Pre-registration required. You probably never realized that Mother Nature is actually an engineer. Many different variables affect the disastrous potential of a volcanic eruption. Some of these variables are height, shaft dimensions, amount of material, and slope. Ironically, these are the same variables that engineers encounter in their daily work practices. To emphasize the power of small parameter changes, we have designed the Volcano Contest competition. This is your chance to play Mother Nature and build your own volcano. Recommended for all ages. Engineers Day Open House

Engineers Day
Open House

February 28, 2015



What is E-Day?

Engineers Day, or E-Day, is a celebration of everything engineering has to offer. From building bridges to discovering new medications to writing the software that powers our cell phones, engineers and computer scientists do the things that make our 21st-century world work.

This year’s E-Day celebration at the University of Kentucky in Lexington is on Saturday, Feb. 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST in Paducah. E-Day comes at the end of Engineers Week, an annual event sponsored by a coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies dedicated to promoting math and science literacy and ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce.

E-Day is a “come and go” type event. Most activities do not a have start time, although a few contests (Volcano and Egg Drop come to mind) will have a definitive time for judging. Most people find that they can’t make it around to every exhibit and contest because we have so many, so it is advisable to get here close to 9 am. We also have a mobile app to help you plan your day ahead of time and navigate our maze of exhibits. It is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD in the App Stores for both iOS and Android. Click here for the Android app, or here for the iOS version.

What can you do at E-Day?

There are all kinds of things to see and do at E-Day. You’ll be able to explore many of our research and computer labs to see what our students do. Approximately 150 demonstrations, exhibits and contests hosted by UK Students and Departments, government organizations and industry will be featured. A list of contests and exhibits can be found here.

Is Lunch Available?

Food is not provided; however, UK’s Dining Services will have some lunch options available. There will be several restaurants open in the Student Center Food Court. There are also many privately-owned restaurants within walking distance of campus.

Is there an age limit?

Engineers Day is perfect for school-aged children from elementary all the way through high school; especially those interested in learning more about the exciting things engineers and computer scientists do. There are many things to amaze, inform and delight you at the UK College of Engineering. Even parents and teachers will be entertained. The best news is that E-Day is completely FREE and so is the parking!


Where is it located?

Engineers Day Open House (Lexington Campus) takes place in several College of Engineering buildings on the campus of the University of Kentucky, including the Ralph G. Anderson (RGAN), F. Paul Anderson Tower (FPAT), Oliver H. Raymond Building (OHR), Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center (ASTeCC) and the Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Systems (CRMS).

Where do I park?

There are several parking areas that we recommend for E-Day attendees and all are FREE!

  • Park in Parking Structure #5, located at 409 South Limestone (next to Kennedy Bookstore) and then walk across the pedway to the engineering complex.

  • Buses and other large vehicles should park in the “E / C” lot on Scott Street. Be sure to cross in the crosswalk to the main part of campus and then walk up the hill to the engineering complex

How do I get there?

Within the I-75/I-64 interchange in Fayette County, take the KY-922/AIRPORT, LEXINGTON exit 115.
From the exit take Newtown Pike toward Lexington to W. Main Street.
Turn LEFT onto West Main Street. You will drive past the Salvation Army Center and the Lexington Convention Center.
Turn RIGHT onto S. Upper Street.
After approximately ¾ of a mile, make a SHARP LEFT onto S. Limestone St. (this is where S. Upper and S. Limestone join to become two-way).
Parking Structure #5 will be on the left at 409 South Limestone Street.
Use the pedestrian bridge from the 3rd floor of the parking structure to cross over S. Limestone Street to main campus.
Then just follow the yard signs to the Engineering Complex.


All contests are “walk-up” unless noted below that they require pre-registration.

Balloon Racers

Sponsored by Phi Sigma Rho

Come test out Newton's Third Law of Motion while having fun and learning about our sorority! You decide your straw and balloon size, and race to see who can make the fastest balloon racer! Recommended for all ages.

