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University Relations

p (785) 864-3256
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Jan. 27, 2005
Contact: Jill Hummels, School of Engineering, (785) 864-2934.

Engineering Expo Feb. 25 at KU to feature SpaceShipOne engineer, KU grad

LAWRENCE -- Doug Shane, director of flight operations for SpaceShipOne, will be the keynote speaker at the 2005 Engineering Expo on Friday, Feb. 25, at the University of Kansas.

SpaceShipOne made headlines around the world in October 2004 when it became the first privately funded, manned spacecraft to break the barrier into space. Shane, a 1982 KU aerospace engineering alumnus, also was one of four test pilots for the project, led by aircraft designer Burt Rutan.

Shane's presentation at 9:30 a.m. in the Lied Center of Kansas will kick off the first day of Engineering Expo, an annual open house at the KU School of Engineering that lets students from throughout the region experience the fun of engineering. Expo, coordinated by KU Engineering Student Council, will continue on Saturday, Feb. 26. Both days will feature hands-on exhibits, demonstrations and contests for visitors. This year, KU students have adopted a Hollywood theme, "Engineering Studios: Behind the Scenes."

Also new is "Jayhawk Down," a new contest that will test Expo visitors' "lifesaving skills."

In the style of the popular TV show "Junkyard Wars," contestants will have to create a device that will deliver "aid packages" to a Jayhawk stranded on an island. Prizes will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners. Each team will receive an initial package of "junk" that they can use to create their device. The island will be in the center of a large water tank. Using their invention, the teams will have to transport or toss aid packages -- small sponges -- to the island. Teams may "purchase" additional junk items from event coordinators in order to complete their invention but will lose points in the competition.

"Jayhawk Down" will be held Saturday morning, Feb. 26, in the courtyard between Eaton and Learned halls. Visitors to Expo can form their own teams and may launch their invention when they are ready. Teams may be of any size. There are no specific competition times for each team. There is no cost to participate, and advance registration for the contest is not necessary.

Among the dozens of activities and displays that have been at recent Expos are:

  • kinematic suit to track the motion of the human body
  • make your own concrete
  • wind tunnel demonstrations
  • networked computer gaming
  • heat-transfer pancake feed
  • rocket design
  • concrete canoe
  • flight simulator
  • space shuttle simulator
  • racecar simulator
  • formula-style competition racecars
  • acoustics and lighting displays, including voice and sound modulation
  • chemistry show
  • TV and radio communications displays
  • robotics

Shane's presentation, like all Expo activities, is free and open to the public. Teachers who plan to bring their classes are strongly encouraged to register at the Engineering Student Council Expo Web site, To learn more about Expo, or to register for the event or specific contests, visit the site, which contains detailed information about student design competitions as well as maps, parking information and schedules.

Engineering Expo at a Glance:

Friday, Feb. 25
9 a.m.: Check-in at Lied Center
9:30 a.m.: Keynote address: Doug Shane, director of flight operations for SpaceShipOne
10:30 a.m.: Displays open at Learned and Eaton halls; check-in continues at Eaton Hall
11 a.m.: Design competitions and judging begin, Learned and Eaton halls
1 p.m.: Contest award winners announced, Spahr Engineering Classroom, Eaton Hall
3 p.m.: Expo exhibits close for the day

Saturday, Feb. 26
9 a.m.-noon: Displays open at Learned and Eaton halls

Aerospace Egg Drop Contest
Backstage Ride Design Contest
ChemE Car Contest
Construct a Car Contest
Day of Design - Aerospace Contest
Pasta Bridge Contest
Robot Programming Contest
Rube Goldberg Ticket Machine Contest
SHPE King Kong Tower Building Contest

Expo Coordinators
Tanner Rinke,, (785) 864-5641
Jonathan Ashley,, (785) 864-5641

KU School of Engineering, Public Relations office
Jill Hummels,, (785) 864-2934

Expo speaker:
Douglas B. Shane is one of four test pilots for the SpaceShipOne program, the experimental space plane that earned Scaled Composites the Ansari X Prize in 2004. Shane earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from KU in 1982. He joined Scaled Composites upon graduation and is now the company's vice president for business development and director of flight operations. He has been directly responsible for the safe performance of more than 25 research flight test programs. In 1997, he received the Ivan C. Kincheloe Award for outstanding professional accomplishment in flight testing from the 2,000-member Test Pilot Society. Shane has more than 20 years of experience in aircraft flight test, design, program management and business development, with particular expertise in research aircraft developmental flight test.


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