On October 2, the New Hampshire Joint Engineering Societies (NHJES) held its 13th Annual Conference, highlighted by a live demonstration from students from St. Thomas Aquinas in Derry.

“They were able to demonstrate the skill of the VEX IQ robot picking up cylinders in an agility style movement,” said NHEJS Board Member Frank Xydias, who teaches at Milford High School & Applied Technology Center. “It was great.” 

Representing the third year running in which the conference included secondary teachers and students, this year’s conference featured several other presentations.

Students from Manchester Community College’s Workforce Development Summer STEM Camps showcased their 3D printing and robotics skills. In addition, Milford High School & Applied Technology Center’s Engineering and Career Focus Internship students discussed their programs.

“The conference provides an opportunity for students to connect with professional engineers from across the state,” added Xydias. “It’s a chance to learn about career pathways, career planning and network as a junior engineer.”

NHJES Chair Michale Bogue commented on the skills and preparation demonstrated by these students.

“Our society has expressed a desire to stay true to our mission, which is to provide education, leadership, and support,” he said. 

“We do this for both our adult members and our future members, the students in attendance, added Xydias.

Members in NHEJS include New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers, American Council of Engineering Companies, American Society of Civil Engineers – NH Section, IEEE – New Hampshire Section, Society of Women Engineers, Southern New Hampshire, and Structural Engineers of New Hampshire.

At this year’s conference, Keynote Speaker Dr. Cist, Vice President of R&D for Geophysical Survey Systems in Nashua, told stories of applications of ground penetrating radar systems.

“While it is a subject that sounds like it would only apply to engineers in the field, his illustrations and stories captivated us all,” recounted Xydias. “He also challenged all the students in the audience to follow their passion for engineering, because it is a career that does a lot of good.”

It is also a career with “tremendous diversity,” as he said there are more than 40 types of engineering degrees and a number of subcategory professions,” he said. 

“An engineering career can lead to many other professions,” he added. “It is not exactly what people think, which is why this conference is important, because it helps to paint that broader picture.”

As for the future of engineering, Xydias said it is unknown to a certain extent, which makes the field so intriguing.

acknowledged he is not sure, which he said makes the engineering field so interesting.

“The careers that students will be going into in 10 years have not even been developed yet,” he said. The future is wide open, and engineering is going to be behind many of the advances that shape how we live.”