U.Va. Engineering School to Host Annual Open House on March 19

February 28, 2011

Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Jane Ford:

February 28, 2011 — Prospective students and the public are invited to learn about the wonders of engineering at the University of Virginia Engineering Open House, to be held March 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Thornton Hall. Each spring, more than 1,000 prospective students and their families attend the event.

From courses in which students learn engineering concepts by building electric guitars, to leading-edge research in the areas of alternative energy, transportation and health care, the Open House showcases how the school is helping to develop the future leaders of innovation.

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.

"Open House brings engineering to life for young students who are considering pursuing an education and career in the field," James H. Aylor, dean of the Engineering School, said. "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 get an up-close look at a hypersonic jet now being developed by faculty and student researchers. Once completed, the jet will be able to travel at five times the speed of sound. Visitors will also get to watch 3-D printers in action. The printers can take materials such as plastics and layer them to create actual objects such as a wrench or model of U.Va.'s Rotunda.

The day's activities also 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 Jeannine Lalonde, senior assistant dean of undergraduate admissions 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.

For information and to pre-register, visit here.

Media Contact

Zak Richards

Senior Writer/SEAS