College of Engineering Hosts Record Number of Businesses at Expo

UT engineering students talk with representatives from Exxon/Mobil during the college's recent expo.

UT engineering students talk with representatives from Exxon/Mobil during the college’s recent expo. The Office of Engineering Professional Practice helps match students with potential companies, making sure the pairing is educationally relevant to the students future goals and current academic interests.

One of the key experiences for students in the College of Engineering is the opportunity to take part in a paid co-op or internship education experience.

The college’s Office of Engineering Professional Practice helps match students with potential companies, making sure the pairing is educationally relevant to the students’ future goals and current academic interests.

To that end, the office hosts a pair of expos during the year, giving companies and students a chance to interact and see if they are a good fit of working together.

“Cooperative education and internship opportunities are critical to student success,” said to Todd Reeves, director of the Office of Engineering Professional Practice. “That’s where the expo comes in. It’s geared towards giving freshmen and sophomores the opportunity to learn how to interact with companies and seek to add experience to their education.”

This fall, the number of companies that came to UT was large.

A record-setting number, in fact, as seventy-seven businesses set up booths in the concourse of Thompson-Boling Arena, interviewing more than 650 students about co-ops and internships. All told, nearly 1400 interviews took place between students and businesses.

The companies ranged from East Tennessee giants such as DENSO Manufacturing, and Eastman Chemical to international conglomerates like BMW, ExxonMobil, DuPont, and Nissan.

“Not only was this was our largest expo in program history, but the number and variety of companies in attendance gave our young students unprecedented exposure,” said Reeves. “The possible co-op or internship assignments that come out of this give them the experiences they need to better prepare for their future.”

Even with the big turnout, the number was still only a fraction of the 500-plus businesses that have relationships with the Reeves’ office and with UT.

Founded in 1926, the office is one of the oldest of its kind in the south, while the expos showcasing engineering students early in the academic career that it hosts continue to set the University of Tennessee apart from its peer institutions as a significant resource for companies.

C O N T A C T :

David Goddard (865-974-0683, david.goddard@utk.edu)