During the first weekend in April, over two hundred people gathered in Austin, Texas for a weekend full of speakers, workshops, networking, and fun at the 2017 ESW Annual Conference. This year's conference offered new opportunities for a growing number of professional members in addition to a wide range of content for student members. After the conference, ESW Executive Brittany Bennett said, "Every year we bring together some of the brightest minds in engineering to figure out what it means to build a better world. From the conversations I saw to the creativity at the design challenge, I know this upcoming year will have a lot in store for us."
This year's conference theme was Accelerate, focusing on how to effectively and impactfully move forward your project, career, business, and more. Speakers and content showed the range of this theme: we learned from 5 former ESW-UT chapter presidents how to run an ESW chapter to get great projects done. We learned about the future of energy from a range of perspectives: solar installers, utilities, energy efficiency experts, and more. We learned how to use tools like Autodesk's Fusion 360 to visualize and quantify our design ideas. And we learned about how to accelerate sustainability in traditional engineering fields and startups from our three keynotes: Dana Callender (DevInc.), Erika Guerra (LeighHanson Inc.), and Jennifer Walsh (Covestro).
This year, we introduced a new format for the Inter-Chapter Challenge (ICC) that brought student members together from different chapters. The ICC was two-pronged: teams had to work together to complete a scavenger hunt throughout Austin and design sustainable housing and food systems for a hypothetical Olympic Village. One participant said that the challenge allowed them to "work on a task force as if I were a professional engineer. Just bouncing ideas off of peers was rewarding enough, but by giving us a project, it activated critical thinking and leadership opportunities unlike any classroom opportunities."
Thanks again to everyone who attended the 2017 ESWcon - we hope you enjoyed spending time with ESW members from throughout North America, and we hope you'll join us next year, April 6-8, 2018, at the Georgia Insitute of Technology in Atlanta, GA! We'd also like to thank the ESW-UT conference planning team, especially conference chair Ananna Anu, and the ESW-HQ events coordinator Alyssa Recinella.
Check out pictures from the conference on our Flickr page.
During the banquet at our Annual Conference, we honored several members and chapters who are doing great work and showing it off. Congratulations to all these amazing people!
Anthony Rusignuolo, Stevens Institute of Technology
Brandon Simons, Illinois Institute of Technology
Rachel Starr, Illinois Institute of Technology
Harvey Mudd College
Illinois Institute of Technology
Stevens Institute of Technology
Texas A&M University
University of California, San Diego
Fourth Annual Photo Contest
Projects Winner: University of California, San Diego
Education Winner: California State University, Long Beach
Community Winner: University at Buffalo