ECE sweeps Mr. Engineer

Get ready for closed systems, breadboards, and moments. No, you didn’t stumble into a lab: next week is National Engineers Week, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Upcoming campus activities range from this afternoon’s paper airplane design competition in Kirr Commons to a game of Human Foosball Tuesday 2–4 p.m. in Skibo Gym.

And what better way to kick off E-week than a pageant? Enter Mr. Engineer. Mr. E is smart, talented, creative, and can mass balance his way out of anything. Representing the seven disciplines in CIT (and “undecided”), those competing went head-to-head last Friday in a contest of brains, brawn, and… more brains — contestants had to take the sines and cosines of unknown angles, for example. Chemical engineers went unrepresented, however, as no one accepted a nomination for Mr. ChemE. The panel of judges consisted of CIT students, faculty members, and administrators.

“SWE’s engineering week committee discussed a few ideas to start the week’s festivities,” explained host Estee Barbuto, a junior ChemE and active SWE member. “We thought that Mr. Engineer would be a fun way to start [E-week] and that it would bring together various departments of engineering.” Besides that, SWE had one other motivation: charity. The proceeds from Mr. Engineer will benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Before the first round of competition, Barbuto presented facts about breast cancer.

Mr. Engineer began with a talent competition. Mr. BME, Junior MechE/BME double major Vince Chiodo wowed the audience with his skills on the turntables. Mr. CivE, sophomore Doug Facemyer, took on the persona of the Illusionist. Also quarterback for the Tartans, Facemyer mystified the crowd with his magic tricks — straight up Arrested Development style. An impressive candidate was Mr. EPP, junior MechE/EPP double major Scott Fortune. Fans were mesmerized as Fortune showed off his dance moves in a red duct tape Thriller-esque vest and matching shorts.

Taking place after a brief intermission, the second portion of the competition was Engineer Your Own Outfit Using Duct Tape. Already impressed with Fortune’s duct-tape outfit, the audience was eager to see everyone else’s creations. Mr. Mystery, undecided first-year Robert Wiegmann, made a three-piece suit that actually looked wearable. Slightly less businesslike was Mr. MSE, sophomore MSE/BME double major Magnus Gan, who later revealed that he had turned on the TV and made the first thing he saw — unfortunately, that happened to be a dominatrix outfit, whip included.

The last event was the question-and-answer portion. Chosen at random, the questions ranged from “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” to “What exactly is engineering?” Mr. MechE, junior Brad Camburn, fielded the question, “Which element do you aspire to be and why?” Camburn explained that he would like to be fluorine, which has the highest electronegativity and can therefore “bond with everyone.”

In the end, the first-ever Mr. Engineer was Mr. ECE, fifth-year Bowei Gai. “My true joy of this talent comes with sharing it with everyone and seeing the smiles on their faces,” Bowei said during his talent showcase. Earlier, Gai entertained the audience with his ability to predict free food anywhere on campus on a given date (within two weeks, of course), not to mention his unbelievable duct-tape Transformers suit. It wasn’t Ms. America, but Mr. Engineer still helped to kick off E-week with style — even if it was made out of duct tape.