ECS Cup Competition Is New Feature of Engineers Week

There is something for everyone at this year’s celebration of National Engineers Week at UT Dallas.

Engineers Week 2013

At last year's Engineers Week, Society of Women Engineers at UTD officers Aakriti Gupta (left) and Minal Issac recruited students to attend seminars encouraging female students.

“Engineering and computer science touch people’s lives in ways they often do not realize,” said Jerry Alexander, assistant dean for student relations and director of Industrial Practice Programs for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, and an organizer of the activities, which last through Feb. 22. “Hopefully this week can help make more people aware of the impact those with a degree in engineering or computer science can have in our world.”

Engineers Week is a nine-day event that began Friday and culminates Feb. 22. On Monday, there will be a student organization fair and comments from Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Jonsson School and holder of the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering and the Excellence in Education Chair.

New this year, UT Dallas students can earn bragging rights while they enjoy creating roller coasters out of Popsicle sticks and devices that launch marshmallows in the ECS Cup — a competition full of activities designed by students in engineering and computer science organizations.

While the ECS Cup activities include playful events such as a karaoke competition known as “Engineering Idol,” the week also features professional development workshops and opportunities to network with professionals from companies such as Accenture, Texas Instruments and Whoa Solutions.

Jerry Alexander assisting students

Jerry Alexander, assistant dean for student development in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, helps students with internships at last year's Engineers Week.

The student teams will participate in ECS Cup activities, such as a life-size version of tic-tac-toe. An event sponsored by Raytheon Company has teams building and programing robots to complete an obstacle course.

Winners of the ECS Cup will be announced during a ceremony Thursday night.

“Students stepped up this year to showcase their capabilities and interests,” said Farah Ellenbogen-Nájera, assistant director of development and alumni relations for the Jonsson School. “We are giving them exactly what they want; even the lecture topics were chosen by students.”

Farah Ellenbogen

Farah Ellenbogen-Nájera

UT Dallas staff members and other adults will have the opportunity to learn about the innovative research being conducted by faculty and students in the Jonsson School during daily research demonstrations.

Engineers Week is also an outreach opportunity for the University. Local schoolchildren are invited to attend a variety of presentations, activities and displays that will allow them to explore the exciting fields of engineering and computer science.

Activities during the week include tours of UT Dallas and exploration of engineering careers for high school students.

“These students may be interested in medicine, so assume they need a premedical or biology degree, but they may not have considered a degree in biomedical engineering,” Ellenbogen-Nájera said.

The week ends with the Explore Engineering Day, a free, come-and-go event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 22. The goal of the day is to promote the engineering products, projects, programs and professions of local high-tech companies and to share some of the exciting opportunities at UT Dallas.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

Tagged: ECS