Build a Lego Bridge

Sponsored by Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honors Society

Contestants will construct a bridge using only LEGO blocks. All materials needed for construction will be provided. Contestants will label their bridge with their name, email and contact phone number. The bridges will then be tested to see how much weight they are able to hold; weight will be added in slowly applied increments until the bridge fails. Failure is defined as the bridge no longer being able to span the 10 inch gap. The contestant whose bridge is able to hold the highest load will win a prize! Recommended for all ages.

Can You Dig It?

Sponsored by Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honors Society

Using a remote control excavator, can you load the expected amount of sand into the dump truck in time? Recommended for ages 9-12.

Candy Crane

Sponsored by Civil Engineering 509 Construction Engineering Class

Contestants will use a remote controlled crane to transfer candy from a "staging area" into a dump truck. Contestants will get to keep all the candy they are able to transfer within a specified amount of time. Recommended for ages 5-8.

Chocolate Composite Contest

Sponsored by Material Advantage Student Chapter

Students will create a composite of their own at home using chocolate as the base material and any edible food product as the second material. This composite can be either be submitted prior to E-day or brought to E-day. The composites will then be tested for strength. More details will be posted on our website in late January or early February. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Coach Cal’s Mansion Makeover

Sponsored by Civil Engineering 509 Construction Engineering Class

The participants will have the task of constructing a structure for Coach Cal. They will be supplied a budget and certain resources (Popsicle sticks, skewers, toothpicks, glue, tape, etc.) at a certain price per resource (example: 1 penny per piece of tape). The structure must fit within certain height, length, and width parameters. A load will be placed on the structure at the completion of their project. During the project, participants will encounter unforeseen circumstances (good or bad) that occur during the project (example: rain caused delays so you have to wait a minute before continuing construction). At the completion of the project, participants will be awarded points for: 1) being under/at budget, 2) completing the project on time, 3) aesthetics, and 4) the structure being stable (i.e. holding the applied load). More specifics will be posted on our website in late January or early February. Recommended for ages 9-18.

Coal Loading Contest

Sponsored by Department of Mining Engineering

Contestants will compete to see who can load the most coal into a dump truck using a remote controlled front-end loader. The material will weighed and the person with the most material loaded after one and a half minutes wins. Recommended for all ages.

Drive a Train!

Sponsored by the RailCats

Several train simulations will be set up around the lab. At one station, participants can "drive" the train they see on the screen and hook up to train cars by using a controller. At another station, participants can watch a model train and guess the speed of a scaled up version of the train. There will be several other model trains on display, as well as students using technology used in their research to teach participants. Recommended for all ages.

ECE Passport

Sponsored by the Department of Electrical and Chemical Engineering

Contestants will receive a “passport.” Get your passport stamped at every ECE exhibit and return it to the ECE Office (F Paul Anderson Tower Room 453). Winner(s) will be drawn from all completed passports entered. Recommended for all ages.

Edible Car Contest

Sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Student Chapter

Student must be 12 years or under. There will be three age groups for the contest: 5 and under, 6-8, and 9-12. The car must be generally smaller than 12″ x 12″ x 12″ and roll freely. Materials used to build the car should be entirely edible. However, there will be exceptions made for things such as banana peels, which aren’t necessarily edible but are part of the raw food. All Materials will be provided. Plastic knives, forks, and spoons will be provided to aide in the building process. In ordered to be considered a ‘car’, the vehicle must have at least two (2) axles and at least three (3) wheels. Therefore, an edible motorcycle or edible unicycle won’t be allowed. Each student will be permitted one entry, and may have up to three tries to get the car to roll down the ramp. The student will be allowed to make revisions to their car between each attempt. Each car will be staged at the top of a ramp with an incline of around 35 degrees and released to roll. The distance beyond the end of the ramp the car travels will be measured and recorded. Judging and testing: At the end of the day, the car that has gone the farthest off the end of the ramp will be declared the winner. In the case of a tie, the judges will choose the winning car based on creativity, design, and tastiness. Winners will be selected in each age category. Winners need not be present to win, but if your car is in the running for a prize, please make sure we have the proper contact information. Recommended for ages 5-12.

Egg Drop Crash Survivability

sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter

Pre-registration required. Please check back in late January or early February for the registration details. The objective of the Egg Drop Contest is to design a container in which a raw egg can survive a 34-foot fall. Winning is based on lightest weight and shortest travel time. Contestants should note that more emphasis is placed on the travel time of the vehicle and the weight will be considered only in case of a tie. Remember: The egg must not break. Recommended for ages 9-18.

