Parks College Celebrates National Engineers Week and Promotes STEM Initiatives

March 4, 2015
Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Physics


Students at Saint Louis University’s Parks College participated in National Engineers Week, or “E-Week” as it is commonly referred to among students and faculty, Feb. 23 – 28, 2015.

“I thank all of our Parks students, faculty and staff who helped make this the most successful E-week in recent history by showcasing a variety of STEM activities at Saint Louis University,” said Theodosios Alexander, dean of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.

E-Week Recap 

E-Week kicked off with an Appreciation Day on Monday. Billiken cookies and a schedule of the week’s events were passed out to students through out the afternoon in McDonnell Douglas Hall.

On Tuesday, SLU’s Career Services sponsored a Boeing Networking Reception. Boeing representatives presented in Parks College senior design classes then hosted a networking reception in the McDonnell Douglas Hall Rotunda. Many students were in attendance and some walked away with interviews.

On Wednesday, students participated in a special version of the Weekly Innovation Challenge that touted a larger prize than usual, sponsored by the KEEN grant and the Dean’s Office.  Students from all over SLU participated in the challenge leading to a record-breaking participation of 72 students with majors ranging from theology to finance to engineering. Students were challenged to create a pillbox and present their product in a 90-second elevator pitch to ten judges. Students were judged on their product’s functionality, aesthetics, clarity and market potential. After the challenge was completed, Dean Alexander awarded the $1,000 grand prize to the winning team: Prashanth Somasundaram, Ravi Patel and Siddharth Bhayani, who are challenge regulars.


On Thursday, February 26, the College hosted “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.” Nine area high schools spent the day exploring Parks’ facilities, discovering various areas of engineering, networking with prominent female engineering professionals, mingling with current Parks’ students and participating in an innovation challenge. Among the events that day was a keynote address from Carrie Falkenrath regarding her successes and challenges in the civil engineering field. 

On Friday, Dean Alexander and Assistant Professor, Ari Malik, Ph.D. hosted the second Parks College STEM Collaboration Forum. Approximately twenty faculty from many schools and colleges across SLU attended the forum.  The discussion was lively and resulted in faculty identifying many new opportunities for collaboration.

On Saturday, Parks College and SLU’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) chapter hosted the fifth annual Billiken BEAMS (Building Engineering Awareness in Metro St. Louis) competition on SLU’s campus. The Billiken BEAMS Competition is a group based project opportunity in which students use their innovation to build a structure and then compete against other groups throughout the Saint Louis area. This year, 25 teams competed and after a few hours of bridge testing, one team was declared the winner!

Wrapping up the week of activities, the Association of Parks College Students (APCS) sponsored the “Parks Amazing Race” on Saturday, February 28 from 2 - 5 pm. Twelve teams of up to 4 people completed challenges covering STEM-related topics and Parks College history.  Team Couch Potatoes, Joey Bruns and Michael Sonnenfelt, took first place and won the grand prize of a discovery flight donated by the Aviation Science Department.

Billiken BEAMS Winners:

  • First Place: Crossroads College Prep - Team 1
  • Second Place: Trinity Catholic High School - Team Titan Top Gun
  • Third Place: Gateway Stem High School - Team 2
  • Bridge Aesthetic: Crossroads College Prep - Team 3

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