Engineering acumen on display

Ruston High students work together to win a Engineering Week competition. Glenn Lewis/GSU Media Bureau

Clayton A. Wiley Engineering Week is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing the understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. 


The celebration of National Engineers Week was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers in conjunction with President George Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22. According to DiscoverE (formerly the National Engineers Week Foundation), Washington is considered as the nation’s first engineer, notably for his survey work. 


At Grambling, high school students from five area high schools in Lincoln Parish came to see what the the campus has to offer  and  were provided the opportunity to build tangible and practical things in the classroom. 


This event was named after Grambling native Clayton A. Wiley, one of the founding fathers of the Department of Engineering Technology, 

Wiley, former head of the Department of Engineering Technology, started a scholarship fund for engineering technology students in the GSU Foundation. 


In honor of Clayton A. Wiley we use this week to help young people learn about engineering with hands-on activities,” Dr. Edwin B. Thomas, engineering professor, said. 


This activity is one of the Engineering Technology Department’s greatest recruiting vehicles. 


“Many high school students who participated in this program have come to enroll in STEM and other programs at Grambling State University,” Yolanda King, departmental assistant, said. 


 James Toles, a computer aid drafting and design student, assisted with the event.   


“During High School Day I mentored and showed the high school students how awesome and interesting engineering can be,” Toles said. “Showing them engineering materials, how it works and what can be made with that specific material.” 


Toles reflected on the high school event as a first-generation engineering student from New Orleans. 


“It was something new to me because I didn’t know anything about college and engineering,” Toles said. “At first I came only because my cousin enrolled so I wanted to see what it was like and from there I developed love for the college.” 


At an early age, Toles would build and design things, including an entire bike. 


“My father wanted to me to give it a try because he knew I would love it,” Toles said.


Richard Arnold, science teacher at Jonesboro-Hodge High School, thanked the department for the invitation and letting his students participate. 


“We all had a great time,” Arnold said. “The atmosphere was great and fostered a spirit of competition.” 


Students competed in different categories including bridge design, electrical circuits, mechanical puzzle and computer quiz competition. 


This year a display room was added where students also interacted with GSU representatives from admissions, financial aid, ROTC and current engineering technology majors. 


John Frazier, an engineering professor, fascinated over 150 students with drones created by his senior project students. 


“I appreciate the hospitality shown by Grambling State University and its students,” Arnold said. “We look forward to attending again next year.”


During the week, Schlumberger had an information session for current students. Schlumberger is the world’s leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production and processing to the oil and gas industry with over 100,000 employees representing more than 140 nationalities working in more than 85 countries. 


Glen Houston, NAM OFS Recruiter from Schlumberger, spoke with the department’s sophomores, juniors and seniors about the many internships and job opportunities available with the company.


“Mr. Houston also encouraged the students have great readily available resumes at all times,” King said. “During this session Mr. Glen Houston made that announcement to one of the department’s students, Dominic Jenkins, that Schlumberger offered him a job.” 


Jenkins will be graduating with a degree in electronics engineering technology in Spring 2019.