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E-week celebrates engineers

By Jeyling Chou

April 10, 2005 9:00 p.m.

The weeklong celebration of engineers and engineering at UCLA
will kick off with an opening ceremony in Bruin Plaza today.

Since the 1960s at UCLA, E-Week has provided an opportunity for
the many engineering student groups in the Henry Samueli School of
Engineering and Applied Science to display projects and principles
of engineering.

“We’re hoping to reach out and touch more of the
UCLA community, rather than just South Campus,” said Baley
Fong, a third-year chemical engineering student and president of
the Society of Women Engineers.

“The goal is to give people a broader understanding of
engineering so they can see the wide scope of engineering that they
might not have realized,” Fong added.

E-Week has been observed nationally in February since 1951. In
favor of Southern California sunshine, UCLA’s own celebration
of engineering has occurred at the beginning of spring quarter for
nearly 40 years.

“Most people think that engineers just go study ““
they hit the books and they don’t do anything else,”
said Patrick Ho, a fourth-year civil engineering student.
“But the fact is we have a lot of activities going
on.”

The demonstrations and presentations in the Court of Sciences,
which are at the core of E-Week, provide exposure across the
engineering majors.

“All the engineers get to come out and show off their
stuff, and through this we’re able to see the dedication that
they have,” said Juan Angeles, a fourth-year civil
engineering student who also oversaw the concrete canoe
project.

Ho is a member of the UCLA chapter of the American Society of
Civil Engineers, which recently placed third in the society’s
Pacific Southwest Regional Conference for the design of their
concrete canoe.

Beginning in the fall, a team of civil engineers worked to test
a design for a canoe made of concrete that was sturdy enough to
carry four members and light enough to race on the water.

The UCLA chapter designed a canoe that weighed half as much as
many of the entries from 16 other schools in the region.

The concrete canoe is just one of many projects and competitions
UCLA engineers can participate in as part of a student group.

“It’s fun to hang around with your fellow classmates
and learn about new stuff,” Ho said. “It’s a
hands-on project that you will never have a chance to do if you
just stay in class the whole time.”

Engineers without Borders will be displaying three water filters
made from sustainable material and the UCLA Robotics Club will
present their fire-fighting robot, which recently competed in the
RoboGames at San Francisco State University.

About 30 junior high and high school students will also
experience engineering hands-on through demonstrations involving
Jell-O, paper airplanes and silly putty this Wednesday ““ all
a part of E-Week’s Kids Day.

A recent addition to E-Week festivities, E-Week Idol will be
held on Wednesday on the Cooperage stage.

In the competition, engineers and their friends will be given
the chance to display their musical talents in a friendly
competition for gift certificate prizes.

The characteristic small size of many engineering departments
results in many of the students knowing each other and studying
together to ease the workload and difficulty of the field.

“All of the civil engineers know each other so we hang
around and we just have a good time,” Angeles said.
“It’s great being a civil engineer because you’re
going to have a great a profession coming out of UCLA.”

The camaraderie apparent in the halls of the engineering
buildings is something unique to the Henry Samueli school and its
students.

“When you go down Boelter, you see people and you say hi
and everyone knows who you are,” Ho said. “It’s
kind of nice.”

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