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Preparing students for careers in Science, Tech, Engineering & Math

More than rocket science

A group of freshmen gather by the canal in the center of campus. This is the rocket launch, a day when students in the Introduction to Engineering class test out their model rocket creations to see how far and how well they fly. If they are lucky, the rocket will go up about 100 feet and glide back to earth on a properly packed parachute. If it goes wrong, then it’s back to the drawing board.

The rocket launch is part of the final project in the engineering class taught by Dr. José Sánchez, Director of Engineering Programs and Associate Professor of Earth Space Science. Students develop the model rocket then run a simulation of the launch and the flight, modifying the design if necessary. When they have a final design, they go to one of three 3D printers that are available in the Makerspace, an innovative and collaborative area available for faculty and students that also includes a laser cutter, power tools, and sewing machines. Students “print” and assemble their rockets and head out to the testing grounds.

“This rocket build and launch is very much like the flow of design that you’d see in an actual engineering department,” Dr. Sánchez said. “Many students at other schools don’t get to work on projects like these until their senior year, and we are doing this right from the start.”

Positive energy

Students from the University of Indianapolis and Indiana University-Purdue University are working to answer the question of how Indiana's economy compares in the way of susainable energy production. The first in a series of public meetings throughout Indianapolis was held at UIndy Hall on January 31, 2017. Hosted by former Mayor Greg Ballard, visiting fellow with the Institute of Civic Leadership and Mayoral Archives at UIndy, and moderated by Scott Uecker, General Manager of WICR-FM, the gathering was part of the discussion that will inform the Indiana Advanced Energy Plan that will be presented to the Indiana State Legislature in April. The students are developing a proposal to guide Indiana toward a sustainable energy policy for the next generation.(Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)

When it comes to talking about an energy plan for the State of Indiana, 10 students from the University of Indianapolis and two students from Indiana University-–Purdue University Indianapolis are making their voices heard. As part of a year-long internship, these 12 students from a variety of majors and several countries are putting together a plan dubbed the Indiana Advanced Energy Project.

“The purpose of this project is to write an energy plan that can be converted to legislative language to tell the State of Indiana what this younger generation is thinking about energy  and which way they would like to see it go.” – Visiting Fellow and former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard

Visiting Fellow and former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard developed this idea last year and has invited several experts to campus to speak to the students about alternative energy sources such as solar and wind, fossil-fuel usage and other issues related to transportation and energy delivery methods. The group will give a formal presentation to state legislators later this spring.

Junior Liv Reuter is an art education major who has enjoyed the experience to work with other students. “Everyone brings something different to the table,” she said. “We want to make a difference and are excited to see the changes we can bring.”

Eyes in the skies: UIndy team helps Harvard scientists with climate study

img_2236-copyWhen a group of Harvard University scientists needed assistance in Indianapolis last summer, a team at the University of Indianapolis was able to respond. Led by Dr. Levi Mielke, assistant professor of chemistry, six undergraduates from four academic departments were able to help the scientists in their study of greenhouse gas emissions in Marion County. Students also helped to launch weather balloons and to choose a field location for one of the methane sensors in the project.

Job outlook spotlight: Engineering

UIndy offers two new degrees in the fast-growing fields of Software Engineering and Industrial & Systems Engineering. The University is one of only a few Indiana institutions to offer these innovative engineering programs, which provide students with authentic design opportunities invigorated by a general education core that develops well-rounded professionals.