Discussion Thread

Engineering Presence on Campus

  • 1.  Engineering Presence on Campus

    Posted 5 days ago
    If your school wasn't exclusively an engineering university, did you feel like the engineering program found ways (inadvertently or intentionally) to make itself recognized on campus?

    I definitely felt that way about my alma mater, and have a few examples to share.

    Every October, the mechanical engineering program hosted a "pumpkin chuckin" event - they would develop (or recycle from previous years) catapults to launch pumpkins at themed targets. This would be held out on the green next to the engineering building (officially it was called Rowan Hall, but was referred to as the engineering building a lot more) and always drew a crowd.

    One of ASCE's cardboard bridge competitions was held using the pool in the gym. Students would create bridges made out of nothing but cardboard and duct tape and try to create a design strong enough to span some length of the pool and also hold the weight of the students. That also drew a crowd, even on a Friday night!

    A few classes focused on parametric design, using home-made bottle rockets as the subject matter. These rockets (with the right amount of water and a good design) could be launched across the green to distances of at least 300 feet. While this wasn't an event to draw in other students, it would still usually catch the eyes of the classes in nearby buildings.

     The surveying classes we took in the civil engineering department always got a laugh from students who walked by as well, since it always seemed to rain on survey days.

    Finally, I recall another competition put on by the mechanical engineering department called junkyard wars. This was a competition where students had to stay up all night and use whatever clutter the staff decided to give them and design some sort of flotation device with it. The next day, they had to board their device, prove it could keep their team afloat, and try to sink the other teams on the lake behind the engineering building. I have a picture for reference.

    Can you think of anything on campus that drew attention to the engineering program at your school?

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer