[Article by Nane Zietsman]
Engineering is a team sport, and the success of our 2022 Open Day confirms that this rings true. With the dedication of our students and staff, the Faculty housed fully booked sessions at this year’s long-anticipated on-campus event.
As the first on-campus Open Day since the COVID-19 pandemic, several measurements were put in place to ensure that the event aligned with national regulations. The first measurement introduced a ticketing system to assist in regulating the number of attendees at the various sessions. Each session at the Faculty of Engineering could host up to 1 000 people, with every department presenting its own separate Open Day activities. To ensure that all our visitors could access information, departmental sessions were offered in English and Afrikaans. Additionally, Prof Wikus Van Niekerk, Dean of the Faculty, addressed prospective students with the available assistance of interpreting services.
In addition to the online ticking system, the Faculty also implemented other safety procedures. This included utilising outdoor areas to receive and regulate visitors. A marquee tent served as the central gathering point for visitors to collect their information packs and meet their tour guides. Safe socialisation was encouraged on the lawn in front of the General Engineering Building, with the addition of a DJ that kept the air buzzing with lively beats.
Our students and staff had an early start to their Saturday, with only a few hours to complete the finishing touches before visitors arrived. Some visitors, however, were so enthusiastic that they made their way to the Faculty long before the first sessions were due to begin. Luckily, Chalk Board had no shortage of caffeine and delicious food, lining the stomachs and minds for a long and eventful day.
The excellent coordination of our Open Day organisers assisted in sessions running smoothly and on time. While academic staff and final-year students managed the main tent, tour guides escorted visitors to the corresponding department. Visitors were invited to engage with our facilities, staff, and students through informative departmental sessions and fun demonstrations. The aim was to allow prospective students to explore the Faculty’s offerings and gather insights from individuals who have firsthand experience in being an engineer, an engineering student and most importantly, a Matie.
Open Day is a unique opportunity for the Faculty to market our world-class offerings and future vision to prospective students. The Faculty is committed to creating a transformative student experience from our first contact with prospective students until they graduate and embrace the role of alumni. Throughout all Open Day activities, we sought to reflect this intention. Visitors were welcomed in a safe environment where they could access accurate information in their chosen language. Furthermore, the presence of students and staff allowed for personalised interactions and the opportunity for prospective students to pose their questions and share their concerns. The event was a tremendous success, and we would like to extend our gratitude to all those involved. Go, team!
The online Open Day presentations can be accessed by follow this link: http://bit.ly/OpenDay22_Eng.
Photograph: Tour guides representing some of the different departments within the Faculty of Engineering.