Engineers Day to Draw 1,700 to UT, Feature Address from Space Station

Astronauts Barry Wilmore, left, and Reid Wiseman set up their space suits and tools in the equipment lock of the Quest Airlock aboard the International Space Station on October 1. Wilmore earned his master’s in aviation systems from UT.

Astronauts Barry Wilmore, left, and Reid Wiseman set up their space suits and tools in the equipment lock of the Quest Airlock aboard the International Space Station on October 1. Wilmore earned his master’s in aviation systems from UT.

Competition, fun, and a little information will be on tap Thursday as some of the top high school students in Tennessee arrive on campus for the College of Engineering’s annual Engineers Day.

All undergraduate classes will be dismissed for the day so that UT faculty, staff and students can interact with the visitors, more than 1,700 of whom will be attending this year.

“This is a great way for us to showcase what we can offer students,” said Wayne Davis, Dean of the College of Engineering. “Getting to meet current students and faculty, see some of the facilities we have, and take part in the activities we have planned will provide them with a close-up look at our college and hopefully provide motivation for them to seriously consider engineering as a degree option and our college as a preferred engineering college of choice.”

As part of the festivities, attendees will get a talk from out of this world—literally.

UT alumnus and current NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore has prepared a special message for the event from his spot aboard the International Space Station. Wilmore earned his master’s in aviation systems from the UT Space Institute, administered as part of UT-Knoxville.

In his address, Wilmore, who will become the next commander of the space station in November, tells students that he’s a “Tennessee boy” and that he wouldn’t have considered anywhere else.

He also gives students a tour of the space station while showing off some zero-gravity football skills before closing with a dramatic view of Africa from 210 miles above Earth.

The college has held Engineers Day each October for more than 100 years as a way for students to learn about the different types of engineering and experience examples of the way engineering affects the modern world.

This year, contests including everything from constructing balsa wood bridges to making food-powered batteries will help expose students to some of the fundamental concepts of engineering.

Additionally, student teams will take part in a series of quiz bowls, culminating with a grand finale to end the day.

To make room for the event, Middle Drive will be closed in front of Perkins Hall from 10:00 a.m.to 3:00 p.m.

C O N T A C T :

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