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UC students compete at national engineering convention

Participants tackle global social issues at innovation challenge

seven college students in business attire stand together in front of a United States map

Laura Rodriguez, third from left, poses with fellow members of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at the national convention.

University of Cincinnati students traveled to Phoenix, Ariz., in October to attend the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers National Convention 2019.

UC member Laura Rodriguez (computer science ‘23) participated in the “The Innovation Challenge: Engineering with a Purpose,” a hardware, cybersecurity and software challenge held at the annual conference.

This year, students from around the country were challenged to design products or services that would address potential challenges associated with the large population of individuals living without permanent housing in the city of Phoenix.

“I chose this path so that I can have the knowledge and resources to make society better, specifically with education,” Rodriguez said.

six college students stand on a stage in business attire, facing an audience that is visible in the bottom edge of photo

UC students present their innovation challenge at the convention.

Participants had to identify a need for innovation, conceptualize an idea and incubate a solution. Students worked in a lab with STEM professionals  and heard firsthand about practical application of engineering solutions from experts who work to tackle emerging global challenges.

Challenge finalists pitched a prototype or proposed plan for engineering improvements.

“The challenge title, ‘engineering with a purpose,’ was definitely inspiring. It reminded us why we do what we do,” Rodriguez said.

I chose this path so that I can have the knowledge and resources to make society better, specifically with education

Laura Rodriguez, UC computer science student

Through these competitions, the society hopes to drive social impact through technology, education and innovation challenges, training students to solve real-world problems in a collaborative, diverse environment.

The national group's mission is to change lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development.

Featured image at top: UC's Engineering Research Center.