By John Usher
As we slog our way through one of the coldest winters in many years, it is important to realize that Spring is really just around the corner. While this semester just got started, we’ll be in finals week before you know it. Excuse the engineering play on words, but we all know that Springs can contain a lot of potential energy. If you don’t believe me, watch a loaded garage door spring unwind (from a safe distance please) and you’ll see what I mean. The point is that Spring is a time when the weather warms, and our graduates emerge with an unlimited amount of potential energy. I always look forward to this time of year when we can finally see the true fruits of our academic labor. Students will no doubt be stressed getting that senior design project done, those last exams completed and the their grades posted before May Commencement. I would urge them to keep working hard, moving forward with a positive attitude, and embracing the new challenges that lie ahead. I can say the same for our faculty and staff who will be part of many changes, (including new curricula, building renovations, new faculty hires, process improvements, and more). All of these changes are loading the spring, so to speak, and creating a great deal of potential energy here at Speed School.
Last week the Speed Advising Office welcomed back its students, beginning the Spring 2014 semester! This was the first time first year students registered for classes without a Block that was given to them during Orientation. Although there were some bumps along the way, it was great to see everything settle in officially and classes begin! For our 2nd and 3rd year students, we are very proud of the group of students that just were admitted into their department. They will be attending the co-op seminar class this semester and are starting to look for co-ops for the summer. Now in the office, the big prep for advising season is beginning, and we are seeing somewhat of a “calm before the storm.” Though calm is always relative!
After a highly successful fall semester at the Engineering Living Learning Community (ELLC), we are looking forward to starting up programming again for the spring! The programs happen roughly every other Tuesday evening. This semester’s projected programs include: study habits and tricks of the trade, preparing for co-ops, lessons from the Health and Wellness Office, and visits from upper level students. There are also community building and stress relief events.
This has been one of our most active group of ELLC students since its first year. Last semester’s most highly attended programs were a robotics demonstration through the Electrical Department, and an informal panel of Speed upperclassmen that described their experiences within Speed School as well as their various co-ops.
After the main Housing form is completed, applications for the 2014 incoming class can be found at https://louisville.edu/housing/housingoptions/oncampus/llc/engineering.html.
Because faculty now have access to instructional videos (See December Post) for approximately one third of the content that was formerly delivered by lecture in Engineering Analysis I, faculty have more exciting options for how to use that time! This semester, Dr. Jeff Hieb is using that time to have his students meet in the newly renovated classroom, JS LL16, where he is working to implement collaborative learning. Students work together on some homework problems and the number of problems they have to submit individually is reduced. The department is carefully studying this pilot group, and if this proves beneficial, we hope that eventually more EF classes will include collaborative learning.
This week, the U of L Steel Bridge team submitted their final bridge design to the fabrication students at Elizabethtown Community & Technical College! The team is very excited to move forward; they are now working on completing the shop drawings for the folks at ECTC. Additionally, they plan to work with the CAD department at ECTC, so that all students involved can truly benefit from this collaborative process. Many thanks to the ECTC faculty for continuing to make this happen! The Steel Bridge Team looks forward to seeing their project come to life!