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Engineering event caters to community

staff writer

Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 13:02


ENGINEERING STUDENTS MINGLE with the community Thursday for Engineering Week. Students built spaghetti bridges and presented their ideas about the Steel Bulls Steel Bridge Team. JESSICA FIFE photo



Blake Lance, a mechanical engineering PhD student, stood next to the display on nuclear energy during the College of Engineering’s annual Community Expo on Thursday.

Lance explained to visitors the importance of nuclear energy and the skills a USU mechanical engineering student can gain in the field.

“People don’t realize how much a mechanical engineer can do with their training,” Lance said. “A student can leave USU and have the skills necessary to work at a nuclear power plant.” 

Lance said the great thing about the Community Expo, which was held in the Engineering building, is students and Cache Valley residents of all ages can come out and see how awesome engineering is because they are the future generation of engineers.

In the week leading up to the event, students from the college went to local schools in the valley advertising the Community Expo.

Taylor Bybee of the USU Engineering Council said he saw more people at the event than in years past.

“We did a lot more advertising this year, including visiting local schools and buying ads on the buses. It looks like it’s paying off,” Bybee said.

The event showcased student projects involving all of the different engineering labs. There was also a beauty pageant and a display with USU’s spider goats. 

“This is a great event,” Bybee said. “We are excited that so many people from the valley are coming out to learn more about engineering.” 

Members of the community and students from USU visited the different displays and tables, which were manned by students and employees from the college.

Students from the college scooped out free cups of Aggie Ice Cream for members of the community on the third floor. On the second floor, bags of popcorn were being sold for 50 cents next to displays on nuclear energy and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Engineering companies both local and out of state were in attendance as well in order to give students and the community a look at the real life application of an engineering degree.

Sandia National Laboratory out of Farmington, N.M, was one of the companies with a booth on the first floor. Their display gave visitors a hands on experience with the work they perform. Onlookers were allowed to handle model rockets as employees from the company explained how engineers play a role in building America’s national defense. 

Mark Anderson, a computer engineer with Sandia, said he hopes students of all ages will think about a career in engineering.

“I get paid to make missiles, then am flown to Hawaii to fire those missiles at the U.S. to test our defense systems,” Anderson said. “How cool is that?”

Bybee said he was happy with the turnout at the Community Expo and he hopes next year’s event brings out even more people. 

“Engineering is dang cool, and we want the community to realize that,” Anderson said. “We want the future generation of engineers to realize that.”



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