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Feb. 14, 2006
Contact: Jill Hummels, School of Engineering, (785) 864-2934.

KU Engineering Expo set for Feb. 24 and 25; to feature Sabre CEO Sam Gilliland

LAWRENCE — Registration is under way for the annual Engineering Expo at the University of Kansas School of Engineering.

Expo, coordinated by the KU Engineering Student Council and held during National Engineers Week, will be Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25. The keynote speaker on Feb. 24 will be Sam Gilliland, a KU electrical engineering alumnus who is chairman and CEO of Sabre Holdings, a world leader in travel commerce and parent company of Travelocity.

Gilliland’s presentation at 9:30 a.m. in the Lied Center 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. Both days of Expo feature hands-on exhibits, demonstrations and contests for visitors of all ages. This year, KU students have adopted the theme “Extreme Engineering.” All events are free and open to the public.

Expo design competitions for visitors take place Feb. 24 and include: Construct a Car; AIChE ChemE Car Competition; Digital Logic Contest; Duct Tape Competition; Egg Drop Design Contest; Extreme Balsa Glider; Pasta Bridge Contest; Programming Contest; and Rube Goldberg Competition.

The deadline to register for these contests is Feb. 22. Many contests are geared toward junior high and high school students, but some contests have divisions specifically for younger students. All are welcome to view the competitions, which begin at 11 a.m.

Displays and hands-on activities at Eaton and Learned halls are open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 24 and 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 25. Among the dozens of activities and displays that have been at recent Engineering 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; 3-D video cameras; 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; and robotics.

Teachers who plan to bring their classes are strongly encouraged to register at the Engineering Student Council Expo Web site. The site contains detailed information about student design competitions as well as maps, parking information and schedules. To learn more about Expo or to register for the event or specific contests go to www.kuesc.engr.ku.edu and click on the Expo link.

About Sam Gilliland
Sam Gilliland was elected to the board of directors and named president and CEO of Sabre Holdings in December 2003 and elected chairman in November 2004.

Previously, Gilliland served in several senior leadership roles, including executive vice president of Sabre Holdings and president and CEO of Travelocity. Before joining Travelocity in May 2002, Gilliland served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Sabre Holdings. As CMO, he was responsible for corporate strategy and driving enterprise-wide alignment with the Sabre Holdings business strategy.

Gilliland also served as group president of the company’s Airline Solutions business and senior vice president and general manager of product marketing, where he managed the company’s global product and service portfolio for the travel industry. Gilliland spent more than three years as senior vice president and general manager of Sabre Business Travel Solutions, a business-to-business e-commerce unit. He also served as a board member for Travelocity while it was a publicly traded company.

Before joining Sabre Holdings in 1988, Gilliland worked for Lockheed Missiles and Space in Austin, Texas, developing hardware and software for land- and air-based defense systems.

Gilliland earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from KU and serves on the School of Engineering Advisory Board. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.

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