Study Engineering Abroad in Germany

Here’s an excerpt from our Encounter Engineering in Europe (E3) 2016 study abroad group. You can see all of their posts from the summer on their website at http://2016lsue3.wix.com/geaux

“Worth the Trek” by Estin Field

Our day began early as we headed out to Corratec, a company who designs and assembles a wide variety of bikes. After a long train ride, we wandered through the city until we finally found our destination. Corratec was like no other excursion we have had so far; we were not led by a tour guide, but instead their head research and development engineer. Because he was an engineer he was able to explain the design process in great detail. Before our tour began, we had a special visitor: the CEO and founder of Corratec. He was happy to have us there, and answered any questions we had. He mentioned that his job gets harder everyday as his company expands. When asked about the vision he had for his company, he said he wanted to be different from other bike companies, and to also follow a different path than his father before him.

Corratec1

After beginning the tour I was very surprised. The process began with a single, human worker attaching spokes to rim that were reinforced by an automated machine. The worker also had assistance from high-tech machine spinning the rim as she attached the spokes. This was a big difference from BMW and Porsche, who have robots assembling their products. The bikes were then moved through the shop by hooks that moved on a track on the ceiling. Human workers assembled various parts of the frames as the hooks came by.

After finishing the factory tour, we were shown the engineering office. There, they used SolidWorks to design various bike components and overall products. This is the same program Mrs. Paige Davis taught many of us in her CM 1020 class.  We learned how they design and make prototype models for future bikes. Overall, this was one of the most interesting factory tours we’ve had, and definitely one of my favorites!

Corratec2

Encounter Engineering at LSU Before School Starts

Encounter Engineering (E2) Camp begins in just a few weeks for our incoming class of 2019. For you younger students out there, here’s some more information about our camp and a blog from a student who’s not only attended the camp herself, but worked for it as an upperclassmen.

About Encounter Engineering
Encounter Engineering (E2) is a one week bridge camp hosted the week before the fall semester each year. It introduces incoming engineering, construction management, and computer science first-year students to the College of Engineering and helps them transition from high school to college mindsets. Dedicated staff, counselors, and peer mentors work hard to give these students everything they need to succeed. Each group of incoming freshmen is paired with a peer mentor that is either currently in the student’s preferred major or a major of interest in the College of Engineering. Peer mentors guide students through a variety of activities, lead design and professional development sessions, and host evening activities with industry personnel.


Giselle Medina

Giselle Medina

Hi, my name is Giselle Medina, and I am currently a senior in mechanical engineering at Louisiana State University as well as a peer mentor for the Society of Peer Mentors. I am originally from Beaumont, Texas, so coming to LSU not knowing anyone else in engineering was stressful to think about.

As an incoming freshmen, participating in Encounter Engineering (E2) created a smooth transition from high school to college academics. One of the great things that my family and I liked about this camp is that I got to move in a week early and adjust to the campus before college classes even started. This was such a comfort since I was able to become familiar with the buildings and campus a week in advance. While this was great, I quickly realized how much more this program had to offer.

A few weeks before camp even started, I remember getting an email from my peer mentor introducing herself and telling me all about Encounter Engineering. Just this simple act was enough to get me excited! I could not wait! The first day of camp, my parents and I went to the theater in the LSU Student Union and were introduced to our peer mentor and student groups. After that, I remember saying goodbye to my parents, going to my residence hall, and making friends with other campers immediately. Not only was this camp an eye opener to life as an engineering student at LSU, but it was a great way for me to make friends and get to know students before school even started!

I remember the first few days were super eventful. We were working on a Rube Goldberg design project with our team which helped us get a better understanding of what engineering was like. A Rube Goldberg is a project where you complete a simple task in as many steps as possible. We were given a limited amount of supplies with some “currency” we could use at a “shop” in case we wanted to buy more supplies. The team with the most steps, least amount of money spent, and a successful Rube Goldberg would win the contest. Unfortunately, my team did not win, but it was still a fun and insightful experience!

Students at Encounter Engineering camp

Students at Encounter Engineering camp

I also attended mock calculus and physics classes during camp and met some of my future professors. I knew my calculus and physics professor before school even started! Each class was set up to be an example of what an actual college class was like. This proved to be another big help for me because I had a better understanding of what to expect. Towards the end of E2, we all attended a large industry dinner with industry personnel from different companies. This was a huge opportunity for us since we were able to network with professionals before our other classmates.

One of my favorite parts about the camp was the academic discussions with peer mentors and faculty about transitioning into college, as well as how to keep up good grades and a social life. No one can give better advice than a student who has been in your shoes and has gone through the classes you will be going through. The entire experience was invaluable and definitely helped prepare me for my first day. Without E2, I would not have met the friends I currently have today. I would not have had a role model and mentor in my major that I could go to for advice or academic help. Most importantly, I would not have become a peer mentor and helped other incoming freshmen as I do today.

