Engineers Week kicks off at ‘Nova



Kate Carrubba

National Engineers Week kicked off on Sunday with a Mass and has been providing educational and entertaining opportunities for engineers all week long.

Monday featured the first round of the second annual “Guitar Hero” competition open to all students. Tuesday was the first annual “Mr. CEER” contest, a lighthearted parody of the well-known Miss U.S.A. pageant.

Today, Peter Fong of Ford Motor Company and the Class of ’86 will speak about innovation.

The third annual Trivia Bowl, an interdepartmental competition for engineers, will follow Fong’s speech. Ending the week will be the “Guitar Hero” finals at 3 p.m. tomorrow, followed by awards for the week’s winners.

The “Guitar Hero” tournament enjoyed immense popularity last year and was brought back for this year’s Engineers Week.

The competition featured two tournaments with 64 slots each. A “Hard” tournament was held in two rooms in Tolentine Hall, while the “Expert” competition was held in CEER.

The structure of the competition was similar to that of the NCAA tournament. The players were bracketed into six rounds, with rounds one through three held on Monday and rounds four through six will be held tomorrow.

The songs were randomly selected from “Guitar Hero I,” “II” and “III,” and players used the Playstation 2 version of the game.

A total of 128 students signed up to play, up from 100 last year. Students from all majors were welcome at the competition.

Freshman Nate Singleton, a computer science major, described the competition as fun, although he would have rather gone head-to-head directly against his opponent.

Billy Anania, an English major, won his match and said he was impressed with the skill of some of the competitors.

The prizes for first and second place in each tournament include a Sony Playstation 3, a Sony PSP, a $100 gift card to the King of Prussia mall and a 22-inch flat-screen TV.

Tuesday’s “Mr. CEER” competition was held in Connelly Cinema and featured 10 participants.

The competition began with an introduction by emcee junior Jordan Sarruda, who provided a short biography of each contestant set to music.

A talent competition followed, in which each contestant had 30 seconds to showcase his particular skill. Talents ranged from solving a Rubix cube, walking on one’s hands and orating a haiku.

A question-and-answer session from the five judges (all female engineers) followed the talent competition.

The Villanova Irish Dancers performed next, followed by the selection of the final three contestants.

For their final task, the finalists were required to showcase their engineering skills by building a model of the Oreo out of Oreos.

The projects were judged on their structural soundness and aesthetic value.

Prizes for the winners of “Mr. CEER” included a Nintendo 64 and a gift certificate to the King of Prussia Mall.

Fong, today’s guest speaker, is a graduate of both the College of Engineering and the Villanova School of Business. He is currently working for Ford Motor Company as a regional manager for the Mid-Atlantic market.

Fong has been a member of the Villanova University Alumni Association board since 2006.

He will be speaking about innovation in engineering at 5:30 p.m. in CEER 001.

Following Fong’s speech will be the third annual Trivia Bowl, an interdepartmental competition only open to engineers.

The five departments within the College of Engineering will compete against one another, as well against a Dean’s Team featuring one professor and four students.

The Electrical and Computer Engineers won the competition last year. This year’s winners will receive a gift certificate to the University Shop.

The week’s final events will be the “Guitar Hero” finals to be held at 3 p.m. tomorrow in CEER 001, followed by awards from the week’s competitions.

Other week-long events include T-shirt sales featuring each of the five engineering disciplines, as well as a poster contest for all of the student organizations. The posters are hung in CEER and will be judged on their creativity, aesthetics and information.

Villanova Engineers Week was organized by the 26-member Engineering Student Council, which began planning the events in late October.

The Engineering Traditions Committee of the ESC, with eight members, was the main organizational group.

ESC Vice President junior Mateus Santos states that ESC’s goals for Engineers Week are to unite the College of Engineering, to provide a two-way communication channel between faculty and students and to showcase new opportunities for engineers.

Santos said he was was enthusiastic about the increase in participation over last year’s events, describing it as a “dynamic 180-degree change.”

Freshman ESC member Elizabeth Moczynski said that the Engineers Week events fit perfectly with Villanova’s sense of community and pulls everyone together.

Villanova’s Engineers Week is part of a larger national celebration lasting from Feb. 17-23.

The national commemoration is geared toward all ages and features different activities celebrating the field of engineering.

National Engineers Week was founded in 1951 and was honored by the House of Representatives in a recently passed resolution.

The observance is intended to recognize the contributions of engineering in the United States while also promoting various branches of education related to the field in order to pique students’ interest.