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National Engineers Week highlights contributions

Engineers perform outstanding work in their everyday lives, and a new generation is proving that they, too, have important contributions to give to the world.

In recognition of their efforts, the second annual “New Faces of Engineering” will be unveiled during National Engineers Week 2004. From developing new ways to test jet fighters using computer models, to distributing oral rabies vaccines to wildlife, these young women and men are offering innovative solutions to critical social needs.

New Faces of Engineering, launched in 2003, underscores the excitement and wonder of engineering and provides inspiration and incentive for college-level students and other young people considering engineering careers.

Nominees come from industry and academia and are placed in consideration by engineering societies on the National Engineers Week Committee. They must hold an engineering degree, be employed as an engineer from two to five years, and have been involved in projects that significantly impact public welfare or further professional development and growth.

The 12 outstanding individuals chosen for New Faces will be featured in USA Today during National Engineers Week, and all New Faces nominees will be highlighted on the National Engineers Week website at .

The second major program for 2004 will establish a global, web-based dialogue among engineering students, young professionals, business leaders. Connecting the World to Engineering, spearheaded by Fluor, co-chair of 2004 National Engineers Week along with The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE / IEEE-USA), will encourage and maintain interest in engineering for engineering undergraduates.

While many engineering societies already host professional and technical forums, Connecting the World to Engineering is the first engineering initiative for global linkage across countries, business and academia, and engineering disciplines.

Connecting the World Internet forums will launch during National Engineers Week on Monday, Feb. 23 and continue through the year. As part of the “connecting,” prominent corporate leaders will also host teleconference discussions that week on the latest issues and developments with engineering societies and their student sections, along with university and corporate partners.

National Engineers Week, founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers and sponsored by more than 100 engineering, scientific, and education societies, and major corporations, is dedicated to increasing public awareness and appreciation of engineering and to promoting pre-college interest in math, science, and engineering as a career option.

Engineers Week is celebrated annually by thousands of engineers, engineering students, teachers, and leaders in government and business.

New Faces and Connecting the World are two of the many programs taking center stage during National Engineers Week 2004, which will see the return of a wide array of events, including:

• The fourth annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day – Thursday, February 26. In only a few short years, this has become the largest career outreach to girls by any single profession.

This year, more than 125 organizations will mobilize 11,000 women engineers, along with their male colleagues, to actively reach out to an estimated one million girls on "Girl Day" and throughout the year.

Information on how to participate, along with resources for volunteers, are available at the National Engineers Week web site at .

Organizations and engineers are urged to list their activities on the 2004 Pledge Roster at the site. It's all part of a nationwide effort to help make educational and career opportunities and mentoring programs available for girls and prospective women engineers everywhere. The program is led by IEEE / IEEE-USA with major sponsors Agilent Technologies, Inc., and the Elizabeth and Stephen Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

• The National Engineers Week Future City CompetitionTM, now in its 12th year, expands to 34 regions across America. This is the largest engineering educational outreach program in the country and one of the largest educational outreach programs of any kind. In Future City, students work under the guidance of teachers and volunteer engineers to build computer and three-dimensional scale models of cities of tomorrow.

Students present their designs before a panel of engineer judges at the competition, and write an essay – this year's topic is improving the lives of senior citizens through the use of plastic products or services. Work begins in the fall and culminates at regional competitions in January. First place regional teams win a trip to Washington for national finals, Feb. 23-25, 2004. For more information, visit .

• The Sightseers Guide to Engineering (, created by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 2001, continues to grow in popularity. Celebrating engineering marvels from the subtle to the spectacular in all 50 states, the site invites the public to recognize and appreciate the achievements of America's engineers, from bridges in North Dakota to seawalls in Texas to the Statehouse of Rhode Island and a roller coaster in Florida. Visitors can also submit their own favorites to add to the lists.

• Another website,, launched in 1999, is also still growing. Targeted to middle school students on the how and why of becoming an engineer, the site uses such wonders of engineering as advanced sports gear and the technology of bottling soft drinks to pique the interests of young people, and includes hundreds of links to related educational, professional, and corporate sites.

• The National Academy of Engineering will present the annual $500,000 Charles Stark Draper Prize, the profession's highest honor for engineering achievement and innovation, and the annual Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, also valued at $500,000. Both awards will be given at a black-tie dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 24. For more information, visit

• Visioneering 2004: Security of the Future will be taped at a live event at Southern Methodist University in Dallas on Saturday, Feb. 7 and broadcast nationwide to up to eight million students on Friday, Feb. 27 on Cable Channel One. Visioneering is sponsored by the SMU School of Engineering and SMU's Institute for Engineering Education. For more information, visit

• The Chinese Institute of Engineers (CIE/USA) will announce the third annual Asian American Engineer of the Year Award, recognizing outstanding Asian American professionals in academia, public service, and corporations, on Feb. 28. For more information, visit

• Results from the "Americans' Perspectives on Engineering" survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Association of Engineering Societies, will be released during National Engineers Week.

• A Drive-Time Radio Tour on Tuesday, Feb. 24 will highlight the New Faces of Engineering program, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, the Future City Competition, and other EWeek activities in top listener markets across the country.

• ZOOM Into Engineering Family Festival at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Feb. 21 will again feature activities for thousands of children and their families. More than 5,000 attended last year's festivities.

• Discover "E," a nationwide program aimed at K-12 students, continues to provide thousands of engineers with quality educational materials to help them reach more than five million students and teachers every year through classroom visits and extracurricular programs during National Engineers Week and all of 2004.