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Engineering School Excited for Open House

By Gabby Hajduk

For the first time since 2019, the Engineering Open House is back in person. The University of Illinois and the Engineering School are currently hosting the nation's largest student-run event.

Due to the pandemic, the event was canceled in 2020 and then held virtually in 2021. Activities and exhibits opened up this morning at 9 a.m. and will continue through Saturday evening.

On Wednesday, event directors Kavya Sudhir and Victoria Kindratenko anxiously awaited the start of the open house which they had been planning since June.

Photo Courtesy of Engineering Open House Facebook Page

“It’s kind of nice for us to be able to put on the EOH that we imagined and I feel like our entire college deserves at this time because a lot of research has been going on the last three or four years," Sudhir said.

This year there are over 130 exhibits on campus along with several speakers and presentations. Some of these exhibits include the 3,000,000-lb testing machine, Alma's Talking Dogs, and Firefighting Drone.

Sudhir and Kindratenko are expecting thousands of visitors this weekend including hundreds of young kids. Sudhir said several field trip groups from schools around the state are coming down on Friday to enjoy the event.

Photo Courtesy of Engineering Open House Facebook page

Both directors attended EOH when they were younger and said it was influential in deciding their paths in engineering. Sudhir and Kindratenko both study bioengineering and were introduced to the topic at EOH as kids.

“I know when I was a kid I was really inspired by one of the exhibits," Kindratenko said. "It was this strawberry DNA extraction, you pureed a strawberry and you pulled out DNA from it. And I think from that moment I realized like, wow, bioengineering is kinda cool.”

Kindratenko hopes this weekend can have the same effect on other young kids. She's also just excited to see the kids running around campus and the Engineering Quad and exploring all of the fun exhibits.

This year's theme for the open house is "the power of us." The theme stemmed from how the university came together in its COVID-19 response over the last two years. It also highlights how the campus and the community have come together to help minimize the impacts of the pandemic.

The theme is also a tribute to how many people have invested time and resources in bringing EOH back to campus this year.

“A lot of people want to see EOH back. So with everybody’s support, we’ve been able to do this. Our motto this year is the power of us," Kindratenko said. "And it really has taken us to do this event. us as directors, as a committee, us as a campus coming together and making it happen.”

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