Public Invited to Annual Engineering Open House at U.Va.

January 29, 2009

January 26, 2009 — 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. 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Thornton Hall.

From novel courses where students are learning engineering concepts by building electric guitars or balloon gliders to leading-edge research that could revolutionize health care, transportation and energy, the open house will showcase the tremendous impact that U.Va. engineers have on the world.

"Our students and faculty are learning and working at the very forefront of engineering," said James H. Aylor, dean of the Engineering School. "The open house is an opportunity to share this work with the public and show prospective students 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 interesting exhibits that highlight faculty and student research. Admission is free.

The day's activities will include a presentation by former astronaut Kathy 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 Ryan Hargraves of the U.Va. Office of Admission 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. No pre-registration is necessary. Schedules and maps will be distributed at the registration table in the lobby of Thornton Hall on the day of the event.

Information, directions and parking information are available on the Engineering School Web site.