Exploring Engineer Academy at Georgia Tech JUNE 1-6, 2008
Come join us for another great year as we celebrate our highly successful 7th Annual Exploring Engineer Academy held in conjunction with Georgia Tech. This last summer we had twenty-five rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who enjoyed an action packed week full of engineering activities at Georgia Tech thanks to Metro-Atlanta Professional Engineers and the Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life/Exploring Program.
This next year students will again explore engineering as a career by engaging in hands-on activities. This annual program is sponsored by the Georgia Engineering Foundation and the Learning for Life Division of the Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. Much support also comes from the efforts of Volunteers from the Society of American Military Engineers, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Support is also received from professional engineer mentors, sponsoring local corporations, and from donations received from engineering firms throughout the metro Atlanta area who donated scholarships. The Exploring Engineer Academy Committee thanks all that have participated to make this camp a success for the past six summers.
The 2008 Exploring Engineer Academy will be held from June 1-6, 2008 at Georgia Tech. Please visit Exploring Engineer Academy, Corporate sponsored web site: http://www.rochester-assoc.com/EEA/EEA.htm or from the BSA web site www.bsa.org for an application. This year goal is again to have 20-26 engineering bound students attend this exciting Academy.
Exploring Engineer Academy 2007 – “Highlights In Review”
Sunday afternoon began by greeting students upon their arrival at Georgia Tech for informational meetings with EEA Program Committee Members, mentors, volunteers and organizers to register and obtain their dorm room assignments. Immediately after all were checked in, students enjoyed team-building and ice breaker activities so they could get to know each other. Following the team-building, students were introduced to their weeklong Special G-Forces Design Challenge exercise to design, build and test an accelerometer to withstand the G-Forces, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The evening was capped off with a pizza party before settling in for a good night’s rest before a very busy week.
Monday was Civil Engineering Day, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The day started with an interesting tour of Georgia Tech’s Environmental Sciences and Hydrology Laboratories with tours hosted by Dr. James Mulholland and Dr Donald Webster, respectively, who were able to provide extensive information on Georgia Tech’s state of the art research and facilities. The students first visited the bioengineering laboratory, where civil engineers and scientists are collaborating to produce microorganisms that can consume the hazardous chemicals at a contaminated site. On the rooftop, the students viewed the apparatus used to collect air samples to measure air quality levels. It was interesting to also see the air quality measurements for May 15, 2007 when the smoke from the South Georgia fires blew into metro Atlanta. Levels of phosphorus in the air were more than double the normal levels. Next the group proceeded to the civil engineering hydrology lab tour where the students saw a small scale replica of bridge piers modeled within a river bed. The experiment uses actual water flow to test the strength of the bridge piers foundation.
Transportation for the day was gratefully provided by Gwinnett County and by mid morning the students were off to Winder, GA to tour a concrete pipe manufacturing plant operated by Foley Concrete Products organized by Paul O’Shield. Plant manager, Mr Chris Davidson, guided the students though the actual manufacturing process for all types of concrete pipe components as well as quality control testing of the finished product. Students observed the concrete pipes at varying stages of production, including manufacture of the steel cage, adding concrete mix, and curing the concrete pipe.
After a great lunch sponsored by Foley Concrete Products, and their representative, Mr. W.T. Phillips, it was off to the new 60 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Facility. Plant manager, Mr Richard Porter, and Ms Jody Aikens guided the students through the facility to learn how waste water is taken from the County’s sanitary sewer system and processed to a standard cleaner than drinking water. Students were then shown how this clean water, that could be pumped into Lake Lanier, is pumped into the Chattahoochee River, a domestic water supply source for much of metro Atlanta. In addition to observing first hand the entire process, the students were also shown how water is constantly being chemically and biologically tested to ensure a quality and safe drinking water for all Atlantans. Immediately after arriving back to the Georgia Tech campus, the students started their weeklong Special G-Force Challenge Design exercise to build an accelerometer, a device to measure acceleration, to be later used to gauge the g-forces experienced on rides during the Six Flags field trip. The Challenge Design was sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The evening culminated with an exciting trip to see the Atlanta Braves play a home game at Turner Field, and enjoy a hot dog dinner fare. Upon return to the Georgia Tech dorms, lights out could not come too early for the students as they were ready for rest after a long action packed day.
