Photo of the E-Week planning committee

Q&A with the students behind Engineers Week (plus info on events, prizes, free T-shirts and more)

Since its founding by the National Society of Professional Engineers over 70 years ago, Engineers Week—often referred to as E-Week—has been a way to recognize how engineers make a difference in the world.

“It’s not a week of technical work. It’s about celebrating the problem solving that engineers do and opening it up for everyone to experience,” said fourth-year environmental engineering student Abby Slates. 

Each year, student organizations from Case School of Engineering come together to plan Case Western Reserve University’s celebration. Set to take place from Friday, Feb. 17, through Saturday, Feb. 25, this year, the CWRU theme—“Engineering Through the Ages”—will showcase the impact of engineering throughout history with a variety of activities such as competitions, trivia and networking. The full E-Week schedule is available on Case School of Engineering’s website.

To learn more, The Daily sat down with four members of the Engineers Week Planning Committee who represent other student groups on campus: Abby Slates (Peer Advisors), Rober Carrillo (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers), Summer Sun (Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable) and Eileen Petros (Peer Advisors).

Q: What is E-Week?

Slates: E-Week is just a time to celebrate engineering and the thought process that goes behind it!

Petros: E-Week is a celebration of engineering! This translates to tons of fun events from clubs and offices across campus.

Carrillo: At CWRU, it is the celebration of the accomplishments and ingenuity of students, alumni and staff in the field of STEM. Throughout the week there are student- and staff-led activities that encourage the whole CWRU community to tap into their engineering side, have fun and develop valuable skills.

Q: What is your favorite part about E-Week?

Slates: I’m anticipating the most fun thing, other than planning, will really be seeing all the disciplines and years come together at the same events. You don’t always see a lot of that crossover, so that is a really nice part. Plus, we are excited to welcome students from other disciplines, outside of engineering, as well!

Petros: I love the t-shirts. I still have mine from freshman year which featured biomedical engineering so it was very cool to be part of the design process this year!

Q: Why should students from across the university participate and how can they get involved? 

Photo of Summer Sun posing for a photo with an E Week sign
Summer Sun

Sun: E-Week is mainly about engineering events, but it does not exclude the non-engineering major students. I’m not an engineering-major student! All the events are made to have fun, regardless of your major. We hope everyone can participate in the events and enjoy the moment. All the events are unique, and you can learn more details from our website and the @cwruengineering Instagram account. Sign up for any event on CampusGroups if you like!

Slates: I think a lot of people who are not engineers hear Engineers Week and think it’ll be a lot of science, math and physics, the technical things about engineering. It’s not about that! It’s about the mindset of engineering—how we think and problem solve. None of the events will be like classes or technical! And, of course, you can get free food, great prizes and extra credit for some classes (like Math 122). 

Q: What can attendees expect at your events?

Sun: We are hosting the Lightbulb Drop event as we have in the past. Attendees can expect to build stable lightbulbs in teams with materials provided. After they drop the lightbulbs off from the staircase in KSL, the teams who do not break their lightbulbs or only have minor damage will win prizes. Everyone is welcome to join and have fun!

Slates: Oh my goodness! So much. Our event is Battle for Case. There will be teams of 4-5 people which you can select on CampusGroups ahead of time (or you can sign up as an individual or pair and be placed into teams at the event). We plan to have about 20 groups. We will give teams a series of three different challenges and a bag of materials. They can use anything in that bag to complete the goals we share with them. Teams get points and the team with the most will walk away with $500 cash. There will also be prizes for 2nd and 3rd place, as well as a creativity prize, and food will be provided by Jolly Scholar. 

Carrillo: At the SHPE Ship Race, we put to the test our knowledge of different physical properties. We have to create a “ship” out of everyday items that is available to sustain different weights and move by the power of wind without capsizing or breaking apart! The best boats receive prizes. There will be tacos, prizes, information about our club and members, learning about buoyancy, and having fun of course!

2023 schedule—and where to find free food and big prizes

This year, the committee is putting on 12 events, many of which will involve free food and t-shirts. Plus, winners at some events can take home prizes! Visit the Case School of Engineering website for additional information on the week’s schedule.

  • Feb. 17: WISER Lightbulb Drop *†
  • Feb. 18: Case Engineers Council Lego Bridge Building Challenge *
  • Feb. 19: Medical Technology Group x SWE RePlay for Kids 
  • Feb. 20: Peer Advisors Medieval Battle for Case *†
  • Feb. 21: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Ship Challenge *†
  • Feb. 21: Case Engineers Council Jolly Scholar Trivia Night *†
  • Feb. 22: Division of Engineering Leadership & Professional Practice Engineering Networking †
  • Feb. 23: The Engineering Game: Student, faculty and alumni showdown
  • Feb. 24: Society of Women Engineers Networking Game Day †
  • Feb. 24: Case Engineers Council Scavenger Hunt *
  • Feb. 25: National Society of Black Engineers Squid Games *
  • All Week: Leonard Gelfand STEM Center BIPOC Showcase through the years

* prizes for winners
† food provided