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KU to Take Part in First USA Science & Engineering Festival on National Mall

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The NSF Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, headquartered at the University of Kansas, will represent the state at the USA Science and Engineering Expo, Oct. 23 and 24 at the nation’s capital.


CReSIS’ appearance at the Expo on the National Mall comes at the end of the nation’s first Science and Engineering Festival, two weeks of free events currently under way in the Washington, D.C., area. More than 350 of the nation’s leading science and engineering organizations are partners in the effort, including colleges and universities, corporations, federal agencies, museums and science centers, and professional engineering and science societies.  A quarter of a million visitors, many of them school children, are expected to take part in the culminating Expo.  


“Engineers and students at CReSIS have invented some of the most advanced devices available for studying and understanding climate change,” said Stuart Bell, dean of the KU School of Engineering. “Sharing these developments with the rest of the nation at the Expo will help future generations see the importance of engineering and science in our lives.”    


Researchers at CReSIS — a multinational, multi-institutional research center — focus on creating new tools that measure and document changes in the world’s polar ice sheets and developing new computer models to predict the impact those changes have on Earth’s inhabitants.  CReSIS engineers and researchers have developed radars that can “see through” ice as much as 3 kilometers thick and identify the nature and contour of the terrain the ice rests on. They also have developed advanced vehicles, such as the 26-foot wingspan Meridian, capable of flying in harsh arctic climates while carrying these innovative radars and communication devices.


For the Expo, KU faculty, staff and students at CReSIS have developed a hands-on radar simulator, and a scale model of the Meridian unmanned aerial vehicle that visitors can try their hand at piloting. In addition, visitors will be able to watch videos of the Meridian UAV test flights and computer simulations of sea level rise.  KU graduate students and staff will hand out KU and CReSIS giveaways and talk about the influence of CReSIS’ work.


KU’s CReSIS booth, located on Freedom Plaza near the White House and the National Mall, will be among 16 exhibits at the expo with ties to the National Science Foundation. The USA Science and Engineering Expo features more than 750 hands-on, interactive exhibits spanning aerospace, green energy, medicine, biotechnology, climatology, robotics, nanotechnology, botany, neuroscience, genetics, and many other scientific and engineering intensive disciplines. 


The USA Science and Engineering Expo is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, and Sunday, Oct. 24. The KU CReSIS booth number is 1319 and is in Section PA-13 on Pennsylvania Avenue.  A map can be found at the Expo website. Shuttle buses will move visitors to adjacent and nearby areas of the Expo. 



Learn more about CReSIS

Learn more about the USA Science and Engineering Expo and find a complete list of activities.




KU Staff and Students Taking part in the USA Science and Engineering Expo

Austin Arnett, graduate student EECS

Emily Arnold, graduate student aerospace engineering

Bill Donovan, graduate student aerospace engineering

Stacey Freeman, CReSIS educational coordinator

Cheri Hamilton, CReSIS K-12 outreach coordinator

Jennifer Laverentz, CReSIS administrative manager

Carl Leuschen, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science

Aqsa Patel, graduate student EECS

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