Raymond J. Wilke 2016-03-25 05:52:48
Disruptive technology may be today’s new world, but here at the Georgia Engineering Foundation we strive each year to help engineering societies and firms reach out the old way: face-to-face. Our committees are devoted to helping all engineering societies and firms reach out to the next generation of engineers. GEF committees work long hard hours each year to help young engineers become our next great generation of engineers. How you say? Well, just look below: ^ On March 21, 2015, one of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's op-ed headlines read “Ga. No. 1 in Student Debt Load.” GEF’s Scholarship Committee, which is comprised of 10-15 dedicated volunteers, is tackling this problem. Each year, the GEF committee reviews more than 200 applications and interviews 100 students who are Georgia residents attending engineering and technical colleges. Since 1985, nearly 800 students have been awarded scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. In 2015, 42 awards were distributed and a total of $78,600 was given to students pursuing a career in either engineering or engineering technology fields. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Remind college students who are studying engineering that scholarship applications open on April 1, 2016 and they can apply at www.GEFinc.org. Or, become a scholarship sponsor by supporting a Company, Society or Individual scholarship. On October 17, 2015, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran another op-ed entitled “Georgia Should Continue Efforts to get More Kids into Higher Education.” GEF is an original sponsor and continuing supporter of the Exploring Engineering Academy - now in its 16th year! The Exploring Engineering Academy’s goal is to inspire high school students to pursue STEM-related curriculum in college; last year, 63 high school students attended. The Academy is run each year during the first week of june as a resident camp on the Georgia Tech campus. However, activities take place all over the Atlanta area with events at corporations, engineering and architecture firms, state agencies, industrial sites and education facilities - with the goal of showing these future college students the opportunities STEM degrees offer for a career. Local engineers, architects, professors and other volunteers also mentor these high school students during the week. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Inform high school students that registration is open for the 2016 Engineering Exploring Academy, which will take place from June 5-10, until May 31 at www.AtlantaExploring.org. You can also sign-up to be a mentor or have your company become a sponsor. l3> October 25, 2015, the op-ed “Shunning STEM” ran in The Atlanta Journal- Constitution. Did you know that college engineering students are switching curriculum because many STEM-related courses are too difficult for them to get or maintain high grades, therefore causing them to lose their HOPE scholarships? GEF works with numerous STEM programs to encourage students to gain knowledge in high school that will help them succeed in college. For example, GEF works with Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, The Science and Mathematics Academy at Benjamin E. Mays High School, MathCounts and annual science fairs - all of which help students prepare for college. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Support current legislation that was submitted this year in the Georgia legislature to provide an extra 0.5 grade point for taking the most difficult STEM classes in college. By offering this, the goal is to help keep more students in engineering and STEM programs at Georgia colleges. WHAT ARE YOUR ENGINEERING LIMITATIONS? The ethics of engineering are often viewed as a broad subject. However, to me, it is a simple and straightforward issue. As engineers, we are bound by our Code of Ethics, which begins by stating that we should “Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public.” While there are more than these 10 words in the Code, I believe this is a strong statement and one that all engineers should take to heart every day. By living this out, we will ensure that our engineering designs are protective of the public. One of the most important aspects of implementing this is to first understand our limitations as engineers. As a practicing environmental engineer, I know my boundaries when it comes to engineering design. When I reach a point in a design that involves aspects outside of my area of expertise, I seek the council of an engineer that is properly trained and currently practicing in that area of engineering. To me, this is a simple way to ensure that the safety, health and welfare of the public is protected. Not every situation is straightforward, and sometimes it is solely up to the individual engineer to determine their own limitations. This is how the Code of Ethics should be used to guide our decision-making in these situations. I’m sure more regulation could provide further definition to this, but I believe this Code has guided engineers for decades and proven to be a successful practice. If you’re not familiar with the Code, or it’s been a while since you’ve read it, I encourage you to review the Code of Ethics for Engineers. A copy of the code can be found on NSPE’s website at www.nspe.org. THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS Thanks to everyone who participated, helped plan and enjoyed the annual Engineers Week Awards Gala. Also, a big congratulations to all of the award winners. It was a great night of recognition and celebration. We look forward to celebrating again next year! 2016 has already been a year of tremendous and exciting activity for GAITE. Our committee chairs are hard at work putting together a fantastic lineup of programs and initiatives, and we’ve already had some great events in these first few months! Here is a sample of the activities we’ve held over the first few months of 2016: Got our “bowl on” at our first social activity of the year at the Painted Pin in Buckhead in late January. Our first monthly meeting was held at Mary Mac’s on February 11 and we had well over 100 in attendance! We organized numerous outreach events with local STEM students, including judging at the Future Cities Competition, the Toothpick Bridge Competition, the Georgia MathCounts Competition and the Gwinnett County Regional Science Fair. The 6th Annual Winter Workshop achieved record attendance with our partners from ASHE. More than 140 attendees overtook downtown Augusta in late February; all had a great time networking at the fun social activities and listening to fantastic presenters at this awesome event! Held the Traffic Bowl between Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University at our March 18 monthly meeting at Maggiano’s Cumberland. Our winners will represent Georgia at the Southern District of ITE meeting in Nashville in mid-April. During this fun-filled and busy 2016, we are hard at work preparing for the 2016 GAITE Summer Seminar at the beautiful King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island, to be held from July 17-20. If you haven’t attended Summer Seminar before, you are missing out on what is considered the best section event in all of ITE - and one of the premier transportation conferences in the Southeast. This event is a fantastic technical venue for all transportation professionals, from traffic and roadway engineers, to planners and vendors. And, contrary to the typical stereotype that engineers don’t know how to have fun, this conference is an absolute blast with enjoyable beach/pool activities, amazing food and a “bring the house down” dance/dessert party that makes you re-think that engineers can’t dance! Check out our conference page at www.gaite.org/summer-seminar and take a look at pictures of past Summer Seminars at www.gaite.org/photos. Finally, be sure and check out our monthly meeting on May 12 at the Park Tavern. We will be hearing an update from the BeltLine, as well as have an opportunity to tour the Eastside BeltLine immediately following the event. We are tagging this meeting as our “Bring a Friend Day,” with raffle opportunities for non- GAITE members! We hope to see you there!
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