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A representative from BAE Systems, left, speaks with an engineering student at the recent Engineering Expo.

Excitement generated by the Engineering Professional Practice Office at UT was on display again recently as a record number of students turned out for the spring Engineering Expo.

All told, 427 students visited with potential employers, besting the mark of 416 set in 2013. Those students lined up more than 700 interviews for paid internship and co-op positions from the fifty-six companies in attendance.

“Whether seeking to add experience to their education through cooperative education or internship education assignments, this event is an important step for engineering students,” said Todd Reeves, director of the Engineering Professional Practice Office. “Those opportunities are vital for students who really want to set themselves apart.”

The expo followed the same format as previous years, with the first day being an open meet and greet at Thompson-Boling Arena while on the second students went through an interview process with interested companies.

Students line up while awaiting interviews at Thompson-Boling Arena on the second day of the recent Engineering Expo.

In addition to local corporations such as DENSO, Kimberly-Clark, KUB, and MAHLE, some of the more familiar participating companies included Altec, AT&T, BAE Systems, Cisco Systems, Colgate-Palmolive, ConAgra, DeRoyal, Emerson, ExxonMobil, Garmin, John Deere, Norfolk Southern, PepsiCo, Shaw Industries, and Southern Company.

As crucial as the event is for students, corporations also get the benefit of interacting with the next wave of engineering talent within UT’s College of Engineering.

“The students at the event were both professional and well prepared,” said Stephanie Matias, from Nashville-based Asurion. “UT should be quite proud of both their quality and their conduct.”

UT’s Engineering Professional Practice Office dates back to 1926 and is tasked with helping UT engineering students obtain co-op and internship experiences to prepare them for the transition from student to employee.

The office maintains relationships with more than 500 businesses and helps hundreds of students throughout the academic year.

Between 175 and 200 students find placement with companies during the academic year, with about 250 more finding placement with companies in the summer. Those placements often lead to future opportunities with the same company upon the student’s graduation.

“Going through the process of getting dressed up, discussing their resume with employers, talking about the kinds of engineering opportunities, and then participating in interviews is in itself a huge learning opportunity for our students,” said Reeves. “Each time they go through these events, students continue to gain confidence in themselves. The importance of that can’t be overlooked.”


David Goddard (865-974-0683,