February 6, 2012 — Prospective students and the public are invited to learn about the wonders of engineering at the University of Virginia's Engineering Open House, to be held March 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Thornton Hall – the home of U.Va.'s School of Engineering and Applied Science. The event draws more than 1,000 prospective students and their families each spring.
From novel courses in which students learn engineering concepts by building off-road baby strollers or electric guitars, to leading-edge research in alternative energy, transportation and health care, the Open House showcases how engineering at U.Va. is helping to develop the future leaders of innovation.
The event allows visitors – prospective students, parents, educators and all 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.
"Open House brings engineering to life for young students who are considering pursuing an education and career in the field," said James H. Aylor, dean of the Engineering School. "The opportunity for prospective students to interact with our current faculty and students and see the technology they are working with on a daily basis often proves to be a life-changing experience."
At this year's Open House, the public will have opportunities to explore creating fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass; harnessing information technology for safer, congestion-free travel; wireless body-area sensor networks; advanced mechatronics, including 3-D printers capable of creating actual objects such as a wrench or a model of U.Va.'s Rotunda; and cyber-security.
The day's activities also will include a presentation by former astronaut Kathy Thornton, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, on the "Sights and Sounds of Space Flight." Larry G. Richards, also 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 of mechanical and aerospace engineering and associate dean of undergraduate programs, and Jeannine Lalonde, senior assistant dean of undergraduate admissions, will discuss admission to the Engineering School.
Engineering students will be on hand to lead tours, including a tour of the new Rice Hall Information Technology Engineering Building, among other engineering facilities.
The Center for Diversity in Engineering will also host special programs and information sessions. Visitors can head to Thornton Hall to pick up a schedule or pre-register online and receive a schedule shortly before the event. Schedules will also be available at the exhibits.
The Engineering Open House is free and open to the public. For information, visit the website.