School of Engineering initiates forum

October 27, 2000

Mark Miester

The School of Engineering had hoped for 150 participants to make the first Tulane Engineering Forum a success. It ended up attracting more than 200. 21st-Century Engineering Issues: Information Technology and Environmental Engineering, a joint presentation of Tulane and the School of Engineering, took place at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside on Sept. 22.

Engineering dean Nicholas Altiero attributes much of its success to a unique program that hit on two of engineering's hottest topics.

"In information technology and environmental engineering we were able to not only find two topics that are incredibly timely, but we were also able to find cross-cutting themes between the topics," Altiero explains.

Following a keynote address by U.S. Rep. from Louisiana Billy Tauzin on national policy pertaining to the environment and information technology, Kenneth M. Ford delivered the plenary address, Enabling the Future: Information Technology in Space Exploration. Ford is director of the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition at the University of West Florida.

In addition to morning and afternoon breakout sessions, James F. McNulty, president and chief executive officer of Pasadena, Calif.based Parsons Corp., delivered the luncheon presentation Building Infrastructure, Protecting the Environment and Managing Risk in the Dot-Com Era. Following McNulty's presentation, consultant Harry Freeman delivered an address on the relationship of engineering and sustainability.

Freeman, editor of Industrial Pollution Prevention Handbook, is senior research associate with the Urban Waste Management and Research Center at the University of New Orleans and serves as a senior fellow to the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of South Carolina.

Altiero says the forum provided a great opportunity for engineers to learn from experts about important issues in technology and how those issues affect the world. He hopes the event, as the Freeman Schools popular Tulane Business Forum does, will grow into a major networking event for local and regional engineering professionals. Engineers in attendance were able to earn six professional development hours.

"The response to this inaugural forum far exceeded our expectations and every indication is that those in attendance found it to be well worth their time," Altiero says. "You'll be seeing more of this type of activity from Tulane's School of Engineering in the future."
Forum patron Carl E. Woodward Inc. gave financial support to the conference, along with sponsors including Chaffe & Associates Inc., Entergy Corp., Laitram Corp., the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation, Parsons Brinckerhoff and URS Corp.

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