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The Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering will host its first senior design expo at Thompson-Boling Arena on April 21, and it is inviting the campus community to attend.

The expo, which will be held on the concourse of the arena beginning at 1 p.m., will give seniors a chance to show off some of what they’ve been working on during their final year as undergraduates.

“We’ve got some really interesting things going on, and this is a way to help showcase some of that work while giving students the experience of presenting themselves and their research, which is something they will need when entering the workforce,” said Matthew Mench, head of the department.

Designed to help give the students exposure, seniors will display posters and give presentations and show off prototypes of their work to fellow students, faculty, staff and even some industry sponsors.

The top three presenters will win cash prizes of $500, $300, and $100, respectively.

While it might seem like the expo would only be of interest to a select group, Mench was quick to point out the real-world aspects of the work going on in his department.

“I know engineering can seem like a heavy topic to some, but it really impacts parts of life that people might not think about,” said Mench. “Everything from flying on an airplane to the latest breakthroughs in medicine and therapy are impacted by engineering, so I think being able to see what students are working on would hold some broad appeal.”

Now centered largely in the Nathan W. Dougherty Engineering Building, the department predates even the UT name, having begun in 1847 as a course in mechanical philosophies and mechanics in what was then known as East Tennessee University.

C O N T A C T :

David Goddard (865-974-0683,