Tuesday was Transportation Day, sponsored by the Institute of Transportation Engineers. The day began with a trip to the largest airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where Airport Operations Managers Mr Rob Rowe, Mr John Rohn and Ms Sue Zaebel allowed students to see behind the scenes airport operations, construction of the the light rail line to the new Rental Car Central Facility and the new fully automated high security baggage handling system as well as seeing the many engineering jobs responsible for the efficient operations of running an airport. Next it was off to Georgia Power and to learn details of the electrical power generation and distribution system that serves the state and tour the storm center where weather-related outages are managed with great presentations by Georgia Power Engineers Michael Pearman, Charlie McQueen and Brad McFall. Georgia Power provided a delicious lunch and a briefing which allowed many questions and answers the students posed on the operations of this large utility as well as the many engineering jobs a power company needs to provide reliable power to Georgia. Next was a visit the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Traffic Control Center. Here students about the engineering and operational challenges with Atlanta’s traffic growth and solutions the Traffic Control Center is implementing from engineer, Mr Paul Marshall. Students also were able to learn about Intelligent Transportation Systems and of the many engineering jobs associated with managing traffic on metro Atlanta’s interstate system. The students also had a chance to meet and interact with a representative of the Highway Emergency Response Unit (H.E.R.O.) as well as see the Control Center’s numerous Video Monitors, Control and Call stations where the challenges are to keep traffic flowing throughout Metro Atlanta. Norfolk Southern Intermodal Rail Facility was the next stop where students experienced first hand the detailed Intermodal Transportation relationship between operating smooth rail road and semi-truck systems as explained by Operators Mr David Beasley, Mr Monte Boone and Mr Brian Putnam as well as a detailed video explaining all the engineering as well as environmental and political challenges for the phased construction of this facility. After a quick stop at the dorms to freshen up at Georgia Tech, the students were treated to a dinner at Fox Sports Grill at Atlantic Station, hosted by the intellectual property boutique law firm of Woodcock Washburn. The theme of the dinner was “Dinner with Professionals”, the purpose of which was to introduce students to professionals that do not have traditional engineering careers, but rather, have used the principles and knowledge gained through an engineering education to work in other fields, such as the law. Ms. Nancy Hunley of the Society of Women Engineers and a practicing attorney addressed the students first and talked about regulatory and business law. Mr. Robert Madayag of Woodcock Washburn then spoke about intellectual property law. Both attorneys welcomed and answered many questions from the students regarding the practice of law.
Wednesday started after breakfast with tours of Georgia Tech Colleges beginning with the Georgia Tech School of Architecture. This tour of various senior design studios was hosted with an excellent presentation by Dr. Rudolf, Professor of Architectural Design. Students saw and were briefed on scale models of various projects developed by Senior Architecture students, nearly convincing all the “would be Engineers” to become Architects! The most exciting presentation was of a future model home for the ‘green city competition’ taking place in Washington, D.C. the summer of 2007. This green home is being built by the students for the competition this summer and is under construction near the campus. Next was a short hike to the Mechanical Engineering School for a very interesting tour lead by Mr. Sterling Skinner, Director of Instructional Labs. Students were so interested in the many student projects demonstrated, that they did not want to leave the Senior lab, although their interest could have gone on for hours, we had to continue to move on to the distinguished School of Electrical Engineering. The tour hosted by Dr Healy and her teaching staff was exceptional. She had an entire team ready to assist the students in hands-on demonstrations including getting the students involved by speaking in front of everyone! Her presentation was not only educational but entertaining for all of us. The tour concluded with an interesting visit to their state of the art clean room in the Microelectronic Research Center. After lunch at Georgia Tech, the afternoon the students continued their G-Force problem by completing their accelerometers. Then teams formed to compete with each other for the most creative ways to fold paper that would hold a person up off the ground. A paper airplane throwing competition culminated the special project time for the day. The students then had a much deserved hour of free time before supper at the Tech dining facility.
Following dinner the group traveled to Delta Airlines headquarters. Students witnessed first hand the extensive flight maintenance operations run by engineers which are required to not only make sure every airplane is safe to fly, but that their work flow is managed effectively and efficiently. Students were also treated to a “fun” visit to the Delta Training Center for pilots and airline crews, seeing the extensive training each Delta aircrew member must constantly receive to qualify for flight readiness. Delta’s Mr. Winston Whitlock provided the highlight of the visit for the students when they were allowed to strap into the multi-million dollar flight simulator of a full mockup version of a Boeing 767 in which each was allowed to “Land” and “Take Off” from Hartsfield’s runways on this computer simulator! Needless to say this simulator was a great educational and fun experience for all students.
