AIST Annual Engineering Seminar

In conjunction with Purdue University Calumet (PUC), the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST) held its annual engineering seminar at PUC for local area high school students from 17 area schools. The purpose of the workshop was to spark the interest of high school juniors who are considering engineering as a field of study. The seminar provides an opportunity for students to interact directly with engineers and to discuss career opportunities in the steel industry.

For the 7th consecutive year, Superior Engineering (S/E) had the privilege of being a featured presenter at this technology event. Our Steve Vernengo and Sharnae Bivens created a workshop for the students that simulated a typical consulting engineering project; to design, build and construct a foam glider that would fly the farthest. The foam glider project was a team competition, requiring students to optimize their design, build, and manufacturing techniques, while staying within the workshop parameters of the project’s defined scope, schedule and budget.

The students also had an opportunity to purchase pre-approved engineering drawings, and to consult with an experienced design engineer – all for a fee. And just like any real-world project, the incentive to stay under budget allowed the team to use any excess cash as needed elsewhere – in this case – to “purchase” additional distance. S/E received excellent feedback on the workshop, and many students stated that this exercise truly helped them to see the practical aspects to engineering, teamwork, and finance.

In addition, Sherry Iliovici, Jason Hockman and Anthony Molinaro represented Superior Engineering at the PUC and AIST career fair tables later that day. This was our opportunity to present the S/E brand to potential future employees. According to the exit surveys from the workshop, over 85% of the students stated that this workshop went a long way to re-affirm their choice to pursue engineering as a college major.