Two students selected to attend science foundation conference

Two engineering students from Ivy Tech Community College’s Fort Wayne Campus have been selected to attend the Advanced Technological Education Principal Investigators’ Conference, hosted by the National Science Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges. Lucas Bazile is an Electrical Engineering Technology student, and Isaiah Abel is a Pre-Engineering student.

The students were selected based on their expected future work on advanced technological education grants for the National Science Foundation. Bazile and Abel would help develop kits to help teach microelectromechanical systems. These systems deal with electromechanical sensors, such as those used to detect when a tablet or cell phone is turned horizontal to vertical—or vice versa—and the tire pressure in vehicles. The kits are modified versions of those developed by the University of New Mexico’s Southwest Center for Microsystems Education, which are used at Ivy Tech.

Andrew Bell, the engineering department chair at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus, will also serve on a panel at the conference. The panel will discuss how two-year schools like Ivy Tech can work with four-year schools to advance microelectromechanical system technology. Currently, Ivy Tech is working with Purdue University to develop a bachelor’s degree in micorelectromechanical system technology. Ivy Tech offered three classes in the subject for the first time this summer. These electives are part of a technical certificate in Electronics and Computer Technology. Ideally, those classes would become part of a transfer degree for Ivy Tech graduates at Purdue.

Ivy Tech students have been selected for this annual conference since 2014.

“It’s not that common because students apply and have to be selected,” Bell says. “At the conference, they get recognized for their selection and their work on the grants. There’s only a limited number of spots nationally.”

The conference will take place from Oct. 23 to 25 in Washington DC.

Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus offers four engineering programs: Electronics and Computer Technology (, Pre-Engineering (, Electrical Engineering Technology (, and Engineering Technology (

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