Each year, an engineering society partners with a corporation to lead Engineers Week activities in the United States. In 2014, IEEE-USA and DuPont are teaming up in what promises to be one of the most successful EWeeks ever.
EWeek celebrates engineers’ creative problem-solving ability, raises public awareness of their contributions to society, and seeks to inspire students to pursue a career in engineering. EWeek 2014 is 16-22 February.
IEEE-USA, which is coordinating IEEE’s participation in EWeek, found an outstanding corporate partner in DuPont. Based in Wilmington, Del., DuPont is a global science company that has developed some of the most widely used products in the world. Kevlar, nylon and Tyvek are a few of the many innovations DuPont has introduced throughout its more than 200-year history.
Modern-day DuPont serves markets as diverse as agriculture, nutrition, electronics and communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel. It also works in photovoltaics and is building a cellulosic ethanol plant in Iowa that is expected to open in the second half of 2014.
“We are pleased to partner with such a prestigious science company as DuPont,” 2014 IEEE-USA President Gary Blank said. “Both organizations have expanded well beyond what they are best known for. DuPont is doing great work in food security and biotechnology, and IEEE has many members working in fields such as oceanic engineering, professional communication, product safety and biomedical engineering.”
DuPont’s visionary leaders believe that inclusive innovation is key to improving life for people the world over:
“By working together, with more people in more places than ever before, we can find new and better ways to solve global challenges and provide for the food, energy, and protection needs of the world’s growing population.”
DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman, who has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, will be the first woman honorary chair of EWeek. She is one of many engineers to hold leadership positions at DuPont.
“We are excited about this partnership, and it’s a great way for us to celebrate the industry, as well as our engineers,” said Karen Fletcher, DuPont chief engineer & vice president, DuPont Engineering, Facility Services & Real Estate, “We employ thousands of engineers who are problem-solvers helping to make a difference in communities throughout the world.”
DuPont has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and thought leaders, it can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment.
“Engineers Week is a fitting opportunity for us to collaborate and highlight the role engineers play in creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer and healthier life for people everywhere,” Fletcher said.
Capital EWeek Activities
In the nation’s capital, EWeek 2014 will feature Discover Engineering Family Day and the Future City Competition National Finals. Family Day draws more than 9,000 students, teachers and parents to the National Building Museum each year and is designed to introduce children 4 to 12 to the wonder of engineering and the importance of technological literacy. In 2011, the event attracted a Building Museum one-day record 13,994 visitors.
Future City is an engineering design competition for middle school students that reaches more than 35,000 children annually. IEEE-USA sponsors the national third-place award and the Best Communications System award.
Future City regional champions from across the United States earn a trip to Washington that includes round-trip transportation and hotel accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. The national champion will be crowned 18 February.
When IEEE-USA first served as lead EWeek society in 1993, it played a key role in launching Future City and Family Day. IEEE-USA and DuPont will be presenting sponsors of Family Day 2014 on Saturday 22 February.
“IEEE-USA has been a terrific partner and with us at the very beginning of Future City and Family Day,” National Engineers Week Foundation Executive Director Leslie Collins said. “I’m eager to see what our collaboration with IEEE and DuPont brings in 2014.”
The National Academy of Engineering will present the Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering on 18 February at the National Academy of Sciences. Blank is expected to attend the black-tie affair.
The IEEE/IEEE-USA “New Face of Engineering,” for an accomplished U.S. or international IEEE member engineer under 30, will be announced during EWeek. Third-, fourth- and fifth-year engineering student honorees will be announced on 2 April. IEEE-USA’s “College Edition” winner will receive a $500 college scholarship.
Another popular activity, staged around the country in classrooms and workplaces, is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. It will be celebrated on 20 February 2014. Girl Day is one of the many ways IEEE members can participate in EWeek 2014 activities. Check with your local section about what events it has planned.
Promoting Humanitarian Efforts Around the World
IEEE-USA is spearheading a humanitarian mobile app competition to benefit people in developing countries. The contest is part of a larger effort ” known as App-E-Feat ” to connect nonprofits, NGOs and corporations to develop mobile applications.
App-E-Feat is tied to IEEE’s Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. CGI, founded by former President Bill Clinton in 2005, “convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.”
The contest portion of App-E-Feat is the brainchild of Karen Panetta, IEEE-USA vice president for communications and public awareness, and will be launched during EWeek. App development is not limited to those with computer engineering skills. Just as a novice can develop a Web site these days, guidelines for app design are available online.
Panetta, an IEEE Fellow and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Tufts University, said Clinton’s address at a CGI meeting in May “addressed the impact of mobile applications on those less fortunate, and it inspired IEEE to create App-E-Feat.”
“Let’s Make a Difference”
EWeek was founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers and is administered by the DiscoverE Foundation. Today, the group leads a number of engineering- and technology-promoting activities throughout the year.
For example, the EWeek kickoff Webcast was hosted by the University of Delaware on 15 November. Blank and Fletcher were panelists during the live streamed event, which aimed to excite engineers about the upcoming EWeek. It’s also where the EWeek 2014 theme, “Let’s Make a Difference,” was unveiled.
Two other events held outside of EWeek are the Global Marathon For, By and About Women in Engineering and Technology, 5-7 March; and the DiscoverE Educator Awards in June. Former IEEE-USA Vice President Nita Patel, who also served as 2013 IEEE Women in Engineering chair, is leading IEEE-USA’s efforts to promote the Global Marathon. DuPont’s Kullman is a major supporter of the “online forum to connect, support and unite women in engineering and technology.”
IEEE-USA is sponsoring the DiscoverE Educator Awards to spotlight the educators who are inspiring tomorrow’s innovation generation.
To nominate a deserving teacher for 2014, he/she must be a full-time U.S. or international school-based educator teaching in grades 6-12. Nominations have to submitted by a college engineering student or engineer and are due between 13 January and 14 March.
Kristi Hummel chairs the IEEE-USA EWeek Planning Committee, which has been holding biweekly teleconferences since February 2013. Jennifer Sherman is DuPont’s project lead.
IEEE-USA 2013 President Marc Apter, who has helped formulate the organization’s EWeek 2014 vision, has worked closely with the planning committee to ensure a dynamic, fulfilling EWeek for all engineers. He participated in the first meeting with DuPont in January 2013 with, among others, Gayle Gibson, DuPont’s director of corporate operations.
“I know IEEE-USA and DuPont are going to accomplish some great things to make a difference in the United States and around the world,” Apter said. “I encourage all IEEE members to participate in EWeek 2014 activities in their home sections.”
Chris McManes is IEEE-USA’s public relations manager.