Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Marian Anderfuren:
February 8, 2010 — Prospective students and the public can learn about the wonders of engineering when the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science holds its annual Engineering Open House on Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Thornton Hall.
From novel courses in which students are learning engineering concepts by building sustainable housing or electric guitars to leading-edge research that could revolutionize alternative energy, transportation and health care, the open house will showcase how the school is helping to develop future leaders of innovation.
"Open House gives us an opportunity to share the amazing work of our students and faculty," said James H. Aylor, dean of the Engineering School. "We can show prospective students how exciting, and how rewarding, it can be to pursue an engineering education and career."
The event allows visitors – prospective students, parents, educators and others who are interested in engineering – to meet faculty and staff; talk to current students; tour buildings, labs and classrooms; and visit exhibits that highlight faculty and student research. Admission is free.
The day's activities will include a presentation by former astronaut Kathryn Thornton on the "Sights and Sounds of Space Flight." In addition, Larry G. Richards, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, will speak about "Engineering Greats" – engineering professionals who have made significant contributions to the modern world. Edward Berger, associate professor and associate dean of undergraduate programs, and Doug Hartog, senior associate dean of undergraduate admission at U.Va., will speak about admission to the Engineering School.
The school's Center for Diversity in Engineering will also host special programs and information sessions.
If you are thinking about an engineering education or know someone who is, plan to attend the family-friendly Engineering Open House. To ease the morning rush of attendees, the school is offering pre-registration through its Web site this year. Pre-registration will allow visitors to get advanced details on tours, schedules and a map. Schedules and maps will also be distributed at the registration table in the lobby of Thornton Hall on the day of the event.