Contact: Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

February 11, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- A wearable computer and a new anti-terrorism technology being deployed in airports are among the new technologies that junior high students from across the Metroplex will preview at a special National Engineers Week event to be held Saturday, Feb. 16 at Southern Methodist University.

The event, "Visioneering 2002: Designing the Future," is co-sponsored by Accenture and Texas Instruments (TI). Other sponsors include DART, EDS, esoftsolutions, EXE, SMU School of Engineering, The Science Place and the Texas Department of Transportation.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. More than 1,000 7th and 8th graders from schools in Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Dallas, Garland, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Mesquite, Plano and Richardson will attend.

Keynote speaker for the event will be Astronaut Tom Henricks, who was the first person to log more than 1,000 hours as a Space Shuttle pilot/commander. Other scheduled speakers include former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban and Diana Hueter, president and CEO of The Science Place.

The event will include a design project in which students and practicing engineers will work in teams to create future modes of transportation. Representatives from participating companies and SMU engineering faculty members will judge the designs and award prizes in different categories.

"Smart highways, cars that can get 100 miles per gallon and 'IT' are just a few of the many new things happening in the area of transportation," said Geoffrey Orsak, associate dean of the SMU School of Engineering and executive director of The Institute for Engineering Education at SMU. "Now is the time to get students this age thinking about the future of transportation."

For many of the participating students, the event will provide their first view into the world of engineering. Event sponsors hope the day will show the students that engineering is relevant to their future and also help them see the value of taking math and science courses that are the foundation of careers in engineering and technology.

"Texas is riding the wave of high-tech expansion, so it only seems fitting that we spur our young students, the employees and leaders of tomorrow, to see just what an impact they can make by studying math and science," said Torrence Robinson, worldwide university program manager for Texas Instruments. Robinson, who was named the 2001 Black Engineer of the Year, also will speak at the event.

Corporate participants in the event will display a variety of their best emerging technologies. Texas Instruments will display its new Digital Light Processing ™ technology used in high-definition televisions as well as its TI-83 Plus Silver Edition calculator, which offers the latest in educational technology for the classroom. EDS will display its new biometric hand recognition technology that is being deployed in airports to counter terrorism. Accenture will demonstrate a new "personal awareness assistant" that integrates computer, camera, voice recognition and global positioning system technology to improve memory and supplement the human mind.

"We hope to generate a lifelong interest in technology and engineering in many of the local area students that will lead to great innovations making the world a better place for all of us," said Glenn Javens, a 1988 graduate of the SMU School of Engineering and partner with Accenture.

For information on "Visioneering 2002: Designing the Future," call 214-768-4038.

Schools participating in Visioneering 2002:

School District
Ted Polk Middle School Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD
Dan F. Long Middle School Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD
T.A. Edison Academy Dallas ISD
Seagoville Middle School Dallas ISD
W. E. Greiner Middle School Dallas ISD
Alex W. Spence TAG Academy Dallas ISD
D.A. Hulcy Middle School Dallas ISD
Dealey Montessori Academy Dallas ISD
Holmes Middle School Dallas ISD
Pearl Anderson Learning Center Dallas ISD
Raul Quintanilla Middle School Dallas ISD
Sarah Zumwalt Middle School Dallas ISD
Thomas J. Rusk Middle School Dallas ISD
William Atwell Middle School Dallas ISD
T. A. Edison Learning Center Dallas ISD
L.V. Stockard Middle School Dallas ISD
Houston Middle School Garland ISD
Sellers Middle School Garland ISD
Harwood Jr. High School Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
A.C. New Middle School Mesquite ISD
McDonald Middle School Mesquite ISD
Carpenter Middle School Plano ISD
Apollo Junior High School Richardson ISD
Greenhill School Private School
Hockaday School Private School
Winston School Private School
St. Mark's Private School
Shelton School Private School