Engineer’s Week honors the profession

Tera Lawson

This week, Iowa State’s College of Engineering is celebrating National Engineer’s Week by holding a number of events, including some in collaboration with University of Iowa engineering students.

Ted Okiishi, associate dean of the College of Engineering, said the purpose of Engineer’s Week, which runs until Feb. 26, is to celebrate engineers and the contributions they have made to society.

Okiishi said the theme for this year’s celebration is “Turning Ideas into Reality.”

Unique to Engineer’s Week this year is the collaboration between U of I engineers and ISU engineers.

ISU Engineering Dean James Melsa and U of I Engineering Dean Anthony Hines will be giving joint presentations to civic groups throughout the state this week, focusing on both the collaborative and separate research initiatives of the universities.

“We believe this cooperation between two good state-supported universities is a unique collaboration,” Okiishi said. “We all come to the table with our own strengths, which are unique to each of the schools.”

Okiishi said some of Iowa State’s strengths include being the ninth-largest engineering school in the country, as well as several specialization areas, such as nondestructive evaluation of materials, virtual-reality applications, advanced materials, transportation research and microelectronics.

In contrast, he said, the U of I has a smaller engineering college that specializes in bio-medical engineering, medicine research and environmental health solutions.

Both colleges have scheduled a professional development seminar for engineers, a breakfast meeting with state legislators and a workshop for human resource personnel on establishing internship programs.

“Having two universities joining forces is unique to Iowa,” Okiishi said. “It kind of gives us a super engineering resource that is good for all Iowans.”

Pam Reinig, director of communications for the College of Engineering, said other events planned for the week include the following:

* ISU engineering students will conduct a tower-building contest for high school science classes today.

* The Engineering Student Council will be hosting a Leadership Banquet Thursday to honor an outstanding member from each engineering division, as well as a member from the faculty and staff.

* The college’s third-annual Scholar’s Day will be held Saturday. Three hundred students, parents and guests are expected to attend.

* The college will be sponsoring the final men’s and women’s home basketball games Saturday. Reinig said they chose to sponsor the games in order to “highlight the achievements of engineering scholar students.” One such student is Paul Shirley, senior in mechanical engineering and forward for the men’s team.

Paul Shirley trading cards will be handed out at the men’s game. Coloring books titled “Not All Engineers Drive Trains” will be handed out at the women’s game. T-shirts will be thrown out at both games after each successful three-point attempt reading “Engineering — Another Great ISU Tradition.”