Friday, September 3, 2010

You are Invited to an Open House - ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility

You are invited to the College of Engineering’s Open House of the ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility. Come see for yourself what all the excitement is about!

WHEN: Saturday, September 18
10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Student team members will be on hand to show off their projects and answer questions including Sooner Racing, Baja Off-Road, Sooner Powered Vehicle and the Naval Electric Drag Boat, to name a few.

By Tara Malone

The ExxonMobil Lawrence G . Rawl Engineering Practice Facility may only have opened earlier this year, but this state-of-the-art structure is already playing a key role in the lives of University of Oklahoma engineering students.

Named for former Exxon chairman Lawrence G. Rawl, the building features five first-floor practice bays that allow students to gain hands-on experience in engineering. Four of the bays are open to the second floor. One of the one-story bays is designed to provide students with an enclosed space for projects that may generate dirt. The bays are adjacent to a machine shop that provides new and well-maintained tools and equipment needed for student projects.

In addition, two bench labs in the building cater to students with smaller projects, such as electronic circuit boards and small robots, along with student locker space for project storage. Collaborative spaces on both floors are available 24/7. These spaces overlook the open practice bays, giving students a bird’s-eye view of engineering projects in progress.

“The ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility is a window for the community to see the vitality and value of engineering; to inspire, recruit and develop talent so vital to the future prosperity and security of our nation,” says OU College of Engineering Dean Tom Landers.

The building’s practice bays serve as a workshop for nationally competitive groups, such as the Sooner Racing Team, composed primarily of mechanical engineering students who use the outstanding resources of the building to design, construct and test their entries for annual racing competitions. This past summer, the team sped to glory, taking second place at the Formula SAE West competition in California and eighth place overall at the Formula Student competition in Hockenheim, Germany. At this writing, they are ranked first in the U.S. and fifth in the world, out of 450 teams.

Other teams housed in the EPF include the Concrete Canoe, Human Powered Vehicle, Mini-Baja and Design Build Fly, to name a few. Students work side-by-side in work bays that foster collaboration amongst the diverse engineering disciplines. An information technology area provides the finest in computer aid analysis, design and visual simulation tools.

The facility also played host to incoming OU freshmen at last summer’s AT&T HEADS UP Summer Bridge Program, where students were introduced to the collegiate lifestyle and engineering projects, and provided with tips on how to become proficient in such core engineering areas as calculus and chemistry. The camp lasted three weeks, with students staying on the OU Norman campus for the duration.

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