Thursday, April 16, 2015

University of New Orleans Presents STEM Lecture for Undergraduate Majors

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The University of New Orleans presents two riveting lectures this week designed to spotlight undergraduate majors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The first is a student talk centered around tunnel boring machines and how they work. The second is a free lecture sponsored by the Division of International Education on UNO study and research abroad opportunities for STEM majors and how to fund them.

Tunnel boring machines used to excavate railroad, metro, road and water tunnels around the world cost more than $20 million each and take more than a year to build, said UNO Civil Engineering senior Dallas Rolnick, who will present a lecture introducing tunnel boring machines and their operation.

"Costing over $20 million dollars per machine and taking more than a year to build, Tunnel Boring Machines are economical only for excavating tunnels over 2.5 miles in length," Rolnick said in a statement. "But rapid advance rates and high level of automation make TBMs critical equipment for metro, railroad, road and water tunnel projects around the world."

UNO boasts the only civil engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering program in New Orleans, as well as a School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. The electrical engineering program is divided into two concentrations of study in computer and power engineering.

In spring 2014, Rolnick conducted research in Austria, where the University of New Orleans' flagship study abroad program is based in Innsbruck. Rolnick studied tunneling projects and modes of tunnel excavation, focusing his research especially on the ongoing Brenner Base Tunnel Project between Austria and Italy.

Rolnick's research was funded with more than $11,000 in scholarships and awards accessed through the University of New Orleans’ Division of International Education. Following his lecture, representatives of the Division of International Education will give a brief information session for students interesting in studying and doing research abroad. Funding opportunities discussed will include the Austrian Marshall Plan Scholarship, the Fulbright Award, UNO Ambassador Awards and other options for financial assistance.

The lecture is free and open to the public.  Interested students in all departments are encouraged to attend.  Refreshments will be served.

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