of strategic projects power operations with AmerenUE in St. Louis. His wife, Jo Ivory, also is an alumna in mechanical engineering.

Tickets for the banquet are available through the dean’s office in the College of Engineering. Tickets cost $4 for students and $15 for others.

Engineering Day is part of Engineering Week, a worldwide tradition that dates back to 1951 and honors engineers and engineering achievements.