UB engineering clubs hold annual Engineers Week

Cardboard sledding, water pong catapults and ‘Bot Wars’ highlight this year’s competition


Last week, UB’s engineering majors dropped eggs from the third floor of the Student Union, catapulted ping pong balls into cups of water and held cage-match-style fights.

They weren’t destroying school property or joining underground fight clubs – they were applying their engineering skills in Engineers Week.

UB’s engineering clubs hosted Engineers Week, an annual national week-long celebration of engineers’ contributions to society, in the Student Union from Feb. 22 to 28. Clubs earned points by hosting events and by placing in the top three in the competitions. The four clubs with the most points at the end of the week earned funds for their budgets from the Student Association.

Connor Devine, a junior mechanical engineering major and member of Engineers for a Sustainable World, said the week is a great idea to “do something fun and get SA participation points for our club.”

Events ranged from an egg drop, a quadcopter obstacle course, robot fighting and salsa making.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers held the Cardboard Sled Event on Tuesday for the first time during UB’s Engineers Week.

Students from all majors and different engineering clubs competed to make the most efficient cardboard sled. Groups of three had 25 minutes to design and build their sled and were given only a few pieces of cardboard and one roll of tape. The sleds were then tested on the hill next to Clemens Hall for speed and stability.

“We were sitting in our executive board meeting trying to come up with new ideas for events that no one has ever heard of and our treasurer, Anthony Montana, came up with the idea,” said Josh Abraham, a sophomore mechanical engineering major and project leader for the Cardboard Sled Event. “So we brainstormed some more and decided this was the best idea.”

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers also participated in the event.

“It sounded fun and we wanted to get our club the most funding as possible,” said Cornato Vella, a senior mechanical engineering major. “Time is definitely the most challenging part. Having only three team members, we’re all working on different parts of the sled. We have to multitask.”

The “Bot Wars” event was held on Friday in the Student Union lobby on Friday, as clubs entered in robots that fought on a make-shift stage with glass windows. The battles brought sizable crowds of students who watched the battles from around the stage and on the second floor of the union. Judges determined who won and lost the battles depending on which robot took the most damage.

“Battle bots would have to be my favorite event,” said Karan Boom Shah, a freshman mechanical and aerospace engineering major. “We're trying to use the same robot from the last two years, but we have changed the whole design of it.”

The week featured more than just the competitions, as it was also meant for engineering students and organizations to come together and get to know one another.

An engineering club community outreach was held at the Buffalo Museum of Science on Feb. 22.

The Order of the Engineer ceremony was held in the Student Union Theater on Wednesday. After raising their right hand and repeating the oath, each student received a silver ring that shows other engineers that they have been inducted into the order.

Kimberly Bashualdo, a senior civil engineering major, said it’s interesting that engineers have their own code of ethics and that the ceremony “gives importance to engineers.”

Christine Human, associate dean for accreditation and student affairs for the school of engineering and applied sciences, said over 240 students participated in the ceremony and that it was the highest attendance in five years.

Following the ceremony was the UB Schmoozing networking event that gave students an opportunity to meet with local businesses and alumni in Davis Hall.

But most of all, Engineering Week is a time for engineers to test their skills and compete with their peers.

Mack Ward, a senior computer science and mathematics major, said the week and winning competitions “gives you bragging rights above all the other engineering clubs.”

Jashonda Williams is a news staff writer and can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com