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National Leader of Engineering Education Speaks at Conference Hosted by Herff College of Engineering at the University of Memphis
For release: April 15, 2008
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843

Sarah Rajala, president-elect of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), was the guest speaker for the Southeast (SE) Section Annual Conference held April 6-8 at the University of Memphis’ Herff College of Engineering. Rajala is department head of electrical and computer engineering and holds the James W. Bagley endowed chair at Mississippi State University.

ASEE SE president Cecelia Wigal welcomed 175 conference attendees, which included engineering faculty, staff, and students from 60 universities across the Southeast. Well-known entrepreneur Jim Phillips, now managing director of Pinnacle Investments, kicked off the conference as keynote speaker, focusing on the theme “Building Bridges: Making the Connections that Facilitate Engineering Education.”

More than 100 engineering education experts presented technical sessions, and 25 student teams participated in three poster competitions. Navid Jafari, a student in the Herff College’s Department of Civil Engineering, won both the undergraduate research division and best overall category.

“This is the first time that the Herff College of Engineering has hosted this event, and attendees focused on the communities with which engineering educators interact, including K-12, student, professional and academic communities,” said Herff Dean Dick Warder. “They also had opportunities to sample the culture of our city.”

Warder attributes the success of the conference to the many people who worked over many months to plan and organize the conference, including conference chair Paul Palazolo, assistant dean of the College and a faculty member in civil engineering.

The Herff College of Engineering offers undergraduate programs in biomedical, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering and in computer, electronics and manufacturing engineering technology. Graduate programs are offered in biomedical (in partnership with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center), computer, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering and in engineering technology.

Founded in 1893, the American Society for Engineering Education is a nonprofit organization of individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology. ASEE's 12,000+ members include deans, department heads, faculty members, students, and government and industry representatives from all disciplines of engineering and engineering technology. Its organizational membership is composed of 400 engineering and engineering technology colleges and affiliates, more than 50 corporations, and numerous government agencies and professional associations.

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