If you’ve ever started a car, listened to a radio, ridden a bike, or cleaned your clothes in a washing machine instead of banging them on river rocks, you can thank an engineer. In recognition of these and other countless engineering achievements, Michigan Technological University is celebrating National Engineers Week, Feb. 19-25.
To mark the occasion, the College of Engineering is sponsoring a series of events, from free E-Week cake to the annual Winter Baja.
"Engineers Week is a time to bring attention to the great things engineers have done," said Leonard Bohmann, associate dean of engineering. "Engineering is all about solving problems and making life easier and more productive."
"It’s a time to celebrate all the things we take for granted, whether it’s the little computer we carry around that we call a cell phone, or the clean, hot water that comes out of the showerhead every morning," he added.
Despite their amazing works, engineers aren’t likely to make a fuss about themselves, and having a week in their honor helps make up for that. "Someone once said that engineering is the stealth profession," Bohmann said. "You don’t see or hear of engineers, but they are all around and make huge contributions."
Jean Kampe, chair of the Department of Engineering Fundamentals, agreed. "This is an opportunity to show the excitement of engineering," she said. "We especially want to get students excited about the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math, because the future of our country depends on having a technologically literate society."
Michigan Tech’s National Engineers Week events are open to the public. All are free, except for one: for just $3, you can hop on board National Railroad Night, hosted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Franklin Square Inn in downtown Houghton ($5 gets you into the event, plus a one-year membership in REAC, the Railroad Activities and Engineering Club.)
Want to keep Engineers Week going the other 51 weeks of the year? E-Week T-shirts are on sale in Room 112 of Dillman Hall for just $8.
Some of the activities are listed below. For a complete schedule, go to Michigan Tech Engineering.
Michigan Tech Winter Baja Competition
Saturday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Lake Linden Community Park
Fifteen universities compete with their own off-road vehicles on a motocross-style track made of snow.
Hydro Cyclone Demonstration
Monday, Feb. 20, 3-3:30 p.m.
Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building, Room 201
This elegant spinning vortex separates solids from water.
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 11:30 a.m. till the cake is gone
Dillman Hall, Room 112
Free cake, free prizes and a drawing for a Michigan Tech Engineering T-shirt. Everyone is welcome.
Create a Hologram
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2-2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 6-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 23, 4-4:30 p.m.
Learn about holograms, then make your own. Bring small (one-inch) metallic or white objects from which to make your hologram. Sign up by emailing Weston Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org. A maximum of eight people can register for each workshop, sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. High school and college students are welcome.
Seventh Annual Railroad Night
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 7-10 p.m.
Shelden Grill, Franklin Square Inn, Houghton
Admission is $3, or $5 for REAC membership and Railroad Night.
REAC is open to all students of any discipline.
GE Aviation Technical Presentation
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 6-7 p.m.
Chemical Science and Engineering, Room 102
Hosted by the Society of Women Engineers.
Thursday, Feb. 23, 2 p.m.
Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Building Lobby
Tacos, lemonade and paper airplanes, hosted by American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Hard Hat Tours, Unit Operations Lab
Thursday, Feb. 23, 1-2 p.m.
Chemical Science and Engineering Building, Rom 201
See one of the finest hands-on facilities in the country for chemical engineering students.
Cardboard Sled Races
Friday, Feb. 24, 6-8 p.m.
Mont Ripley Ski Hill
Cardboard sled races, sponsored by ASME
And did you know…
• 58 percent of Michigan Tech students are enrolled in engineering programs?
• US News & World Report lists Michigan Tech among the nation’s top engineering schools?
• Four Michigan Tech graduate engineering programs are ranked in the nation’s top 50 by US News? Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, and Civil Engineering.
• Average starting salaries reported by Michigan Tech engineering graduates in 2011-12 range from $53,000 (geological engineering) to $67,000 (software engineering)?