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KNOXVILLE — More than 700 high school students from across the state will converge on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this month for Engineers Day, hosted by the UT College of Engineering (COE).

This annual event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 18, will draw future college engineering students from high schools across Tennessee to participate in discussions about engineering and see project demonstrations and exhibits.

The day’s opening session will take place in the Carolyn P. Brown University Center Ballroom, beginning at 10 a.m. Students will hear from Masood Parang, COE associate dean for student affairs, as well as guest speaker Way Kuo. Kuo is the dean of the COE and a university distinguished professor.

Visiting students also are encouraged to participate in a variety of competitions. The day’s signature competition is the Engineers Day Quiz Bowl. In this annual event, teams of four face off in a written examination. The top-scoring teams advance to the Quiz Bowl Semifinals, after which the two top teams advance to the Quiz Bowl Championship.

In addition to the quiz bowl, students can take part in two engineering challenges: the balsa bridge competition, which tests students’ ability to build a strong bridge from balsa wood; and the egg drop challenge, in which students create devices to protect an egg from cracking in a 32-foot drop.

Also at the event, the UT Challenge X team will kick off the fourth and final year of Challenge X, a nationwide sustainable vehicle design competition. UT, whose team is made up of graduate and undergraduate engineering students, is one of only 17 universities across the U.S. taking part in the competition. Team Tennessee has completely redesigned a Chevrolet Equinox into a hybrid vehicle running on electricity and biodiesel fuel, leading to improved fuel economy and reduced emissions.

The team will show the vehicle and its capabilities and innovations at a press conference beginning at 10:50 a.m. Challenge X is sponsored by General Motors, the U.S. Department of Energy and other organizations. Members of the press will have an opportunity to “Ride & Drive” with team members following the event. The press conference will take place in the Perkins Hall parking lot, 1516 Middle Way Dr. on the UT campus. In case of rain, the press conference will be inside Perkins Hall, and the Ride & Drive will still take place outside.

Engineers Day has been a UT tradition since 1912. UT engineering classes are dismissed during the event to provide an opportunity for COE students to interact with the high school students.

Kim Cowart, COE communications manager (865-974-0686,

Will Zhou, Engineers Day chairman (423-580-7928,

Jay Mayfield, UT media relations (865-974-9409,