Dean's Newsletter March 2018
April plans to be a very exciting month. Not only is April Innovation month at the University of Idaho, but it is also the 25th anniversary of our college's signature event Engineering Design EXPO. This year's event will be held April 27, 2018 at the university's Bruce M. Pitman Center in Moscow.
We are celebrating 25 years of student innovation. We are also celebrating the next 25 years in engineering and the exciting innovation to come from our graduating students as they begin their careers, as well as the innovation to come from our future students. EXPO XXV will feature over 60 engineering student project teams, technical presentations and real-world project displays supported by a host of industry and academic partners. Learn more about this year’s projects. In addition, as in recent years we will host over 500 K-12 students from across Idaho and Eastern Washington visiting to learn more about engineering.
We are very fortunate to have two very special guests attending EXPO. First, we will welcome Alex Knoll, a 13-year-old entrepreneur and inventor from north Idaho. Knoll is the driving force behind Ability App which has been featured in national news and on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. The college is working with Knoll and Ability App to provide computer science expertise to help people with disabilities and their caregivers navigate public spaces and find safe, reliable services and employment opportunities. Knoll will present an EXPO Future Engineer Talk on the topic of the things we can do as engineers and citizens to make a difference in people’s lives.
We are also very lucky to have internationally renowned aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, serving as our EXPO Keynote Speaker. Rutan is designer of Voyager, the first plane to fly around the world without stopping or refueling. He is also designer of SpaceShipOne, the world’s first privately-built manned spacecraft to reach space. His company SCALED Composites has developed and tested a variety of groundbreaking projects, from military aircraft to executive jets, showcasing some of the most innovative and energy-efficient designs ever flown. Rutan will give his keynote on the topic of managing and motivating the creative process and we are very much looking forward to his talk.
In conjunction with EXPO we are also holding a unique event for 9th-10th grade young women that we are calling the Women in Engineering Exploration. The two-day event is designed to give young women a better understanding of engineering through hands-on activities, experience with the disciplines, exposure to female engineering students and alumni and unique U of I Engineering programs like the Grand Challenge Scholars program. In addition, Exploration participants will get to hear from Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO of Micron, who has generously agreed to kick-off the women in engineering event by speaking to students on the importance of our future engineering workforce.
I would encourage all alumni near and far to visit EXPO this year. You will find that EXPO is a dynamic event that has grown significantly in scope over the years. But more importantly you will find that our students are as innovative as ever — their creative problem solving of real-world problems is the real engine behind the event.
Larry A. Stauffer
Dean, College of Engineering