Tuesday, January 24, 2012
OU professors bring expertise to high school engineering event
By Eric Reikoski, media relations assistant
As part of an effort to inspire the next generation of engineers, leaders in Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science recently visited students during Oak Park High School’s Engineering Day.
The professors – Robert Van Til, Chris Kobus and Lorenzo Smith – gave interactive presentations on a variety of topics and engaged students in hands-on learning activities, such as simulating an assembly plant.
The three shared stories about their career paths and advised students on how to prepare for the field by developing well-rounded skills in mathematics, science and technology, as well as gaining experience working in teams.
“If you have an idea, find a way to make it,” Dr. Smith told the students. “You employ all of your knowledge about science. [Then] you take that science and you combine it with creativity, and you make a product to make the world a better place.”
In a presentation on the role of industrial and systems engineers, Dr. Van Til noted that an increased emphasis on system improvement has opened a variety of new and exciting career avenues. “Many hospitals and even theme parks, such as Disney, are hiring industrial and systems engineers,” said Dr. Van Til.
Adding to the event was the Square One Education Network, a philanthropic organization dedicated to promoting science and technology in the classroom. Offering a variety of educational programs, the organization works to create a dynamic learning environment and spark the interest of students through innovative and hands-on programming and competitions. Square One is a fixture at this type of event, offering Segway rides as an interactive example of innovation in engineering.
Oakland University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering and computer science. For more information on Oakland’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, visit the website at oakland.edu/secs