Cal Poly SWE’s collegiate section was able to take 31 officers and members to the SWE National Conference in Austin, TX from October 25-28th, 2017. Out of this group, 11 people were first time National Conference attendees!
We started planning this trip during spring quarter by inviting our officers to submit applications and express why they were interested in attending the conference. Several of our executive officers then reviewed those applications and were so impressed with the passionate and enthusiastic responses that we decided to accept all those who applied! All attendees were required to sign a contract agreeing to attend certain events while at conference and to represent Cal Poly SWE honorably. Travel arrangements were made during the last few weeks of the 2016-17 school year including booking flights and reserving hotel rooms, and remaining logistics such as organizing carpools and getting students excused from classes was dealt with at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.
At conference, our officers had the opportunity to meet and connect with many other SWE members on both collegiate and professional levels. Conference events included several keynote speakers, a career fair with several hundred companies in attendance, breakout sessions and lightning talks on topics ranging from professional development and leadership to communication skills and self-discovery. There were also several engineering competitions and outreach events happening throughout the conference. In between all this, our group still found time to explore the exciting sights, sounds, and tastes of Austin!
At the annual awards dinner called Celebrate SWE!, Cal Poly SWE’s collegiate section won six awards including the Boeing Multicultural Award, the SWE Mission Awards for Public Policy and Leadership Development and Mentoring, and the SWE Mission Award Gold for Collegiate section. Cal Poly’s Team Tech placed third with their project of a Solar Powered Water Ozonation Device. Additionally, recent Cal Poly SWE alumni, Kristen Reynier, won second place in the Collegiate Technical Poster Competition with her poster detailing the use of a transtibial prosthetic for walking, running, and swimming.
Overall, this conference was very successful in inspiring our officers and members to keep connecting and engineering! It was the perfect opportunity for our members to get to know one another better. We are looking forward to attending future SWE conferences, including WE Local Phoenix in February 2018!