You know when it’s the time for E-Week: the banners hang over Dana Engineering and a herd of engineering students file in and out of the building. Every year, during the week encompassing George Washington’s birthday – Feb. 22 – engineering colleges across the United States host National Engineers Week.
The tradition was started by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951 to honor both the hardships and contributions of engineering students and George Washington, who is regarded as the country’s first engineer. During E-week, engineers participate in a number of activities, ranging from banner-making competitions to involvement with the local community. These activities all culminate in a dinner on Saturday–this year Feb. 23–where the winner of the Golden Hammer is announced.
Engineering students began hanging banners for each major on Feb. 19. All of the banners incorporate pop culture references, jokes, or relevant topics while cheering on their specific discipline. “It’s a fun activity because you get to know your classmates outside of the classroom,” Leah Mertz ’22, an environmental engineer, said.
To win E-week, the engineering disciplines compete to get the most points. Of the eight majors, the reigning champions for the past four years have been the biomedical engineers. “It’s especially fun being a BME because we get to try and continue the legacy the department has been building,” Diana Wallet ’22, a biomedical engineer, said.
Catherine Sweeney ’22, a mechanical engineer, added that she looks forward to furthering relationships with upperclassmen who are also engineers. “There’s a mentality that maybe it’s time we just all team up against BME [biomedical engineers],” Sweeney said.
The longstanding traditions and sense of community that comes through the College of Engineering have been a distinct feature since its founding in 1893. This year’s E-week, however, is special, marking the 125th anniversary of the College of Engineering at the University.
“My favorite E-week memory has always been the dinner when you have the opportunity to meet those in your major of all class years and support one another,” Simran Jangra ’20, President of Society of Women Engineers, said.
Notwithstanding all the work engineers already have, every February they continue to dedicate a week to further their community and relationships and make academics fun through the spirit of competition.
“I think E-week is a great way to get some friendly competition between the different majors, while also doing some good. On Sunday [Feb. 17], we collectively put together an educational event for local Girl Scouts to teach them basic principles of engineering, which is awesome to get their young minds thinking about how engineering surrounds them every day,” Civil Engineering student Zach Forman ’20 said.