Engineering Development & Education

Tulane University and the University of New Orleans are among a group of six schools that have received funds from the NASA “to devise a plan to get more members of minority groups interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics during their first two years of college.” According to the article from The Times-Picayune, a strategy will be developed to attract and retain students to graduate and begin careers in the STEM fields.

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Joanna L. David, MS B 2013, was recently profiled for her work in developing “a large, community-scale solar disinfection system that serves as an alternative to an individual-bottle system” of water treatment. The project was part of her undergraduate thesis at the University of Mississippi where she graduated with a degree in chemical engineering. Read the article from the Natchez Democrat

Her project examined the plastic cover of the water treatment tank to maximize the amount of time need to purify water for drinking in Africa. Currently, Joanna is a contact engineer working for ExxonMobil. She summarized what she learned from working on the water treatment project, “As engineers, you literally shape the world around, and you can’t touch something without being influenced by an engineer’s role,” she said. “I have learned that even the small tasks you do in your efforts to complete a project can have an immense impact on the world around you.”

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A recent article from IEEE Spectrum, revisits the idea of an engineer’s “half-life of knowledge,” or “the time it takes for half the knowledge of a particular domain to be superseded.” The article examines previous IEEE papers on the topic from 1966 and 1991. The conclusion suggests that the half-life of engineers is declining and that companies like Facebook are placing an emphasis on hiring young professionals with more recent training and skills. Click here to read the article

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