Rules & Specifications | Registration Form

Gridlock Buster

Sponsored by the Kentucky Transportation Center’s Signal Lab

Come see the inner working of a traffic signal controller and test your skills at moving traffic efficiently through a city. Recommended for all ages.

Haul Truck Racing!

Sponsored by Civil Engineering 509 Construction Engineering Class

We will have two lanes with one team per lane. There will be a pile of sand at one end of the lane and a scale on the other end. One team member from each team will fill up their teammates haul truck with sand, once the truck is filled to their liking they will race to the other end and deposit the sand on the scale, and then race back to the other end to be refilled. This process will continue until one team reaches 5 grams. The first team to give grams wins. Recommended for ages 5-12.

Lego Speed Bent Building Contest

Sponsored by Tau Beta Pi –Kentucky Alpha Chapter

Kids race to construct a Bent out of Legos provided. Recommended for all ages.

Pharmaceutical Drug Development Card Game

Sponsored by the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Student Chapter

Contestants will participate in an interactive card game that will allow students to learn about the pharmaceutical drug development process from the time a drug is discovered to when it makes it to the market. Recommended for ages 13-18.

Pringles Mail-In Contest

Sponsored by the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE) Student Chapter

This contest is open to all K-12 students. Students will mail in an individual Pringle chip that has been packaged in any way desired, so long as it does not modify the chip and the chip may reasonably be removed from the packaging without causing damage. The goal of the contest is to keep the Pringle intact and to have the lightest package possible. Judging will be split into divisions among students with prizes awarded. The winning chip container will be determined as the lightest package with an unbroken and undamaged Pringle. Students will need to mail their packages including their name, address, school name, and year in school to:

Steven Hoagland
University of Kentucky
Department of Civil Engineering
161 Raymond Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0281

Recommended for all ages.

Raschig Ring Count Contest

Sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Student Chapter

The contestants will guess the number Raschig Rings contained in a cylinder. The closest guess will win. Raschig Rings are a type of packing used in distillation column. Recommended for all ages.

Spaghetti Gumdrop Tower Competition

sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter

Contestants will build a tower using only spaghetti and gumdrops. (All materials will be provided.) Judges will measure the height of the tower as a straight line distance from base of tower to tallest point on the tower. Recommended for all ages.

Triangle Tower

Sponsored by Triangle Fraternity

This event is a tower building competition. Each participant receives a set amount of masking tape and paper. The contestant then builds a tower as tall has he or she can. Recommended for all ages.

Volcano Contest

sponsored by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Student Chapter

You probably never realized that Mother Nature is actually an engineer. Many different variables affect the disastrous potential of a volcanic eruption. Some of these variables are height, shaft dimensions, amount ofmaterial, and slope. Ironically, these are the same variables that engineers encounter in their daily work practices. To emphasize the power of small parameter changes, we have designed the Volcano Contest competition. This is your chance to play Mother Nature and build your own volcano. Recommended for all ages. Pre-registration required.

Rules | Registration Form

Speaker: Dr. Story Musgrave

WHERE: Frank H. Harris Grand Ballroom Third Floor, Room 305 in the Student Center. Elevator access is next to Starbucks on the second floor and across from the Student Government office on the first floor. We recommend visitors park in the South Limestone Garage (Parking Structure #5)

Each year, as part of the E-Day celebration, the UK College of Engineering invites a notable engineer to campus to discuss the role of good communication in their career. The 2015 speaker will be Astronaut and UK alumnus Dr. Story Musgrave. He will give a talk on Thursday, February 26th from noon to one in the third floor Grand Ballroom of the Student Center. A reception with light refreshments will follow in the small ballroom next door. Admission is free and everyone is welcome!

For more information about Dr. Musgrave, check out this video.

Contact Details

Do you have questions about E-Day or would you like more information? Let us know. Please fill out the contact form, or contact Chelsea Hansing directly.

If you represent an engineering or computer science related company or organization and would like to exhibit at E-Day, please contact Melanie Barber.