Innovation and technology festival celebrates the new West End district

The festival, which welcomed more than 1,000 guests, included a business creation competition, panel discussions and tours of the new university infrastructure on campus.

by Kristin Chapman | 59 minutes ago

From May 12-14, the College hosted its first-ever Innovation and Technology Festival to celebrate the West End’s new infrastructure. The festival featured various events, including a startup contest with 12 student teams, panel discussions, building tours, barbecues, food trucks, a light show, and other interactive experiences.

The festival paid tribute to the late March opening of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society and the Class of 1982 Engineering and Computing Center – home to the Computer Science Department, the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship and the DALI laboratory. College spokeswoman Diana Lawrence wrote in an emailed statement to The Dartmouth that the construction of this infrastructure marks the largest construction project in Dartmouth’s history.

“The district is adding 205,000 square feet of state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities focused on energy, computing and engineering,” Lawrence wrote. “It is funded by $500 million in investments through the Call to Lead campaign.”

According to Associate Vice President of Advancement Tim McGowan, the outdoor community picnic and food trucks hosted more than 1,000 people during the festival. He noted that the festival also featured the grand opening of the Class of 1982 Engineering and Computing Center with a musical performance by the Dartmouth Sings.

In a statement emailed to The Dartmouth on May 13, College President Phil Hanlon wrote that the festival was meant to celebrate a transformed part of the Dartmouth campus and would not include a direct fundraising component. .

According to Lawrence, the festival’s events shed light on topics such as artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, healthcare and energy, with a focus on sustainability in the areas of science, technology and technology. technology and business.

Siddhant Parwal ’23 said he attended the festival out of interest as an engineering major and a desire to hear from alumni in the field.

“I spend a lot of time at this end of campus and there’s a lot of nice people who’ve come to town – a lot of really interesting, well-accomplished alumni – and [I] wanted to hear them [and] meet some of them,” Parwal said. “They put a lot of work into the planning [the festival]and it was a very upbeat vibe.

In addition, Parwal said that he volunteered at the groundbreaking ceremony for the building at the Engineering and Computing Center and witnessed talks, fireside chats, open houses, boot contests and barbecues. Parwal added that one of the highlights for him was hearing from alumni and seeing their continued involvement with the College.

Former board leader Laurel Richie ’81 said she attended the festival because she helped oversee the planning and development of the West End district during her tenure at the College. Richie, who is a member of the executive committee of Hanlon’s Call to Lead, added that she hosted an event at the festival on Friday and attended seminars throughout the day.

“The most amazing part was actually seeing the buildings filled with students and faculty who were already working, learning and collaborating together in these new spaces, because the value of buildings is not the structures, but what what’s going on inside of them,” Richie says. “To see students really enjoying the space, coming together, meeting each other – it was really amazing.”

Richie said after the festival she was excited about the possibility of greater collaboration between the various institutions in the West End – which includes the Tuck School of Business and the Thayer School of Engineering – as they are close together. the other. She added that architecture and building design also encourage students to work together.

“The spaces themselves were designed for collaboration – they’re flexible, they’re connected, there’s [are] lots of open spaces where you can just sit together on a few sofas and keep working — so I think those were the things that were the most exciting for me,” she said.

Lehigh University President and former Dartmouth Provost Joseph Helble said he was also at the festival for his role in the “development of ideas” that led to the creation of the new West End. He added that various Dartmouth departments, including the Energy and Advancement Team, the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office and the School of Engineering planned and organized the festival.

Helble added that he enjoyed the discussion between Hanlon and Sen. Rob Portman ’78, R-OH, as well as the keynote speaker event featuring University of Maryland, Baltimore County Chairman Freeman A. Hrabowski. III.

“[It] It was great to hear those conversations – just talking about innovation in legislation to support innovation and competitiveness, and then things that [UMBC] has done to support a diverse STEM population and encourage students to seek a PhD,” said Helble. “These are things that all of us – us as university leaders – think about.”

Helble said he also led a Saturday morning fun run, which stemmed from his tradition of leading fun runs for Lehigh students each week, sometimes with alumni he met across the country.

“I thought it would be a fun way to bring the Dartmouth community together – anyone interested in running four miles – to get some exercise and have a conversation about the great things happening in higher education and in Dartmouth. , and just enjoy your time,” he said.

Helble noted the importance of a wide range of ideas and perspectives when it comes to innovation projects.

“[The festival] urges the Dartmouth community and the local community that innovation must bring together a wide range of perspectives,” said Helble. “And it’s so consistent with the liberal arts emphasis of an education at Dartmouth.”

About Margaret L. Portillo

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