News Release

A Killer Job Fair and other 'Engineers Week' Highlights


UC San Diego's Disciplines of Engineering Career Fair (DECaf) attracted 75 high tech and life science companies and 1,500 engineering students as they discussed career options, internships, and permanent or summer employment opportunities. More DECaf photos can be found on Flickr.

San Diego, CA,  March 3, 2011 -- From wowing tech companies looking to hire new  grads, to teaching middle school students about engineering, to dropping tomatoes from a helium balloon 100 feet in the air, UC San Diego engineering students tackled Engineers Week.

Engineers Week, held Feb. 14-25 and headed by the Triton Engineering Student Council (TESC), is part of a national celebration of engineering’s many important contributions to society.  UC San Diego’s E Week events included the student-run Disciplinesof Engineering Career Fair (DECaf), which attracted 75 high tech and life science companies and 1,500 engineering students.  The annual event provides company representatives a unique opportunity to interact and engage with the Jacobs School’s talented engineering students regarding career options, internships, and permanent or summer employment opportunities. Some of the company representatives at this year’s DECaf were Jacobs School alumni who came back to their Alma mater to recruit students.

“This year’s event went really well,” said Raymond Han, a member of TESC and the DECaF business lead. “Most companies were impressed by the amount of students who visited the booths and liked how this was aimed towards engineers only. We had 12 more companies than last year, probably due to the economy bouncing back, so hopefully more students were able to find jobs and internships this year.”

Sponsors of DECaf included SAIC, ViaSat, L3 and Cisco. The event also attracted big name companies such as Google, Microsoft, Solar Turbines, Yahooo!  and Lockheed Martin. The UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has a total of 5,860 undergraduate and graduate students, and is the largest engineering school in the UC system, making it a gold mine for employers. 

“Sony Computer Entertainment America depends on the DECaF fair year after year to find candidates for all of our priority and hard-to-fill internships and full time opportunities,” said Melissa Banks, a Sony Computer Entertainment America representative who has participated in DECaf.  “They have absolutely the top engineers who are enthusiastic, smart, hardworking and ready to contribute. If we had one fair to visit, this would be it."


During E-Games one student team made made a tomato-protecting composite-material parachute from blue tape and newspaper for the balloon drop. More E-Games photos can be found on Flickr.

The Tuesday after DECaf, Jacobs School students shed their suits and ties and let loose during E-Games. This year, the competition for the “golden calculator” pitted more than 20 engineering student organizations against each other in a wacky competition that even extended beyond Warren Mall with a campus-wide scavenger hunt.

But as always, the highlight of E-Games was the tomato drop from a huge helium balloon on Warren Mall. Each team used paper plates, newspaper, tape and other ordinary products to design a structure to protect their tomato from the impact following a free fall from the balloon.

One team even created a parachute from a composite material made of newspaper and tape. Check out a photo of the composite parachute on the Jacobs School blog.



ENSPIRE, a student-organized E-Week event, gave nearly 400 local middle school students a chance to visit the university and to see what it’s like to study engineering.

During ENSPIRE, nearly 400 middle school students participated in a bridge design competition, using popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners and other art-project objects. More ENSPIRE photos can be found on Flickr.

At the ENSPIRE event, Jacobs School aerospace engineering major Tim Wheeler spent the morning talking about unmanned airplanes with visitors to his student-run lab. While Wheeler talked, middle school kids got to poke around the UCSD AUVSI lab, where Wheeler and his team mates build autonomous unmanned airplanes and design the software that controls the planes.

After lunch, Wheeler helped run the ENSPIRE student design competition. After a morning of seeing cutting edge engineering projects, the students got to try out a bit of engineering design. Each team was challenged to build a bridge from popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners and other art-project objects. Bridges had to span nine inches and hold as many marbles as possible.

After the design phase, the students came to Wheeler and other Jacobs School student volunteers who monitored the teams as they set their bridges across nine-inch gaps in banquet tables. The student teams counted and shrieked as they loaded marbles into their bridges one by one, until the bridge collapsed or a marble fell to the floor – or in a few cases, until the bridge managed to hold 80 marbles.  

“I’m impressed. The previous design was really interesting because it was more of a truss structure, but this was a flat bed and it did surprisingly well, and they used all the materials,” Wheeler said.

Media Contacts

Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering

Andrea Siedsma
Jacobs School of Engineering