Past OPTIONS Participant to Serve as Mentor-in-Residence for High School Girls
Posted: May 20, 2013
Kelsey Smith, a 2006 OPTIONS for High School Girls summer camp participant, will serve as mentor-in-residence for girls attending this year’s OPTIONS experience, which explores the vast career possibilities in engineering and computer science.
Smith, a resident of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, will provide guidance and advice to this year’s OPTIONS for High School Girls attendees as well as teaching.
Smith, a Montana native, learned about OPTIONS through the Internet and attended the program before her junior year of high school. She credits the experience for deepening her understanding and interest in the diverse career opportunities in engineering.
“OPTIONS gave me incredible exposure to the different fields of engineering and the roles that women play in them. Being in an all-girls camp gave me the confidence to ask questions and explore more about the ‘how,’” Smith said. “There were so many opportunities offered – we were able to visit a wide range of plants and factories, and really see the in-depth functioning of different systems. In addition, I met some amazing women mentors.”
Smith graduated from high school in Bigfork, Montana, in 2008. There, she received varsity letters in soccer, track, and cheerleading; held leadership positions as speech and debate team captain, student council vice president, and newspaper editor-in-chief; and played first-chair flute.
Smith graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2012, where she majored in behavioral science with minors in Arabic and Spanish. Upon graduation from the Academy, Smith was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. She currently attends the Air Force Institute of Technology and is studying engineering management – human factors engineering. After graduation in 2014, Smith plans to work as a researcher in the Air Force.
Openings are still available in both OPTIONS for High School Girls, June 9-14, and OPTIONS for Middle School Girls, June 16-20. Thanks to the Alcoa Foundation, a limited number of scholarships are available for girls from Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. Attendees are welcome from all states and counties.
For more information, please contact Tina Newman, OPTIONS program coordinator in the University of Evansville’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, at 812-488-2651.
Mechanical Engineering Students Design Aquatic Wheelchair for Easter Seals
Posted: May 14, 2013
This year, a group of University of Evansville mechanical engineering students infused their senior design project with a spirit of giving: They designed, built, and donated an aquatic wheelchair for local children and adults with disabilities.
Three senior members of the team, along with faculty advisor Doug Stamps, UE professor of mechanical engineering, presented the chair to Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center therapists and clients this morning at the Evansville center’s therapeutic pool.
The presentation marks the completion of a senior design project that began last fall, when a 10-person team of mechanical engineering students accepted a unique challenge: Design and fabricate an aquatic wheelchair to enable individuals with disabilities to safely enter and exit the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center’s therapeutic pool, using an existing wheelchair-accessible ramp.
The UE students obtained donations of funding, products, and services for the project, and spent months researching, designing, fabricating, building, testing, and refining the chair.
Compared to commercially available chairs and one built eight years ago by a different team UE students, this chair features redesigned brakes, a new retractable footrest mechanism, armrests that fold up, and a different wheel placement to add stability. All of the improvements, developed in consultation with Easter Seals therapists and rehabilitation engineer, contributed to the students’ goal of making the chair as safe and user-friendly as possible.
According to Easter Seals pool manager Molly Mackey, up to two or three Easter Seals clients per day will use the chair in their aquatic therapy sessions.
“This service-learning project truly brings engineering design to life, and the team’s dedication to serving the community was key to helping them overcome the challenges that naturally arise during a design project,” said Stamps. “I’m very proud to see them emerge with a high-quality product that will make a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities.”
UE students involved in the project include seniors Kenneth Kaufmann (team leader), Kelly Esser, Clint Hoskins, and Sam Mires; and underclass students Melissa Thompson, Luke Zarnoth, Gaby Fifer, Nolan Eliason, Ian Kendrick, and Jessa Ward.
UE Students Win Inventive Problem Solving Competition
Posted: October 23, 2012
A UE inter-disciplinary team of five students brought home first place honors in the Lawrence Technological University (LTU) “Innovation Encounter” competition held on October 19-20, 2012 in Southfield, Michigan. The UE team included students from engineering, nursing and business.
