By: Julia Hall – Online Editor-in-Chief
Seven hundred free t-shirts were distributed on-campus on Monday, Feb. 20. Along the rib cage, white writing stood out on black cotton: Engineers Week.
The University of Dayton’s School of Engineering joined engineers at universities across the country in the festive spirit sparked by E-Week. With a series of events throughout the week of Feb. 18-24, the engineering department brought an air of amusement mid-semester.
“I think it just gives students an opportunity to come together and just test their knowledge in a more fun environment rather than be tested on a test,” Kristen Culbertson, junior chemical engineering major and president of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), explained the purpose of E-Week.
The UD kicked off their rendition of E-Week with an event titled Hackathon held on this past weekend on Feb. 18.
Hackathon was a 2-day event held at ArtStreet where students collaboratively generated sustainable solutions for real-world issues. Craig Boman, applications support specialist and interim projects coordinator for the University of Dayton library system, was instrumental in successfully pulling off the event. He explained that awards were presented at the conclusion of the event on Sunday. Two categories were designated: the best technical solution and the best human/social solution.
The winning team with the best technical solution included students Evan Kurtz, a computer information systems major, and Tyler Berkshire, a computer science major. For the second category, the best human/social solution, Fridays for the Future attained gold medal status. The members of the team included Smit Mistry, Ashley Brown and Samantha Rennu. These five innovators split prizes worth a total of approximately $1,000.
As the week continued, AIChE at UD hosted Jeopardy on the night of Monday, Feb. 20.
“We had a lot of chemical engineers go. So, it was actually the fifth years versus the first years versus the middle students,” Culbertson stated. Answering a mixture of trivia, UD questions, and science-based questions, the fifth year chemical engineers took first place.
The whirlwind of the week continued on Tuesday evening. The usual academic atmosphere of Kettering Labs transformed into a buzzing, social extravaganza. Led by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), students from an array of majors flocked to Kettering Labs for an event called Engineers Week Community Challenge. Under the direction of SWE, six separate engineering organizations ran six stations with hands-on activities.
“For the engineers, they are able to work with someone on a different team and get that mindset of bringing other people’s ideas and how they would solve a problem into an engineering setting,” commented Lisa Musselman, junior civil engineering major and social chair of SWE, on the inclusion of non-engineering majors at the community challenge.
Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service-Learning (ETHOS) hosted one of the six stations at the E-Week Community Challenge. Seven solutions, ice cubes, and marshmallow towers were the materials utilized by the participants at the ETHOS station.
“In the time it took for the ice cube to melt, they built a tower out of marshmallows and popsicle sticks” Jackie Juhascik, a sophomore civil engineering major and the VP of Activities for ETHOS. “We thought it was a good event for everyone, including non-majors because it was easy enough to understand. We had a lot of non-majors because it was a PATH-point event.”
Wednesday evening brought Phi Sigma Rho’s “Calculator Toss,” Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE)’s “Markerbox Competition,” and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)’s “Duct Tape a Professor to a Wall.”
“It is usually last minute who gets roped into it,” Culbertson explains the usual procedure for ASME’s event, “you have to try to find the smallest professor.”
E-Week is not only a conglomeration of individual events, but also functions as a larger competitive event between the schools within the engineering program.
“Engineering Week is a competition between all the different engineering departments and whoever wins gets a stipend for their program, really their club. Chemies have won five years in a row now,” declared Jessica Krsic, junior treasure for AIChE and social co-chair for Phi Sigma Rho.
Amongst the ice cubes, competitions and duct tape, a keynote speaker presented on Thursday evening. Chad Pregracke, a social entrepreneur and founder of Living Lands & Water, spoke on-campus. This event, co-sponsored by KEEN, ETHOS Center, Rivers Institute, River Stewards and EMpwr, provides a thought-provoking event nearing the end of a fun-filled week.
Overall, E-Week is wrapping up to be a memorable week: one with a healthy dose of fun, competition, and inspiration.
Photo Courtesy of Christian Luigi Cubacub – Multimedia Editor