Thursday began the morning session with a very informative and important session of Georgia Tech Department of Admissions requirements and the Georgia Tech Co-Op Program presented by Mr. Ken Little and Mr Rick Clark. Students were provided with first hand knowledge of what it takes to get into Georgia Tech to become an engineer and what the admissions office looks for when determining which applications to accept as well as the benefits of the Co-Op program. After learning what it takes to get into Georgia Tech to become an engineer, it was off to Lockheed-Martin Aerospace Manufacturing Facilities in Marietta where Mr. Mark Allison led the group on a fantastic, once in a lifetime look at state of the art in design and manufacturing of the F-22 Fighter and C-130 Transport aircraft. We were not only able to get within 20 feet of touching an F-22 just off the assembly line, but were able to actually climb up inside the cockpit of a C-130 which was also sitting right next to a amazingly large C-5! Additionally, students were able to see how the aircrafts were actually built through computer programming and animation and got a chance to chat with Mrs. Karen Sorter, a long time employee of Lockheed-Martin and previous EEA Banquet speaker. After returning to the Georgia Tech campus, the group spent some time solving logic puzzles before heading to dinner. After dinner the students participated in brain teaser problems put together by ASCE’s Ms. Janis Pines. The night’s activity concluded with a trip to the Atlantic Station movie theater for a viewing of “Pirates of the Caribbean 3”!
Friday began with an interesting 2 hour session on Industrial Engineering organized by Engineer Mr Jack Lindsay and led by three IE professors. A presentation by Georgia Tech Professor Paul M. Griffin, Ph.D., Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, explained how IEs are involved in all facets of manufacturing processes. Another presentation by Professor Christos Alexopoulos, Ph.D., explained how industrial engineering can make the car manufacturing process lots more efficient. Finally, for the sports geeks, a presentation by Professor Joel Sokul, Ph.D., showed how complicated Logistic Regression/Markov Chain math used in industrial engineering can be used to rank basketball teams in March Madness and get attention from ESPN The balance of the remainder of the day focused on additional Mechanical Engineering with a trip to Six flags Over Georgia Amusement Park. Students not only had the opportunity to get a look at engineering operations behind the scenes, but were also treated with a fun time to gain actual experience riding on the rides and incorporate the final test of their Special Student G-Force Challenge Project! Students also learned that extensive engineering operations are necessary to design safe rides as well as to daily maintain and inspect the rides to insure safety. After a fun half day at the park, the students returned to the Georgia Tech Campus in late afternoon meeting their parents to get packed and check out of their dorm rooms. The week ended at the Georgia Tech Student Center with Banquet Dinner for parents and students and an inspirational speech by Ms. Kristen Jenkins, a Senior Environmental Engineer at CH2M Hill for 13 years. Kristen shared her story of working on a wide variety of Environmental and Industrial Projects as well as obtaining both a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Ms Jenkins described her involvement in working for a variety of clients on environmental issues on both the technical and project management sides. Her experience includes evaluating wastewater treatment operations, assessing wastewater treatment alternatives, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting and compliance,, air emissions assessments, air permitting, regulatory compliance, wetland mitigation and construction and pollution and prevention. Her message was that life takes you in many directions, but being an engineer opens doors and exciting opportunities.
From all accounts, EEA 2007 was the best and largest yet since we started the camp six years ago. We expect next year’s program for EEA 2008 from June 1-6, 2008 to be just as fun and exciting. Attendance is limited, so mark your calendars and get the word out to perspective students.
John (Jack) W. Seibert, III, PE
Foundation Chair & Member Exploring Engineer Academy (02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07)
Don Huff, P.E.
Chairman & Member Exploring Engineer Academy (02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07)
Richard Morales, M.Sc., P.E.
Program Chairman & Member Exploring Engineering Academy (03, 04, 05, 06, 07)
Janis Pines, P.E., Erin Brinton, EIT, David Smith, P.E., Paul O’Shield, P.E.
Program Committee Members – Civil Engineering Day
Julie Woo, P.E.
Program Committee Member – ITE Transportation Day
Doug Hill, P.E.,
Program Committee Member – Aerospace Engineering Day
Jack Lindsay, P.E.,
Program Committee Member – Industrial Engineering Day
Program Committee Member – Volunteer & Mentor Coordinator (05, 06, 07)