Shared from the 2/20/2019 American Press eEdition

Students get glimpse of McNeese engineering program

More than 450 students from 17 area high schools toured the engineering department at McNeese State University Tuesday as part of National Engineers Week.

Nikos Kiritis, dean of the college of engineering and computer science, said the annual open house gives students a glimpse into the various engineering programs, such as electrical, mechanical, civil, chemical and computer. McNeese engineering students demonstrated their skills in computer programming, land surveying, video game design and robotics competitions.

“Students want to study engineering, but they don’t know what it is and they don’t know what engineering education looks like,” he said. “By coming here at a younger age, at least they get some visuals of what engineering education is. The sooner they start off asking questions, basically, the better.”

High school students also took part in hands-on challenges. Josiah Doucet, a student at Eunice High School, said he is considering a career in engineering after seeing the different ways it can be applied.

“I realize I’m really talented in the realm of physics, engineering, computer science, logic and math,” he said. “I feel it would be best to use my abilities there to go into a higher career like this.”

Sarah Lyons, McNeese engineering senior, said math and science aren’t the only essential skills for success.

“To be a good engineer means to have good problemsolving skills,” she said. “A good engineer is someone who can make mistakes, get things wrong but can fix the problems.”

Kristen Lemaire, McNeese engineering senior, said she always wanted to be an engineer, and the university’s “personal touch” has been helpful in her pursuits.

“You get to know your professors,” she said. “(They) care about your success if you’re a good student, and that’s something that I needed coming back as a non-traditional student.”

Kiritis said roughly 40 percent of engineers currently working in the area are Mc-Neese graduates.

McNeese wraps up its National Engineers Week on Thursday with a banquet to recognize outstanding students, faculty and engineers in the community.

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