College of Engineering Participates in USA Science and Engineering Festival

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Representatives of the UI College of Engineering recently participated in the first USA Science and Engineering Festival October 23-24 in Washington DC.  They included Omar Ahmad, assistant director, and Andrew Veit, MiniSim manager, both from the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS).  Also attending were David Rethwisch, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering and director of Project Lead the Way for Iowa; Becca Whitaker, Engineering K-12 coordinator; and Kandace Munson, Project Lead the Way coordinator.

NADS staff were invited by the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council to discuss and demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving at the the festival on the National Mall.  The MiniSim was driven by over 300 attendees, and nearly 10,000 people passed through the National Research Council’s tent during the weekend.  On Sunday, October 24, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood visited the exhibit and spoke about the dangers of distracted driving.

The "Stayin' Alive: Simulate the Dangers of Distracting Driving" exhibit allowed kids and teens to safely see and experience distracted drivers behind the wheel, showing how dangerous it is to converse with a cell phone or text while driving.