COLLEGE PLACE - An orthopedic surgeon with a background in engineering, and specializing in reconstructive surgery, will be the key speaker during Walla Walla University's National Engineers Week.
The annual event honors the field of engineering from Feb. 21-25 with a traditional egg drop contest and fundraising banquet.
The school's Edward F. Cross School of Engineering has invited William Rohr to speak during the Feb. 24 banquet to be held at Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College campus in Walla Walla.
Rohr's presentation, "Innovation is a Strategy: Lessons from a Blowfly," will focus on how science and engineering can lead to innovation. The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m.
Rohr will discuss how science and engineering can work toward innovation of old methods, and how each discipline offers tools and ideas to both come up with and interpret innovative outcomes. Specifically, Rohr will focus on the limits of research in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. He will frame the discussion around his study of the blowfly.
"As a young student who was both a pre-med student and an engineering major, my task was to understand the feeding behavior of the blowfly," Rohr said in a statement. "I quickly learned that what the biologist perceived as behavior was to an engineer simply a series of interrelated feedback loops. The same problem, just analyzed with different tools. Innovation is often simply the result of seeing things differently."
Banquet tickets cost $20 for students, and $30 for the general public. An Italian menu will be served. Tickets should be reserved by Feb. 18 at noon by calling 527-2765.
The banquet is one of several activities happening through the college to mark engineers week. Also on Feb. 24 at noon, students will launch raw eggs off Kretschmar Hall on the WWU campus in the school's annual egg-drop contest. Awards for successful launches will be given. The event is free to attend and participate; refreshments will be available. Students in the school's chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers coordinate the event.