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Engineers Week will offer keynote address, outdoor gear hackathon

S. Gordon Moore Jr., executive director of the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion at Georgia Tech, will deliver the keynote address as Western Carolina University’s College of Engineering and Technology celebrates Engineers Week from Sunday, Feb. 17, through Saturday, Feb. 23.

Moore will speak on “The Next Level: The Impact of Inclusion on Excellence” at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center. His talk, free and open to the public, also is part of a series of Black History Month programs on campus.

S. Gordon Moore Jr.

Under Moore’s leadership, Georgia Tech has been recognized as a model for academic diversity programming throughout the nation. Publications that have published stories about the initiatives and programs he has overseen at Georgia Tech include The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Moore has consulted and spoken for universities and corporations around the nation on a range of issues including minority retention and performance, pre-college initiatives, academic support, workplace diversity, mentoring and summer bridge programs.

Moore’s visit is being co-sponsored by WCU’s College of Engineering and Technology, Department of Multicultural Affairs, Office of Student Success and Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs. His talk is a registered DegreePlus event for students.

The Engineers Week schedule for Wednesday, Feb. 20, includes preliminary judging for an outdoor gear hackathon. Students from the School of Engineering and Technology are being challenged to design, solve and/or create prototypes for gear problems or opportunities submitted by outdoor gear manufacturers, most of which are members of the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina. The activity will involve 148 students from engineering with concentrations in mechanical and electrical power and from programs in electrical engineering, electrical and computer engineering technology, and engineering technology.

The student teams will be working on the challenges Feb. 18 and Tuesday, Feb. 19, and the five teams with the best ideas will present them to OGB members and others from the outdoor gear industry who are attending the Outdoor Gear Design and Manufacturing Summit on campus Thursday, Feb. 21. Faculty and staff interested in meeting with OGB members should contact Wes Stone at or Andy Coburn at They are serving as WCU's outdoor industry faculty liaisons.

Engineers Week activities will include the unveiling of the College of Engineering and Technology’s new race trailer, shown in this mock-up. Design for the trailer was done by University Marketing with WCU’s print shop handling production.

Other activities for Engineers Week include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ movie and pizza night at 6 p.m. Feb. 19 in Room 104 of Belk Building; the annual Western Regional Science and Engineering Fair taking place Feb. 20-21 at Ramsey Regional Activity Center, which involves the region’s children in grades three through 12; and “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” outreach at Cullowhee Valley School on Feb. 21.

Activities will wrap up Friday, Feb. 22, with the unveiling of the College of Engineering and Technology’s new race trailer. Last year, the college purchased the trailer for use by its Society of Automotive Engineers Mini-Baja student competition team. The unveiling, along with an ice cream social, will take place at noon in the Belk Building parking lot.

“This is our second year of celebrating national Engineers Week at WCU,” said Jeff Ray, dean of the college. “Our student engineering and construction professional societies members deserve a big ‘thank you’ for assisting in putting together this week of activities, along with the fantastic faculty and staff in the college.”

For more information about Engineers Week at WCU, contact the college at 828-227-2159.

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