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Northeastern hosts NSF engineering conference

Students of all ages came together on Sunday to kick off the National Science Foundation’s annual Engineering Research and Innovation Conference, which is being hosted by Northeastern University’s College of Engineering.

The conference will focus on transforming the engineering field through the formation of robust partnerships with academia, industry and society.

Pre-conference events included K-12 STEM outreach activities; a graduate-level boot camp dedicated to helping students build their future career networks; and a future faculty workshop hosted by Northeastern ADVANCE, an NSF-funded pro­gram designed to increase the rep­re­sen­ta­tion and advance­ment of women and minori­ties in aca­d­emic sci­ence and engi­neering careers.

Michael Bunis, a litigator with Choate Hall and Stewart LLP, discussed intellectual-property concerns; Penn State University associate professor Michael Alley offered strategies for effectively presenting engineering research; and freelance health and science journalists Carol Morton and Karen Weintraub lead an interactive session aimed toward improving engineers’ engagement with media and the public.

Some 2000 engineers from around the country will converge at the Hynes Convention Center on Monday to present NSF-funded research through lectures and poster sessions. Ten Northeastern grantees are among the presenters, including engineering professor Constantinos Mavroidis; civil and envi­ron­mental engi­neering professor Peter Furth; and associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering Yung Joon Jung. Both graduate and undergraduate students will present another 21 research posters.

Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun will address the attendees in a keynote speech focused on the strategies with which research universities will confront future funding and scientific challenges.

Directly following the conference, the NSF-funded George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation will host its annual Quake Summit. The organization focuses on developing the innovations necessary to reduce the impact of seismic disasters. Northeastern civil and environmental engineering professor Dionisio Bernal and associate professor Mehrdad Sasani will present their research.

Of this year’s conference theme, Stephen Director, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said “partnerships reflect one of Northeastern’s core values from partnering with industry in education through our grounding in cooperative education to partnering with industry, government and other universities that are fundamental to our many centers of excellence.”