News and Events
Volume 1 - Edition 11
April 2005

March Break Open House
By Katherine Mills

Even a snowstorm was not enough to stop prospective students from attending Western’s March Break Open House.   

The Spencer Engineering Building opened its doors March 12 at 9:00 am to aspiring engineers and their parents.  Students, faculty, and staff provided visitors with an in-depth look at Western Engineering. 

The day started with a welcome message from Dean Berruti and a visit from Western President Paul Davenport.  Bill Smolders, incoming UES President, gave an amusing and very informative presentation on the many programs available to prospective students.  A panel of undergraduate students from each department took the stage to answer student-specific questions.  Topics ranged from life in residence, to tutoring, to extra-curricular activities.  The visitors then had the opportunity to tour Western Engineering and participate in various demonstrations led by Western Engineering faculty. 

Chemical Engineering professor, Lauren Briens conducted a hands-on demonstration on “What is Fluidization,” while Civil Engineering professor, Sean Hinchberger discussed the natural frequency of tall buildings. Professor Jim Lacefield from Electrical and Computer Engineering demonstrated the “Robotic Maze Navigator,” while Mechanical Engineering Professor, Cynthia Dunning supplied an in-depth look into robotics.  Ralph Buchal, Director, Integrated Engineering also participated in the day, providing visitors with some insight into the unique Integrated Engineering program here at Western.    

Current students also joined in on the day, introducing guests to the many extracurricular activities Western Engineering has to offer. Some of the student displays included: the Green Building, a robotic drum, robots playing soccer, Mini-Baja, Sunstang, Formula SAE, Women in Engineering, and Aero Design. 

Overall, the day was a major success.  One parent passed along the following comments regarding his daughter's enthusiasm to join Western Engineering next year.

After attending your Open House on the weekend, my daughter is about to accept the offer of admission to Western Engineering.  She was particularly impressed with the community atmosphere and the Women In Engineering program.”


President Davenport welcomed prospective students and their parents to Western Engineering.

Nina Lowes was on hand to answer questions from the visitors.

Western Engineering students lent a hand during Dr. Lauren Briens' “What is Fluidization” demonstration.

Professor Sean Hinchberger from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering discusses “What Will Your Impact Be?”

A display was set up recognizing Hana Zalzal, Founder of Cargo Cosmetics and a graduate of Civil Engineering.

Students displayed their projects, including soccer playing robots.

Rob Jelenic, Mini Baja Project Manager, shows off this year's vehicle.

Another student display.

Students display their work for the visitors.

Western Engineering students pose beside their robotic drum.

The Formula SAE team fielded questions from the visitors.


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