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Batten College of Engineering and Technology Open House Draws a Crowd of Enthusiastic Students

About 300 middle school and high school students saw demonstrations by Old Dominion University's innovative researchers from the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology (BCET) at an open house Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12-13.

A program that has been running for 20 years - initially started as a student association-led event - the Engineering Open House acts as the campus kickoff to National Engineers Week, which runs February 14-20.

The event was started as a way to demonstrate the capability of the research labs and facilities at BCET. Originally, the Engineering Open House focused on high school students, but now middle school classes attend as well. And more and more parents accompany their children, as they begin thinking about where the future undergraduate in the family will go to school.

"We're proud to showcase the many talented, hard-working staff and faculty at BCET. Our researchers do innovative work, and it's important for students who may be considering a career in engineering to see this," said Oktay Baysal, dean of the Batten College.

"The Engineering Open House is truly one of the highlights of our semester. It provides an opportunity for our 'team' to demonstrate what it can do."

Among the featured displays were a car from ODU's Motorsports Program in Martinsville and a Norfolk Southern train simulator.

Demonstrations also took place in various Kaufman Hall laboratories.

Prospective engineering students visited the Low-Speed Wind Tunnel and the Space Systems Engineering Lab operated by the Department of Aerospace Engineering, and the Vision Lab and Medical Imaging Lab of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. They also took in a MEMS Micro-Electronics display, created by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, as well as displays of the CAVE and Virtual Environments Research Lab, operated by the newly created Department of Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering.

"There are many different possible careers available to an engineering student who chooses ODU," Baysal said. "We are proud to be able to offer such a range of cutting-edge, collaborative research, and engaging and innovative teaching."

Founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Engineers Week is a formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, education and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies.

Dedicated to raising public awareness of engineers' positive contributions to quality of life, EWeek promotes recognition among parents, teachers and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science and technology literacy. It also motivates youth to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce. Each year, EWeek reaches thousands of schools, businesses and community groups across the United States.

This article was posted on: February 16, 2010

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