"Illuminate New Horizons" - Engineering Open House, March 10-11


“Illuminate New Horizons” is the theme for the 97th Annual Engineering Open House (EOH) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This year’s event will feature robotics competitions, concrete crushing, and rocket races—more than 200 student exhibits in all.

An exciting addition to the EOH tradition is the 2nd annual Startup Showcase! Engineering at Illinois was recently ranked by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the top ten schools for venture capital funding, innovative alumni, and other similar metrics. The Startup Showcase will highlight the rapidly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at Illinois by featuring accomplished student innovators.

All events and exhibits are free and open to the public. Student projects and start-up exhibits will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 10, and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, on the Engineering Campus, which is north of Green Street.

Special this year is the exhibits at the biennial Beckman Institute Open House, located on the Engineering Campus and held in conjunction with EOH. Interdisciplinary researchers have put together Virtual Reality demonstrations. Elementary school students have prepared an interactive exhibit where people can see live jellyfish and experience a tide pool touch tank. And a super-high-magnetic-field MRI scanner—one of only seven in operation in the world—will be on display!

The featured speaker for EOH 2017 is Vilas Dhar, social investor and attorney known for his contributions to socially conscious ventures. Currently, he is at Harvard University, serving as the the Gleitsman Fellow in Leadership in Social Change at the Center for Public Leadership.

Dhar received a J.D. from NYU and earned his Bachelor’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Illinois. A past Entrepreneur in Residence at Illinois, Dhar has invaluable insights and experience to share with the Illinois community. (See Visitors Guide/app for details).

Along with exciting exhibits and the guest speaker, the EOH weekend is packed with more fun.

On Friday, 25 high school teams will compete in the Rube Goldberg machine contest. Student teams from across the region will try and create the wackiest and most entertaining way to apply a Band-Aid.

The Midwestern Robotics Design Competition, formerly the Jerry Sanders Creative Design Competition, is an annual national robotics competition held at the Kenney Gym. College robotics teams compete in a large course conceptualized and designed by the competition committee. With various prizes and a fun-filled atmosphere, this competition attracts talented engineering students from across the country.

Giant Tesla Coil Concert on the back patio of Engineering Hall
Giant Tesla Coil Concert on the back patio of Engineering Hall
Following Vilas Dhar’s presentation, EOH 2017 closes its Friday festivities with a giant Tesla Coil Concert on the Engineering Quad at 8.30 p.m., Get ready to be amazed as thousands of volts of electricity zap through the air to mimic well-known musical tunes.

Several popular food trucks will be located along Springfield Avenue to feed the masses touring the exhibits. There is also an entertainment tent nearby, featuring campus performers and a variety of musical styles.

Parking is available and is free to the public. Directions for parking can be found on the EOH website. From there, visitors can board a free shuttles with stops near the Illini Union and various contest locations.

EOH attracts several thousand visitors each year and is the largest student run event at Illinois. An informative and comprehensive visitor’s guide will ensure that families have a fun learning experience as they walk through the exhibits. A mobile app, created especially for EOH, includes exhibits details, maps and much more to guide you through EOH 2017. The app is available for free download on Google Play Store and the iOS App Store. For additional information on the 97th Engineering Open House, visit the website.