E-Expo touts entrepreneurial engineering theme

February 13, 2018

Beyond the traditional student competitions, laboratory tours, and hands-on activities, the University of Louisville’s annual Engineering Expo, is expanding to incorporate a young alumni panel, a start-up fair and specific sessions geared to high school and current university students. E-Expo is scheduled for Saturday, March 3, at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering.

“In the past, we tried to plan for a wide age range. We’ve seen not as large a participation from high school students." said Saralynn Callahan, event co-organizer. "They used to come to campus, participate in the games and leave.”

This year the theme is “Start Up Speed” focusing on engineering entrepreneurship with the aim of introducing students to resources that are available, and to help them learn where and how to get funding. The keynote speaker is Alex Frommeyer, a co-founder and CEO of Beam Technologies, a dental benefits company.

“Right now with shows like Shark Tank and events like startup weekend there is a real hype with entrepreneurship and startup companies. It’s nice because it encompasses all the disciplines,” said Callahan.

Frommeyer, who will speak at noon and again at 2 p.m. in Ernst Hall Auditorium, was selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree in Manufacturing and founded Uproar Labs. He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, both in Civil Engineering from the University of Louisville.

In effort to expand outreach to more individuals, this year’s event will include separate tracks: K-8 students, high school/admitted senior students, and current engineering students. Each track will have a distinct schedule with activities appropriate for each age group. The event, sponsored by the Speed School Student Council, is free and open to the public.

Among the highlights: Elementary, middle and high school students will participate in competitions to test pre-built balsa-wood bridges, and Rube Goldberg machines. Speed School students will display their competition vehicles including the reigning national champion rocket. Tours will be conducted of research and teaching labs on the Belknap campus.

“By not inviting students who are actually admitted, we aren’t reaching students who may want to come here” said Brooke Barrow, president of Speed School Student Council and event co-organizer.

Operated under the umbrella of the E-Expo is the Speed Student Research Exhibition, an event that features poster presentations for undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students. The three categories are five to ten minute presentation, a quick Q&A, with the top two winners will be given a small scholarship.

Sponsored by the SSSC and presented by the Speed School, the Speed Student Research Exhibition is aimed at breaking down the barriers between students interested in research and available funding opportunities. The research exhibition is scheduled for Friday, March 2 from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. in Bigelow Hall of the Miller IT Center.

Callahan hopes that it creates a comfortable space for students to present their work. “I know that as an undergrad, I was intimidated to come, but now that I’m in my grad, I know it’s not that hard to do.”

Parking is available behind the J.B. Speed Building on Eastern Parkway. For media interested in the competitions and demonstrations, the best times are between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

To register or for more information, visit www.engineering-expo.com.