Minds Churn as Students Participate in Engineering Week

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The engineering club celebrates engineering week with a series of competitions and engineering themed activities throughout campus.

Activities started with virtual reality in the Greenwood Student center. Using a set of goggles and hand paddles which were synced with a computer, students could explore virtual reality simulations.

On Tuesday, the engineering department hosted a spaghetti tower building competition, with several students participating.  The designs varied in thickness and shape, and the strongest tower ended up holding over 70 pounds.

Activities continued with rocket bottle launching on Wednesday. The object of the challenge was to send an egg up in a water bottle rocket and have it return safely to the ground. Contestants were judged on the hang time of their water bottle rocket in the air.

Richard B. Brown, dean of the University Of Utah College Of Engineering spoke on engineering’s impact in the world today. Brown talked about exciting medical technologies currently being developed such as Nano probes that allow a paraplegic to move a mouse on a computer screen, sun glasses that transmit light signals into a blind person’s brain, and probes that allow scientists to pick up basic words from patients that cannot speak.

Brown also talked about various engineers who have made large impacts to society. For example, he displayed a video of a fountain in India which was designed by an engineer in Utah which can shoot streams of water 500 feet in the air. The fountain has uses multiple jets of water and hundreds of thousands of LED lights to execute shows choreographed to music.

In the end, the dean encouraged students interested in engineering to pursue their dreams. His shared the famous quote by Theodore von Karman, “Scientists discover the world that exists. Engineers create the world that never was.”

The week ended with an engineering bowl. Students competed by answering different engineering, chemistry, and other questions.

Overall, organizers were hopeful that the week brought increased attention to the engineering field.

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