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E-Expo showcases engineering to public; Contests to include solar-powered model aircraft

 

Solar-powered planes, racecars and robots -- aspiring engineers and other people fascinated by the creativity of building things will find much to see and do at the University of Louisville's annual Engineering Expo March 5.

The Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. open house showcases the university's J.B. Speed School of Engineering through tours of its research facilities, activities and contests for visitors. Speed Student Council sponsors the free, public event celebrating the profession's many facets.

Keynote speaker James McLurkin, a Rice University computer science assistant professor and former iRobot Corp. lead research scientist, will talk at 1 p.m. in Room 103, Ernst Hall. While a student inventor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the New York native was recognized by Time magazine as a leading robotics engineer and by Black Enterprise magazine as an innovator. He will talk about his lifelong passion for building things from blocks to video games to multirobot systems.

UofL students will launch their innovations in a new solar flight model competition sponsored by the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research. That competition is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the nearby Parkway Intramurals Field, east of Ernst Hall.

Visitors also can:

  • tour research and teaching laboratories in Speed School Buildings along Eastern Parkway near Third Street, as well as the Shumaker Research Building and Lutz Hall
  • do hands-on activities that show engineering, math and science concepts
  • discuss and examine UofL student research projects
  • watch high school students compete by testing their pre-built balsa-wood bridges and pingpong ball catapults and by building small robots out of motors, batteries and toothbrush heads
  • watch demonstrations highlighting various engineering fields, including Speed student-built vehicles they race in competitions


Parking will be available behind J.B. Speed Building off Eastern Parkway near Third Street.

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