Dr. Welch discusses the impact of the Moonbuggy competition on CBU Engineering students

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20th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race and Alumni & Friends Reception
Thursday • April 25, 2013 • 6:00-7:00 p.m.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Galaxy Dining Room

Please join Dr. John Smarrelli Jr., Brother Louis Althaus & Dr. Eric Welch for drinks & hors d’oeuvres, check out this year’s CBU Moonbuggy and meet current CBU Engineering students! RSVP at alumni@cbu.edu or (800) 283-2925.

We also encourage you to take a look at the interview below with Dr. Eric Welch, Dean of School of Engineering. In the interview, Dr. Welch discusses the impact of the Moonbuggy competition on CBU Engineering students.
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WelchWhat impact does the Moonbuggy competition have on current students?  Why is this such a key part of their education?
Mechanical engineering students have an opportunity to design, build and test a vehicle that has to meet a very specific set of design specifications.  Then they use their design to compete against teams from all around the world.  This is exactly what is expected of engineering professionals in today’s market.  You are designing and implementing systems that have to meet a variety of standards and be competitive on the world stage.  Being part of this competition allows them to gain  necessary experience in a fun, competitive environment.

Why is it so important for students to meet successful Engineering alumni specifically in Huntsville?
Meeting successful engineering alumni benefits students in a number of ways.  In particular, it helps motivate lower division students by helping them understand what an engineering education offers them in terms of opportunities.  For seniors, having connections with alumni in the area provides a network that helps them identify employment opportunities with many extremely successful firms.

Why do you think CBU has such a strong alumni base in Huntsville?
A number of graduates ended up in Huntsville as a direct result of Apollo and Space Shuttle NASA space programs. Since that time, CBU’s network of graduates has established a strong reputation in the area.  This network helps recruit new graduates into the Huntsville area.

You have been going to this alumni event for two years. What makes this so special for you?
The greatest part of being a CBU engineering faculty member is seeing the success of our students and graduates.  Every time I go to Huntsville for the Moonbuggy competition, I get to visit with alumni and hear how CBU has impacted their lives.  I always come back impressed with the accomplishments of our graduates and motivated to help the next generation of graduates achieve similar success.