Tuesday, April 9, 2013

UNO Electrical Engineering Students Take Home Top Prizes in IEEE Robotics and Ethics Contests

2013 IEEE R5 Robotics ContestEVE Reloaded by UNO's SM^2 Robotics attempts to collect a disc during competition.

Fifteen students from the University of New Orleans Electrical Engineering Department made waves last week in a top-flight robotics contest, with two teams representing the University and one taking first prize. A pair of undergraduate students also took home a top prize in a related ethics contest.

UNO was well-represented at the 2013 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Region 5 Conference and Student Contests, held April 6-7 in Denver, Colo., said UNO Professor of Electrical Engineering and Interim Associate Dean Edit J. Kaminsky Bourgeois. The 15 UNO engineering students present participated in professional training sessions and all student competitions during the weekend event, which also included the region's annual business meeting, billed as a "Leadership Meet." They competed in the circuit design, ethics, robotics and student paper events and heard from members and guest speakers on topics ranging from women in engineering to professional activities.

Two UNO teams competed against more than 30 other university teams in the regional conference's annual robotics contest and Team ADONIS took first place. Eliot Casstanza, Jonathan Hooker, Ryan Masanz, Alvaro Varela and Michael Wren proudly received the $800 first place award during the conference award ceremony April 6.

Undergraduate students Rachel Hoffman and Gregory Williamson served as a prize-winning pair. Together they took second place in the conference's Ethics Contest and received a monetary award and recognition during the awards dinner.

IEEE, pronounced "Eye-Triple-E", is "dedicated to advancing innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity" and is the world's largest technical professional society, according to the association.

Region 5 of the association includes more than 25,000 members and more than 100 University/College branches from the states of Kansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming, Arizona and Illinois, as well as 26 local sections and 186 technical society chapters, according to Jim Jefferies, director.

The organization "is designed to serve professionals involved in all aspects of the electrical, electronic and computing fields and related areas of science and technology that underlie modern civilization," according to program literature.

The UNO College of Engineering boasts the only civil engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering program in the greater New Orleans area.

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