Engineering Students Celebrate E-Week 2020

Samueli School engineering students join the festivities at the E-Week Kick-off Fair.

March 18, 2020 – E-Week 2020 started like every other year – Engineering Gateway Plaza bustling with energy and excitement as more than 1,140 students lined up Monday, Feb. 24, to claim their Samueli School T-shirts and check out the activities during the Kickoff Fair. 

Presented by Engineering Student Council, E-Week is an annual event aimed at increasing public awareness and appreciation for the engineering profession. This year’s theme was “Pioneers for Progress.”

For $1, students took turns in the blow-up jousting ring hosted by ESC. A number of student organizations presented activities, including American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Biomedical Engineering Society, Engineering without Borders, Global Brigades, Mexican-American Engineering Society, National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Women Engineers. ESC also handed out Anteater Engineer stickers.

Activities included “Make Your Own Slime,” using a mixture of hot water, borax, glue and room temperature water; a water balloon toss and the annual lip dub.  Samueli School Dean Gregory Washington and various ESC members and students performed a choreographed dance, while lip-syncing to “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.  

On day two, Washington and various faculty hosted “Discover Research at the Dean’s Breakfast” for 290 students and staff. The meal included pancakes, fresh fruit, breakfast bars and more. As a new part of this event, 10 graduate students highlighted their engineering design projects with posters on the Upper Engineering Plaza.

On day three, approximately 450 students attended the annual EngiTECH Career Fair in the UCI Student Center. Thirty-three companies were represented with Northrop Grumman highlighted as the gold event sponsor. EngiTECH offers students an opportunity to network and apply for internships and jobs. Dean Washington stopped by to visit with some of the students and companies, while encouraging all to check out the valuable career fair.

Christopher Wu, a second-year mechanical engineering major, volunteered for and participated in EngiTECH. “I was able to network with companies like Saratech and Northrop and practice my soft skills when it came to interacting with company reps. I even got an interview! I really enjoyed being a part of the event and am looking forward to next year's EngiTECH.” Wu said.

Tony Moc, a fourth-year mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering student, learned how beneficial networking can be even when it’s least expected. “I spoke to a software company representative at EngiTECH because I knew my friend worked there and I wanted to check up on her. The next thing I knew, the director asked to interview me for a software engineer position. I learned how to make any encounter, no matter how small, into an opportunity,” said Moc.

Many engineering alumni attended the event on behalf of their companies. Anteater engineers represented companies such as GoLinks, Medtronic, Weller and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. 

On Thursday, ESC served lunch to approximately 912 students, faculty and staff at the E-week BBQ on the Upper Engineering Plaza. ESC also hosted Shadow Day for nearly 300 local high school students. Anteater engineers gave the high school students tours of labs for HyperXite, the Rocket Project and UAV Forge, and led STEM activities such as a motorized boat building competition, DNA extraction of a strawberry and a shake table demo.

ESC President Dalia Hammouri didn’t even know what E-Week was when she was a freshman. This year, as a senior, she led the 22-member cabinet in planning the entire week. She said she went through this year’s E-Week with bittersweet feelings. “Over the last three years, I've been lucky to see the engineering community come together during E-Weeks to celebrate our shared profession. The end of this year's event served as a culminating moment for me. Our campus is a remarkable place filled with a curious and innovative spirit, and experiencing this final E-Week felt like immersing myself fully in that spirit one last time before I graduate.”

Hammouri said she will miss all of the fun activities and experiences of E-Week, “but the memories I've made during my time in ESC will always be with me and remind me that I am lucky to have had such a special and involved undergraduate experience here at UCI.”

The weeklong festivities wrapped up with the Engineering Awards Banquet on Friday, March 25, in the UCI Continuing Education Building’s Yosemite Ballroom, where ESC recognized outstanding students, faculty and engineering student organizations (see below). On Saturday, ESC representatives greeted engineering alumni at UCI’s Homecoming celebration in Aldrich Park and passed out Anteater stickers.

Professors of the Year

Zoran Nenadic, Biomedical Engineering

Nancy DaSilva, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Quoc-Viet Dang, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Donald Dabdub, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Brian Tarroja, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Graduate Students of the Year

Derek Hu, Biomedical Engineering

Reza Mohammadi, Materials Science and Engineering

Tharini Sidappa, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Farshad Yazdi, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Edward Zhu, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Ariane Jong, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Undergraduate Students of the Year

Dalia Hammouri, Biomedical Engineering

Kimberly Uhls, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Janelle Gonzalez, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Jens Tuyls, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Eben Ortiz, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Engineering Student Organizations (ESO) Awards

Best New Event: Engineering Student Council’s “ESO Capture the Flag”

Most Improved Organization: IEEE

Best Mentorship Program: American Society of Civil Engineers Mentorship

Best Outreach Event: American Society of Civil Engineers

Best Professional Development: American Society of Civil Engineers

Best Collaboration Event: EWB x ESW x BMES x SWE X MAES x SHPE x NSBE x GEB x AIChE x PACA “Pumpkin Patch Social”

Best Engineering Student Organization: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 

– Megan Lohre

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