So why should you consider Encounter Engineering? I would say for a few reasons. It has been observed that students who went attended the E2 camp were more likely to stay in the College of Engineering and succeed in their classes versus students who didn’t participate. Just one week of mock classes, team building, discussions, design challenges, and more led to tremendous outcomes. Also, students are given a valuable connection through Encounter Engineering – their peer mentor. My first summer as a peer mentor, I had a group of four students. Even after camp was over, I kept in contact with most of them. I was able to give them study aid books and online copies of my textbooks that helped them in their freshmen classes. I was able to answer any questions they had about the campus or the College of Engineering. I was able to give them advice about mechanical engineering classes, and it simply goes on from there. The last reason, and a big reason why I participated, was because it gave my parents and me peace of mind about starting college. My parents knew that I would be in good hands and learn from the program. I knew that I had an extra week to learn about LSU, learn from upperclassmen in the College of Engineering, and meet my classmates before school started.

– Giselle Medina
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

For more information about Encounter Engineering, please visit our website at www.eng.lsu.edu/current/freshmen/e2.

Summer Camps for High School Students

XCITE lab group

XCITE lab group

Dozens of high-achieving high school students converge on LSU’s campus each summer to learn about the various disciplines available at the College of Engineering. The Recruiting into Engineering High Ability Multicultural Students (REHAMS) and Xploration Camp Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers (XCITE) LSU Residential Summer Camps introduce students to construction management, computer science, and engineering through workshops designed to teach through hands-on, problem-solving exercises. The camps staff partners with LSU faculty and industry professionals to create novel programming that connects what are often abstract scientific and mathematical concepts to students’ everyday experiences.

This year, the College’s Assistant Manager for Recruiting, Terrica Jamison, begins her tenure as the administrator of the camps. She is bursting with ideas to enhance campers’ weeklong stay on campus, and she eagerly shared them with The Engineered Tiger.

What are you most excited about as you prepare for 2015 REHAMS and XCITE?

I meet with thousands of students across Louisiana and beyond in my role as the College’s assistant manager for recruiting, and I often encounter talented high schoolers who either don’t know much about engineering or don’t think they would fit in at the College. REHAMS and XCITE give me additional avenues to introduce students from all walks of life to engineering and show them at it is a viable option for them.

Students at the PERTT Lab

Students at the PERTT Lab

What will be different about REHAMS and XCITE this year?

My staff and I are focused on building lasting connections between engineering and the students’ everyday lives. The challenge my staff, and both our LSU and industry partners face, then, is to show the students that they already engage in the type of problem solving that successful engineers, construction managers, and computer scientists use in the professional world. That’s a tall order in just one week! My approach this year is to teach by doing, so participants should expect innovative programming that presents them with real world problems they can solve to improve the lives of others. Students might be building a robot one day and creating an app the next. I haven’t finalized the schedule yet, but nothing is off the table.

I have also prioritized student-to-student interaction. It can be difficult (and a bit intimidating!) for students to situate themselves within the engineering discipline exclusively through their interactions with tenured faculty and established professionals. I want the students to visualize themselves here as successful LSU engineers, so I’m working with faculty to incorporate some of their top graduate students into the camp curricula. Additionally, I am also asking our industry partners to make junior members of their staff who are LSU alumni available to meet with the campers whenever possible. Our students and graduates are what make the LSU College of Engineering such a powerful force, and we want to capitalize on those resources by showing the campers the elite corps of aspiring and working engineers they can join if they work hard.

In the past, REHAMS and XCITE included general sessions about college life. Will you continue that tradition?

Absolutely! For some of our students those sessions are their first exposure to college prep, and helping to bring college within reach for all of our campers is one of my top priorities. Both REHAMS and XCITE will include a visit to LSU’s new Olinde Career Center, where they will learn about proper interview dress and techniques. They will also attend sessions with Enrollment Management and Student Aid & Scholarships, where LSU staff will go through the college, scholarship, and financial aid application processes in detail.

Speaking of application process, have the REHAMS or XCITE applications changed?

The selection process will be more competitive moving forward, so yes, I have made a few changes. The selection committees will place greater weight on the students’ motivations for attending the camps, so we increased the space allotted to student essays. We will evaluate the essays for both purpose and clarity and give preference to those who can best articulate how they will use what they learn at the camps to forge a pathway to a career in engineering, construction management, or computer science.

We are also asking parents and students to return all application materials, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and the non-refundable $25 application fee, together in one packet. Applications are available on the Summer Camps page on the College’s website, and all materials are due by close of business on April 24th.

REHAMS lab group

REHAMS group and their student leader

Do you have any final thoughts for aspiring engineers who want to attend REHAMS or XCITE?

The College established REHAMS and XCITE to provide students from diverse communities an opportunity to create and experiment in a collaborative yet competitive environment that exposes them to life as a college student. I have one piece of advice for students out there reading this who are excited about the prospect of participating in one of the camps but unsure of whether or not they have what it takes to be engineers: Apply! You have potential; let us show you how far it can take you if you’re willing to work hard and invest in your own success.

REHAMS LSU Residential Engineering Camp

Dates: June 14-20, 2015
Location: LSU Campus
Application deadline: April 24, 2015
The cost of the camp is $400, inclusive of room and board, and there is a non-refundable $25 application fee.

XCITE LSU Residential Engineering Camp

Dates: July 12-18, 2015
Location: LSU Campus
Application deadline: April 24, 2015
The cost of the camp is $400, inclusive of room and board, and there is a non-refundable $25 application fee.

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available to qualified students. Check the REHAMS 2015 Application and XCITE 2015 Application on the Summer Camps website (www.eng.lsu.edu/prospective/camps) for eligibility requirements and guidelines.