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It Pays to Be SMART

Imagine if someone gave you up to $41,000 in cash to realize your dreams. That – plus full tuition and other education-related benefits –is what the SMART scholarship offers students majoring in science, engineering and mathematics. SMART scholars also get paid summer internships and a job placement after graduation. ASEE invited eight current SMART scholars to spend a day in Washington, D.C., and talk about what got them into engineering. Bios after the jump.

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Solar Decathalon 2011 Powers Up

Amanda Crosby, right, and Belinda Dods of New Zealand celebrate placing the final screw on the deck of their house

What does it take to build a solar village, where homes not only are designed to create more energy than they use but are comfortable and cool to look at, too? Some 19 student teams from U.S. and international colleges found out this past weekend as they began installing their entries to the 2011 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. The answer: lots of hands-on work involving hammers, wrenches, plumbing, and construction cranes.

The flurry of activity capped the students’ two-year effort to prepare for the competition (we covered the 2009 one here), which this year takes place from September 23 to October 2.

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Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Engineers are responsible for building planes, trains, and automobiles, but what about those who are more aquatically inclined? Budding Captain Nemos may want to consider pursuing Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, a field of study dedicated to the design, construction, and maintenance of ships.

Since we haven’t mentioned this particular engineering discipline on our blog before, we’d like to take a moment to provide our readers with a brief overview of what it’s like to be a naval architect and a marine engineer.

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Brian Wybrecht

Michigan State University, East Lansing

Civil Engineering

“As a young kid, I would spend hours playing with Legos. I loved having thousands of them at my disposal to design whatever I could dream up. In fifth grade, I was assigned a project to write about where I saw myself in 20 years. I explained to my teacher that I enjoyed playing with Legos, and she said that I should consider engineering.”

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Engineering Icons: A Cross Country Guide

Planning a road trip this summer? Whether en route to a beach, lake, or national park, there are plenty of engineering landmarks to admire along the way — including the interstate highway system along which most travelers must pass. Here are some designated engineering destinations worth braking for:

Hoover Dam: More than a million visitors a year tour this National Landmark (pictured at the top) that towers 725 above the Colorado River 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, NV. Read ASEE’s Prism magazine columnist Henry Petroski on the dam’s 75th anniversary.

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