As part of the School’s anniversary celebration, we're launching a 125th Commemorative Project which will document the recollections of faculty, staff, alumni and friends over the past several decades. We welcome your stories, memories, and observations about all things VUSE. We invite you to use this form to share your story: do you have anecdotes from your time on campus? Did you meet here the professor or friend whose influence shaped your life?
The bones of Featheringill Hall that house the minds of the engineering students are made of devoted students, continuing research, and 3am pizza deliveries for those all-nighters that I am sure engineering student at Vanderbilt has pulled at least once. For me, the engineering school is the reason for sparking my passion for renewable energy coupled with sustainable development. The staff of Vanderbilt across many disciplines supported my senior design team's dream of delivering a renewable energy system to a rural community in Guatemala. One year later with the support of faculty, professionals in Nashville, and our own student body, there is now a sustainable solar system in the Ulpan Valley of Guatemala helping to light a school for adult literacy programs, cultural events, and enhanced student access to information. The engineering school at Vanderbilt is truly changing the world, one idea to the next.
As the 1990's waned as VUSE, a group of students, informally known as "Gears in Motion", gathered to reinvigorate the spirit and traditions of the Engineering School.
While many things ultimately emerged from this wave of energy -- including the V^2 mentoring program, the FedEx egg drop, and many of the Engineering Week festivities -- perhaps my favorite was the short-lived All-Engineers Toga Party.
I recall Dean Art Overholser showing up in full regalia, including a live python around his shoulders. Ever the life of the party, Registrar Karen Dolan came and danced with us until late in the evening. Even ol' Harold Stirling got into the act.
I am a Nashville native and attended from birth Vanderbilt basketball games in Memorial Gym with my Dad. We still have season tickets together 49 years later. I decided when I was 10 I was going to be an Electrical Engineer and go to Vanderbilt. Well, I guess the most important step to accomplishing a dream is to have it in the first place. I accomplished that goal, graduating in 1985. I am not just a fan, alumnus, or supporter of Vanderbilt â€“ it is an important part of my family's life. I have been privileged to serve on the Engineering Alumni Council and participate in the Open Dores sessions. I love interacting with the students of today. My 11-year-old daughter is a hardcore 'Dore fan and loves both Men's and Women's basketball as is a ball girl for women's games. She wants to attend VU and become a teacher. Hope she gets a scholarship! GO 'DORES!
While studying Civil Engineering at Vanderbilt, a lecture on accident reconstruction given by Dr. "Doc Bob" Stammer caught my interest. I decided I wanted to become a transportation engineer, and signed up for all of the transportation classes I could take. After graduation, I pursued a Masters in the subject, and am now working full-time as a transportation engineer in my hometown. Prior to that day in class, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my degree â€“ but one fascinating topic hooked me!
Some of my favorite memories from college involve nothing more than sitting in the various study areas around Featheringill Hall, working on homework or doing crosswords with my friends. We spent countless hours in that building, and whenever I'm back on campus, it feels like my second home!
I remember showing up for ES130 and one of our first assignments was to use this new concept (1994) of email and to send 5 emails to classmates. Who knew it would take off like it did!
Buying Engineering paper at the Rand Bookstore was just a special and unique experience.
I have many fond memories of being an engineering student at Vanderbilt, and there are many reasons why I am happy that I majored in engineering. One of those reasons is all that I learned about teamwork and the advantage that I think that has given me in my career. As engineering students, we relied on each other greatly to get through each day of the rigorous curriculum. We worked on problems together, studied together, worked in labs together, shared our notes so that we collectively had the most comprehensive information to study, etc. Teamwork is vitally important in the work place, and it is not uncommon to see those that don't grasp the concept fail. But perhaps one of the greatest rewards of teamwork is the satisfaction that working with others can bring when solving big problems. Thank you, VUSE!
I was an engineering student from 1950 to 1954. The most memorable teacher I had was Professor Rowan, who taught civil engineering. I was a mechanical engineer but had to take his class in strength of materials. He was a great teacher of the subject because us mechanical engineers were able to completely master the subject. All of us in his class aced the final exam. How lucky I was to have had him as a teacher. He should be recognized as one of the great past teachers in the school of engineering.
As we all know in the senior year of Biomedical Engineering Dr. Galloway gives each student pair in his class a design project to complete using MatLab. My project was the scale for the morbidly obese. My fellow student and I worked on the project dilegently but, like all design projects, it was not working the night before the presentation. We worked on the project through the night, alternating turns sleeping. In the morning we put the finishing touches on the project and prayed. When Dr Galloway came around and picked up the 25# dumbbell we had no clue if the screen would read anything or any number close to 25#. Miraculously the screen read 25# and the program passed all the other tests that was required of it. To this day I still have the circuit we built and it serves as a reminder that I can accomplish anything with diligence and hard work.
I wrote the press release almost 16 years ago announcing the appointment of Ken Galloway as Dean of the School of Engineering because the School of Engineering was my beat. Shortly afterward, I left the Vanderbilt News and Public Affairs Office to enter the corporate world and work in global web communication. Four years ago, in an interesting twist of fate, I was hired as the School's information officer, working with Dean Galloway. It's been a very busy and productive four years, and I very much enjoy being back on a university campus. Happy Anniversary, School of Engineering.
My relationship with the Engineering School began 54 years ago. Dean Fred Lewis found me a $600 scholarship that paid half of my tuition. A lot of my fondest memories center around the Summer Survey Camp near Sparta. I was selected as one of the four incoming freshmen to serve as dishwashers at the camp. It was a great opportunity to get to know the professors before the fall semester started. We worked on campus between the two sessions. All engineering students were required to take a basic surveying course and Civils had to take an advanced course. I believe these were two-week sessions. I chose Civil Engineering, probably partly due to my early contact. Memories from the camp include stealing the dinner bell, the Sparta girls being impressed with us, the Sparta boys not, seeing my first and last drinking contest (ugly), playing tackle football sans pads on a severely sloping field, one of the cooks pushing a reel mower before him to take care of copperheads in his path at night, getting Dr. Graham to cut my hair one Saturday (He thought he was a better barber than it turned out.), Prof. Glenn's welcoming speech about the bath house water not being treated ("So, I don't want to hear about any of you idiots drinking out of the commodes."); but most of all, a time of bonding with our classmates in this great rural setting. I wish all of the VU engineering students could have attended the camp, I know I am glad I did.
I am actually an alumnus of the School of Arts and Sciences, but had a memorable, applicable, experience prior to starting my stint at Vanderbilt. I was a 17-year-old high schooler on a college tour and had the opportunity to interview with the late Assistant Dean Roger Webb in the School of Engineering at the time. I sat in his office with my parents and was given his overview of the value of an engineering degree from Vanderbilt. At one point, with a twinkle in his eye, he told me engineering was "not like the Philosophy Department, where they give the same final exam each year and just change the answer!"
I ended up an Econ Major, but never forgot Dean Webb's wit, as well as his passion for the school.
I am a 1959 graduate in Chemical Engineering. Our senior class was divided into groups and we had to develop a lab project involving a chemical process. Our group took on a project dear to all of our hearts; we built a still in the old lab building. Process was too successful and we invited friends on campus to share in our product. Either the second or third day we closed down on the advice of federal authorities. I asked how they heard about us and was told that there was a run on gallon jugs in the area and that they just followed the trail.