On April 23 and April 24, Intro to Engineering Design and Principles of Engineering students from Laramie High School
went to the University of Wyoming to tour three of the engineering buildings.

The classes, taught by Ariane Eicke, went to the Carbon Research Lab in the School of Energy Resources, the hydraulics lab in the old Engineering Building, and the brand new Cheney Engineering Building. 

At the Carbon Research Lab, the students learned about how carbon is processed, made and tested. At the lab, one floor is used for processing carbon, one for making and liquifying carbon, and the last floor tests the final results. The students learned that the carbon is processed in a rheometer. The rheometer measures the way a liquid responds to different applied forces. The lab also has a machine that makes strands of carbon fiber. 

A tour guide for the trip, Rajeeb, works in the lab and does research there. His research is to make a carbon fiber material  to help heal someone with problems with the discs in their back.

“He (Rajeeb) has some pretty cool projects…he is working right now on creating material that has enough give so you can put it between the discs in your back,” Eicke said. 

In the hydraulics lab, students worked with a civil engineer. The engineer, Kevin Befus, is a different type of civil engineer because instead of working with buildings, he works with water and pipes. He tests pipes and discussed the math behind his work with the engineering class. He also works with flumes and showed the class how water flows through by sending hydraulic jumps.

A hydraulic jump is when water at a high velocity transfers to an area with low velocity, they often look like waves. 

“Some of the coolest parts are when the kids got to touch things or see demonstrations…it was pretty cool,” Eicke said. 

Finally, the class went to the new engineering building. The lab is equipped with a combustion lab, artificial intelligence lab, and a makerspace. The building has so many resources that it is likely that engineering students aren’t the only ones who are going to work there. The makerspace is a good addition to the building because there is another in the Coe Library, which is smaller and in high demand.