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National Engineers Week

In observation of National Engineers' Week, February 15-21, Penn State Berks has a variety of events and activities planned. Penn State Berks' roots are in the field of engineering. Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute (WPI), the forerunner of the college, began as a training center for workers of Textile Machine Works in Reading. WPI provided workers with a solid background in engineering, as well as other technical fields of study.

Monday, Feb. 16, 12:00-2:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Lion's Den-Opening ceremonies for Engineers' Week begin with a luncheon for students, faculty, and staff with engineers from local companies who will discuss career paths and other topics of interest. Chancellor Susan Phillips Speece and Dr. Paul Esqueda, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Penn State Berks, will make the opening remarks.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 8:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m., The GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Room 238-Project Lead the Way competition in which students from thirteen school districts form teams to design, build, test, and demonstrate a solution to the design challenge. The projects will be administered by Penn State Berks engineering faculty and students. The challenge will be followed by an awards ceremony 1:30 p.m. (Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a national organization dedicated to preparing high school students for successful collegiate careers in sciences, engineering, and engineering technologies.)

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 5:15-8:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room- Engineers' Week Banquet for industry professionals, students, faculty, and staff. The banquet will feature a keynote presentation titled "Biofuels in the 21st Century: Ending the Food vs. Fuel Debate" presented by Bob Wallace, Associate Director of the Penn State Biomass Energy Center. Wallace will discuss concerns regarding the long-term sustainability of the world's current use of corn, soy, and sugarcane feedstocks as the main resources to create biofuels, and ongoing research on alternatives including producing ethanol from non-food feedstock and a variety of technologies to create fossil-free liquid transportation fuels. In addition, there will be a presentation of engineering student projects. The banquet is opened to the public, and the cost is $25 payable at the door. Attendees should RSVP by contacting Dr. Abdullah Konak at konak@psu.edu or 610-396-6310 by Monday, February 16.

Friday, Feb. 20, 1:15-2:30 p.m., Room 20 of the Luerssen Building-Engineer Week Design Competition. Penn State Berks students who have built a projectile firing siege machine, such as a catapult, will compete for most accurate and best range. The competition is on Friday, February 20, at 1:15 in the front lot of the Luerssen Building. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams.

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