In the competition, teams were challenged with creating a business level solution for a real-world client (MASCO Bath) problem statement in a two day event. The event engaged innovative students from seven universities in both competition and the appreciation of the skills learned during their academic careers. The competition included educational components, networking opportunities, and valuable feedback. The LTU “Innovation Encounter” provided students the opportunity to work on a real-world problem that required teamwork, business planning, critical thinking, and innovation.
The seven universities competing included Gonzaga, Ohio Northern, Lawrence Tech, Villanova, Saint Louis University, Kettering, and UE.
Students on the UE team included Lan Do (Accounting), Andrea Cadavid (Global Business), Brenna Siscoe (Nursing), Vaughn Ahlf (Mechanical Engineering), and Justin Jackman (Mechanical Engineering).
The UE team was coached by Dr. Jerrilee Lamar, Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Mr. Rick Deer, Director of the UE Center for Intensive Experiential Education.
OPTIONS Program Receives $30,000 Grant from Alcoa Foundation
Posted: September 24, 2012
The University of Evansville is proud to announce that it has received a $30,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation in support of OPTIONS, a summer program that introduces middle and high school students to the vast career possibilities in engineering and computer science.
The grant will provide scholarships for middle and high school girls to attend OPTIONS in 2013 and 2014, opening up STEM opportunities (science, technology, engineering, and math) to a population that is underrepresented in these career fields. Scholarships will also be available to OPTIONS graduates who enroll in a four-year degree program at UE.
During OPTIONS programs, students stay on UE’s campus in a residence hall, complete hands-on projects, take classes taught by UE faculty members, and meet local professional women in the engineering and computer science fields.
“We started OPTIONS for High School Girls in 1992 — and OPTIONS for Middle School Girls in 2004 — as residential summer programs to help young women with an aptitude for math and science learn about the exciting career opportunities in engineering and computer science,” said Phil Gerhart, dean of UE’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Today, we’re very grateful to the Alcoa Foundation for providing scholarship support to this program, which will allow a greater number of talented, motivated young women to experience OPTIONS.”
“Alcoa Warrick Operations is excited to be able to help support this program through the plant’s annual allocation from the Alcoa Foundation,” said Royce Haws, the location manager for the Primary Metals Division at Warrick Operations. “Most of our community investments from the Foundation are focused on education, recognizing that changes in the economy require upgraded skills that will help keep Warrick Operations globally competitive — investments in science, technology, engineering, and math are a key community and business need.”
The University of Evansville wishes to thank the Alcoa Foundation for its generous support of OPTIONS, in addition to other programs and projects at UE. Past Alcoa Foundation grants to the University of Evansville have supported the development of the LEED-certified Ridgway University Center, development of TWICE (the Tri-State Women in Computing and Engineering professional network), student scholarships, and the community-wide RecycleMania initiative.
For more information on OPTIONS, please visit options.evansville.edu or contact the College of Engineering and Computer Science at 812-488-2651.
UE to Offer Review Course for Fundamentals of Engineering Exam
Posted: September 5, 2012
Beginning this fall, the University of Evansville College of Engineering and Computer Science will offer a review course for those preparing to take the 2013 Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.
The eight-hour FE exam, to be held April 13, 2013 in Hyde Hall on the UE campus, is designed for students who are close to finishing an undergraduate engineering degree. It is typically the first step in the process to becoming a licensed professional engineer. Information about the exam is available here.
The review class is taught by University of Evansville faculty members and offered only once a year. It covers information required for the exam, including mathematics, materials science, chemistry, statics, mechanics of materials, dynamics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, probability and statistics, and engineering economics.
Most classes will take place on Thursday nights (with occasional Wednesdays) from 6:30-9 p.m. in UE’s Koch Center for Engineering and Science. Those who are reviewing for the civil engineering portion of the exam should plan to attend from October 18 to March 28; all other disciplines will attend classes through February 21. No classes will be held between November 28 and January 10.
The review class costs $100 for current UE students, $250 for non-UE college students, and $400 for the general public. Required texts will be provided in the fee.
The deadline to register for the review course is October 15. For more information or to register, please contact the College of Engineering and Computer Science at 812-488-2651.