Without the innovations of engineers, our lives would be missing such crucial necessities as clean drinking water, solid infrastructure and refrigeration.
“Engineers are the unsung heroes of a world where technological advances are taken for granted,” says Richard Beer, Ph.D., interim dean of The Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering at Saint Martin’s University. “Engineering is now overshadowed by its own success and people often don’t realize anymore how much their quality of life is impacted by the inventiveness of those in the engineering field – but with technological advances also comes societal responsibility.”
That’s the message the dean wants to underscore for high-school students when they attend the University’s Engineering Awareness Day on Thursday, Feb. 26, on the Lacey campus. Students from River Ridge High School, Pope John Paul II High School and Timberline High School, as well as students from Olympia, Capital and Northwest Christian high schools, will be welcomed at 9 a.m. inside the new Father Richard Cebula, O.S.B. Hall. Cebula Hall, which houses the engineering program, gained national attention recently when it became the highest-rated, LEED-certified building in the Western Hemisphere after it was granted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Engineering Awareness Day is part of this year’s annual Engineers Week, or EWeek, founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers to ensure a diverse, well-educated, future engineering workforce by increasing the understanding of technology careers through various events designed for schools, businesses and community groups.
“Saint Martin’s University is committed to enhancing college aspirations among students, particularly those within our local region,” says Beer. “Engineering Awareness Day will inspire young minds and highlight a path toward high-caliber civil and mechanical engineering programs designed for the 21st century.”
During their visit to Cebula Hall, the high school students will be able to visit several classrooms to observe a series of demonstrations, presentations and discussions by faculty and engineering students on different aspects of engineering. These will include mechanical engineering senior design projects; various bridge designs; energy conservation; environmental engineering and the testing of engineering materials.
Beer will address the students with a talk on “What is Engineering?”