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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Engineering Open House set

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 18 - February 2, 1995

Approximately 1,200 high-school students will travel to Virginia Tech to participate in a College of Engineering Open House on Monday, Feb. 20.

Among the day's events will be a presentation on "Smart Highways, Smart Engineering" by David Gehr, Virginia's Transportation Commissioner for Governor George Allen, and Ray Pethtel, the previous commissioner and the current acting director of the Center for Transportation Research at Virginia Tech.

Gehr and Pethtel will be joined by several other Virginia Tech faculty members: Kent Murphy of the electrical engineering department, speaking on fiber optics; Craig Rogers of the mechanical engineering department, speaking on biologically inspired engineering; and Ron Kander of the materials sceince and engineering department, discussing materials science.

The high-school students who travel to the Blacksburg campus will also participate in a toothpick-bridge competition. Each of the 101 teams that decided to submit an entry used 800 toothpicks and standard wood cement to design a bridge according to specific constraints in dimensions. They are building the bridges prior to coming to campus.

Each bridge will be tested to determine the load it will be able to sustain. Teams will compete according to school size, with the winners in each category awarded prizes.

The high-school students will also learn about some of the engineering design projects developed by Virginia Tech engineering students. The projects will range from simple mechanisms to a complex hybrid-electric vehicle.

The engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi is sponsoring the day's events. Open House is being held in conjunction with National Engineers' Week.

The general public is invited to attend the presentation on Smart Highways. It will be held at 11 a.m. on February 20 in the Squires Commonwealth Ballroom.

For more information, call 1-6641.