Leonhard Center Speaking Contest

Innovation, engineering and attention-grabbing communication took the stage last night in the inaugural Leonhard Center Speaking Contest for engineers. Eight finalists from CAS100A classes were engineering undergraduates who excelled last semester and then were selected in the opening rounds of the contest. The purpose of the event was to provide all undergraduates within the college excellent student models of engineering presentations.

Topics of the speeches ranged from alternatives to traditional prosthetic limbs, a look at the improvement of structural engineering for One World Trade Center, innovation to dams and hydroelectric power, artificial hearts, malaria nets, and many other topics relating to engineering. There were three judges who picked the winner of the event at the end of the night along with a second place and honorable mentions. Mimi Overbaugh won the $250 grand prize for her talk on prosthetic devices when she interacted with an amputee while helping with a service project in her home town of Pittsburgh.


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Engineers get master class in ethics

Steven Betza, founder of the ETHICS Academy, talks about the core principles of ETHICS to engineering students at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Steven Betza, founder of the ETHICS Academy, talks about the core principles of ETHICS to engineering students at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Although learning about the actual discipline is an essential part of engineering training, Penn State students also focus on other skills, including communications, leadership and teamwork.

Recently, a select group of engineering students participated in a seminar titled, “ETHICS for World-Class Engineers,” presented by Lockheed Martin and Penn State’s Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education.

Steven Betza, founder of the ETHICS Academy and corporate director of electronics engineering and packaging for Lockheed Martin, led the seminar.

Betza’s workshop introduced the students to six timeless principles of ethical leadership, which he described as “moments of truth” that occur in everyday life and decision processes to “do the right thing” when ethical situations arise.

Joe Giordano, an engineering science senior, said, “I really enjoyed the way Mr. Betza broke down the huge, nebulous concept of ethics into six parts that were easy to understand and work with. Case study after case study showed that owning up to your mistakes early on and making a focused effort to rectify them lead to a stronger business in the end. It struck me how well the general rule of ‘admit when you’re wrong and make it right’ works in the business world.”

Terri Creech, an industrial engineering, senior, said she learned successful leaders are selfless and put people first, before any other consideration.

She added, “I found the ETHICS workshop to be incredibly beneficial.”

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