Building the Engineers Who Will Build the Future
Jun 25, 2019
Education that inspires. Careers that matter. Ideas that innovate. Advancing these values is the work of the ASME Foundation.
As the philanthropic arm of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Foundation supports programs that inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to pursue engineering careers; connect young engineers to career-development information and opportunities; and advance innovative solutions to critical global challenges from drawing board to marketplace.
At the heart of the ASME Foundation is the simple truth that engineers build the future. Engineers will provide the innovative solutions to meet the world’s most pressing challenges—the bright ideas that make our communities cleaner, heathier, safer, more productive, and more sustainable.
The ASME Foundation will soon launch a campaign that seeks to broaden the network of supporters both within the engineering community and beyond it. Funds raised in connection with the campaign will drive ASME’s programs to inspire more—and more diverse—young people to explore the wonders of engineering, support young engineers in pursuit of meaningful engineering careers, and nurture brilliant, innovative solutions that will improve quality of life in communities around the world.
ASME E-FestsTM and ASME EFxTM: Igniting Creativity Among College-Age Students
ASME engages students from kindergarten through college with relevant, exciting programs that inspire a lifelong passion for engineering. At the college level, ASME Engineering FestivalsTM or E-FestsTM and EFxTM events invite students to discover engineering challenges and rewards first-hand.
E-Fests are outreach events where college-age students participate in challenging design competitions, skill-building workshops, and networking opportunities with professional engineers and mentors. Students engage in a jam-packed, three-day interdisciplinary engineering experience where teams compete in categories like Human Powered Vehicles, Robotics, 3D Printing, and even Oral Presentation skills.
Said one participant, “The competitions enhance our skills and push us to put our knowledge to maximum utility. It is a great platform to meet new people with different mindsets. It's a room full of broad and bold ideas. It was an amazing experience to make new friends and build on teamwork.”
Many E-Fest participants find inspiration in the keynote speeches by professional engineers and the “lightning talks” by industry pioneers. When one executive described his company’s aspiration to be the “DHL for Moon Deliveries,” E-Fest attendees were enthralled—after hearing that simple “elevator pitch” about a lunar delivery service, some are now considering careers in space-based robotics. E-Fests ignite the imagination.
Throughout 2018-2019, more than 5,000 students have participated in an E-Fest, or one of the locally-produced EFx versions of the program. ASME currently runs four E-Fests annually, two in the U.S., one in India, and one in South America, with ambitious plans to grow that number and the number of students who participate. And ASME continues to receive a flood of applications to host one of these events from universities in many different countries.
In the accompanying photo, a student team celebrates its victory in the Human-Powered Vehicle Endurance Race at the recent E-Fest in India at Vellore Institute of Technology. The picture says it all: E-Fests are emotional, exhilarating experiences for the students who participate. E-Fests encourage teamwork and engender learning on many levels, and the experience inspires young people to pursue engineering careers.
ASME’s philanthropic programs are an important way for the Society to expand its reach, its impact, and its contribution to the world. Through these initiatives, ASME is nurturing and supporting the dream-makers of tomorrow.