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Local groups to host National Engineers Weeks events

Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 11:08 am

This year’s celebration of National Engineers Week will take place Feb. 17–23. Local area activities will include a math competition for middle school students, a design competition and an engineer-for-a-day program for high school students, and a banquet featuring a former astronaut as guest speaker.

These activities are sponsored by the Tullahoma Chapter of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE), the Highland Rim chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the local Tennessee chapter of the International Test and Evaluation Association (ITEA) and the Tennessee section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

The theme for Engineers Week 2013 is “Celebrate Awesome.”

National Engineers Week kicks off with the MathCounts competition Feb. 16 at UTSI, with Harry Clark, PE, Tullahoma Chapter MathCounts coordinator and a senior manager for test facility planning at AEDC, coordinating the event.

The student design competition will take place Feb. 19 at the Hands-on Science Center in Tullahoma. High school students in grades 10, 11 and 12 compete on two-person teams to design, build and compete their design against other teams. They will not know what they will be asked to design until they arrive at the competition.

The teams will be given kits with identical materials and will have about an hour and a half in the morning to design, build and test. After lunch, the teams will compete their designs against each other. Prizes will be awarded to the top three scoring teams. Total participation is limited to 25 teams and four per school.

The engineer-for-a-day program is also geared towards high school students, generally juniors and seniors. On Feb. 20, the students will tour AEDC, have a pizza lunch and then go with a mentor to observe engineers at work. After lunch, some students will stay at AEDC, and others will go to companies in the local area.

The National Engineers Week banquet will be held Feb. 21 at the Manchester/Coffee County Conference Center. Winners of the student design competition will be guests at the banquet as will students who take part in the engineer-for-a-day program.

The guest speaker will be Dr. Jan Davis, a former NASA astronaut who is currently the Jacobs Engineering Group vice president and deputy general manager at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Dr. Davis’ presentation for the Feb. 21 banquet is titled, “Space Shuttle and beyond – from the eyes of an astronaut and engineer.” Dr. Davis’ appearance is sponsored by the Southern Middle Tennessee Branch of the Project Management Institute Chattanooga Chapter.

For additional information on Engineers Week activities, contact AEDC’s Paul Kelly, Tullahoma TSPE Chapter member and chairman for the Engineers Week activities, at (931) 454-6542 or call Harry Clark at (931) 454-4495.