At this year’s Engineering Week, the University of Central Florida’s College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) went all out. More than 20 organizations held college-wide engineering events, including Rube Goldberg competitions and multi-cultural formals. They played host to industry luminary Microsoft, which presented design and building competitions. In the coup de grâce, they attempted to break the world record for the longest high-five chain in conjunction with UCF CECS’ Limbitless Solutions team, which makes 3D printed prostheses for children. All of this was organized by the UCF ASEE Student Chapter.
It’s a small club, but it’s doing big things. Rising senior Jimmy Palmer is the newest president of the recently-formed ASEE. Just two years ago, the club changed over from SPECS (the Student Panel for Engineering and Computer Science) to ASEE, and nearly lost all of its members. When Palmer was elected president last year, he took the helm with just one other member.
“We see ourselves as the representatives for the college,” Palmer said, noting that he wanted to build the club into something that reached across the campus. Indeed, the world record attempt, though not broken, “attracted hundreds and hundreds of people,” he said.
Through dedication and outreach, he’s grown the club to about 15 people, with more ambitious plans to come next year. In addition to growing ASEE and offering their annual showcases and other events, he would like to see the engineering club community reach more people and its higher potential. This would mean working with the other 20-odd clubs on campus.
“I want to find a way to collect data on how people feel about their clubs and what they want from them. I can investigate the data and talk to the dean’s office, offer problems and suggested solutions,” Palmer said. “I want to promote membership and events, and help people find their right fit, even if it isn’t ASEE.”