The RGF sponsors a student engineering competition each year during the third full week of February, in partnership with the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University and Fluor Corporation, a long-time RGF sponsor, to commemorate National Engineers’ Week.
The Rice University Student Engineering Competition is open to all Rice students. In the contest, teams of students compete for cash prizes to solve a practical engineering problem using common materials of construction. Competitors are judged based upon criteria such as the length of time required to solve the problem, the amount of construction materials left unused, or how close a team’s solution comes to meeting specified criteria. Student competitors do not learn about the nature of the problem until they report for the contest.
Fluor Corporation allows the RGF to present the problem it develops each year for a global employee engineering contest during Engineers’ Week. The Brown School of Engineering and RGF co-fund the Student Engineering Competition, and RGF provides materials and manpower for the event, including a project manager, master of ceremonies, and judges.
National Engineers’ Week was launched in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers in conjunction with the birthday of President George Washington, widely considered to be the nation’s first engineer. The purpose of National Engineers’ Week is to call attention to engineers’ contributions to society and to re-emphasize the importance of engineers learning mathematical, scientific, and technical skills. Today, National Engineers’ Week is observed by more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies in the U.S. RGF Founding Director Ahmad J. Durrani founded the Rice University Student Engineering Competition in 2007.