October 30, 2006

SIUC sets Engineering Appreciation Days, seminar

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale's College of Engineering is hosting events this week aimed at helping students network and showing appreciation to alumni and friends.

The first Engineering Appreciation Days are Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4. The program provides an opportunity for the College to re-connect and establish new ties with alumni and friends, Dean William P. Osborne said.


Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to attend the Engineering Appreciation Day and Xtremely Engineering activities. For more information, contact the College of Engineering at 618/453-4321


Osborne will present a "State of the College address" at 10 a.m. Friday in Ballroom B at the SIUC Student Center. The speech will highlight new programs and initiatives.

Osborne recently sent a letter to 17,000 alumni detailing some of the initiatives designed to increase retention and new enrollment, including a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation that targets retention of freshmen and sophomores, and a $250,000 donation from 1970 SIUC alumnus Richard W. Blaudow that implements an engineering leadership program.

Alumni testimonials, an open house and tours within each of the college's departments and centers are also among activities planned for Friday. There will also be individual Industry Advisory Board meetings for each of the departments and centers within the College.

In addition to Engineering Appreciation Days, students in the college are hosting a four-day conference that focuses on networking with professionals from industry and technology-based firms. The event, titled "Xtremely Engineering," is set for Thursday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 5. Organizers expect between 350 and 450 engineering students from area universities including SIUC, the University of Illinois, St. Louis University and the University of Missouri-Rolla to attend.

The Engineering Student Council organized the conference, with the assistance of several participating engineering registered student organizations, said interim associate dean John W. Nicklow.

The events are free, and the public is welcome. The student-run conference is parallel to the College of Engineering's Engineering Appreciation Days on Nov. 3-4.

Xtremely Engineering events include about 10 technical seminars on current topics with speakers from various companies, including AG Edwards, Agere Systems, Sandbox Concepts, California Water Resources, Intel-Inc., Rockwell Collins, Nortel Networks and Cisco, said Shawn M. Muir, a graduate student in electrical engineering, and chair of the registered student organization, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

"This is a great networking opportunity for students," Nicklow said. "They will be able to network with other students, industry and alumni. It really brings everyone together in one common place."

Muir credits Osborne for supporting Xtremely Engineering. The event follows the successful Southern Illinois University Intelligent Systems conference at SIUC in the spring.

During the event, registered student organizations within the College of Engineering will compete in various activities, including robotics and poster competitions.

Most of the events are in the College of Engineering. A complete schedule is athttp://www.engr.siu.edu/ugrad1/ieee/execonf/overview.html.

On Saturday, students have the opportunity to network with alumni through presentations and student organized activities.

"I hope that students get to know a lot of mentors through industry. That is the best way for us to build internships," Osborne said.

Cultivating relationships with alumni and private industry is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.