Fall-Winter 2014 Industry Day

  • Industry Tour Day

    Industry Day Tour

More than 500 first-year students from UNL’s College of Engineering converged in downtown Omaha on October 10, 2014, to explore engineering careers and opportunities.

More than 500 first-year students gain experience in Omaha engineering tour

Calendar Icon Oct 15, 2014      Person Bust Icon By Karl Vogel     RSS Feed  RSS  -  Submit a Story

  • A walking tour highlighted the various engineering projects required to complete the Gene Leahy Mall in downtown Omaha.
    A walking tour highlighted the various engineering projects required to complete the Gene Leahy Mall in downtown Omaha.
  • Students take a fun break during a walking tour of the Gene Leahy Mall in downtown Omaha.
    Students take a fun break during a walking tour of the Gene Leahy Mall in downtown Omaha.
  • Students file into a ballroom at the CenturyLink Center Omaha for a luncheon and a keynote speech.
    Students file into a ballroom at the CenturyLink Center Omaha for a luncheon and a keynote speech.
  • Students discussed career opportunities with professionals during the Company Expo at CenturyLink Center.
    Students discussed career opportunities with professionals during the Company Expo at CenturyLink Center.
  • Students fill out their cards after collecting stickers during the scavenger hunt at the Company Expo at CenturyLink Center.
    Students fill out their cards after collecting stickers during the scavenger hunt at the Company Expo at CenturyLink Center.
  • T-shirts from the Greater Omaha Area Chamber of Commerce were the prizes handed out to students during the Company Expo scavenger hunt at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
    T-shirts from the Greater Omaha Area Chamber of Commerce were the prizes handed out to students during the Company Expo scavenger hunt at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
  • Engineers from Kiewit talk to students about the construction of the UNO Arena,
    Engineers from Kiewit talk to students about the construction of the UNO Arena,

Students began the Engineering Industry Day with a tour of TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha.
Students began the Engineering Industry Day with a tour of TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha.
More than 500 first-year students from UNL’s College of Engineering converged in downtown Omaha on October 10 to explore engineering careers and opportunities.

The College’s annual Industry Day, held this year in collaboration with the Greater Omaha Area Chamber of Commerce, provided students with the opportunity to tour various engineering projects and area firms, agencies and businesses that offer engineering careers, as well as network with professional engineers.

The day began with a tour of TD Ameritrade Park – focusing on the construction, electrical and civil aspects of the project – before the morning finished with the students being divided into 30 smaller groups for walking tours that included Union Pacific Harriman Dispatch Center, ConAgra Campus, NRG, Omaha World-Herald Freedom Center, Metropolitan Utilities District Riverfront Plant, Gallup IT, Holland Center, Gene Leahy Mall, Capitol District Project and ConAgra Foods.

Students gather in the lobby of the Gallup downtown Omaha campus to ask questions of Gallup's Jim Collison.
Students gather in the lobby of the Gallup downtown Omaha campus to ask questions of Gallup's Jim Collison.
One group was implored by Gallup It manager and performance team lead Jim Collison to make the most of the tours and their opportunity to meet professional engineers and to start getting real-world job experience.

“This is a day that can be very important to you in setting up your engineering career,” said Collison, who also works with Gallup’s college and high school intern program. “The best advice I can give to anyone is to do all you can to work in the field you want to build a career in while you are in school. Getting a degree is important, but employers are looking for people who can perform right away.”

Leading a walking tour of the civil and construction projects along the Missouri River, professional engineers passed on plenty of sage advice for students, as well as explaining how work was done to limit the impact of flooding in the area and to limit the ecological impact along the river.

“I wasn’t the best at math when I started in college, but I found that I loved being an engineer,” said Terry Atkins, vice president and design group leader at Lamp Rynearson in Omaha. “I struggled with some of my classes and didn’t post the best grades, but I learned by finding ways to do real work. And that inspired me to work harder in my classes and made me want to become an engineer even more.”

At noon, students attended a luncheon that featured a keynote speech from Patricia Walsh, who overcame obstacles created by blindness to become an award-winning engineer at Microsoft and also a two-time national champion triathlete.

The students then enjoyed a company expo, where they talked with professionals from many companies and firms about careers in engineering and participate in a “scavenger hunt” to earn prizes that included T-shirts.

To conclude the day, the students boarded buses for mini track tours that included stops at the Metropolitan Utilities District's Florence Water Treatment Plant, North Omaha Power Plant, the University of Nebraska Medical Center's cancer center project, CLAAS, Conductix, Valmont Industries, Lozier, the University of Nebraska at Omaha arena project, Acieta and Cabela's Data Center.

Amanda Houston, a freshman electrical engineering major from Elkhorn, said the tour gave her plenty of opportunities to further her education and improve her employment prospects.

“It was so beneficial to get to meet people who do engineering for a living and make connections with them on a professional level,” Houston said. “These are people who could be our bosses and coworkers someday and this could lead to internships and jobs down the line.”

This was the third tour offered by the college. Other trips were to Grand Island and Columbus.



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