Spring Engineering Expo Sets Record for Attendance, Employers

To say that the Office of Engineering Professional Practice in the College of Engineering had the most successful Spring Expo in its history, while true, doesn’t begin to tell the whole story.

It’s not just that the office saw double-digit percent increases in both employers and students attending—it is the quality of both that really brings across the importance of the event.

Students from the College of Engineering wait in lines to speak with companies about possible paid internship and paid co-op opportunities during the 2016 Engineering Expo at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Students from the College of Engineering wait in lines to speak with companies about possible paid internship and paid co-op opportunities during the 2016 Engineering Expo at Thompson-Boling Arena.

In addition to the mainstays of past events, the office was able to attract everything from Batesville Manufacturing, a leading worldwide producer of caskets, to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

That variety is something that Todd Reeves, director of the office, was quick to attribute to both the strength of the program—now in its ninetieth year—and companies’ recognition of the quality of UT engineering students.

“Engineering students participated in over 500 assignments last year and our expectation is that the rate will increase for the current year as well,” said Reeves. “Companies see that success, and because of that we were able to add Bayer Consumer Care, Caterpillar Financial, Fresenius Medical Care of North America, HAVI Global Solutions, Michelin, Olin Corporation, Resolute Forest Products, Techmer PM, and Vacuum Technology as participating employers this year.”

The event, held in the concourse at Thompson-Boling Arena, gives students a chance to walk around the arena and visit as many potential employers as they wish, obtaining information from employees of those companies and finding opportunities to work with them.

There were sixty-nine companies represented this year, with 490 students turning up for the event.

Founded in 1926 to help engineering students add experience to their education through educationally relevant paid co-op and internship experiences, the professional practice office maintains relationships with more than 500 businesses and interacts with nearly 1,500 undergraduate students each year.

Participation in the program is seen as essential by the College of Engineering for the real-world exposure it provides students.

“Our cooperative education and internship education programs are a key part of adding work experience to educational experience before graduation,” said Reeves. “We have the second-oldest program in the South doing that, and making sure the work is educationally relevant has been a component of that from the start.”

Reeves was quick to share credit for the highly successful event with Parking and Transit Services for helping get attending employers from the remote parking area to the arena, Facilities Services for the logistical support they provided, and Thompson-Boling Arena Manager Tim Reese and his team, saying, “We appreciate the impact that their efforts ultimately have on the success of our engineering students.”

 

CONTACT:

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