Lyle Newsroom 2011 Stories

Texan of the Year should be EPA chief Al Armendariz

Design Change

Is It Time to Rename the Texas Ratio?

Lasers Power Pentagon's Next-Gen Artificial Limbs

Weatherwatch - Can the intensity of a hurricane be predicted?

ABC's "Made in America" visits SMU

Lyle Team Places in National Competition

Technology and engineering to support work with refugees

My Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs: what we can learn from how he lived

SMU lab establishes research partnership with the U.N.

Hart Center partners with CCL to bring leadership development to all SMU engineering students

More Than Just Money

Moon and Back: Drake Frank

EEWeb Featured Engineer: Geoffrey Orsak

State Fined Company Named In FBI Search Warrants

Lyle School's Innovation Gym now supported by National Instruments and Lockheed Martin

Top Texas Engineering and Computer Science University Students Learn to Lead at Dallas Conference

California vs. Texas: Debating Their Economic Policies

Students Build Living Village for Math Credit

Acoustic Energy Harvesters Gaining Volume

Computer Science and Engineering Team Takes 2nd Place at Cyber Defense Competition

Engineering Students Debate the Risk/Rewards of Nuclear Power

Sustainable Village Comes to Life through Engineering

SMU Students Build Refugee Camp on Campus

Lyle Team Wins First Place in State Competition

Hunt Institute to Build Third World Village on SMU Campus

Humanitarian-Focused Engineering

SMU CSE Seniors Design and Sell SeekDroid App.

Talk To The Hand: A New Interface For Bionic Limbs

Texas Undergraduate Research Day

Dallas-area students envision and design tomorrow's personal entertainment wonders at Visioneering 2011

Hunt Institute representatives observe solar powered water systems in Kenya

Lyle Student Designs Surround Sound Fun in 3D

At the Lyle School of Engineering, Play is Hard Work

Engineering Students Debate the Risk/Rewards of Nuclear Power

Town hall format set for Thursday, April 14 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on the SMU campus


April 13, 2011

Dallas, Texas, April 12, 2011 – Do the benefits of nuclear power outweigh the risks? Today’s news that Japan elevated its nuclear disaster at the Fukushima plant to levels not seen since Chernobyl pushes this question to the forefront of national debate. This Thursday, April 14, SMU Lyle School of Engineering students will discuss the ethics of engineering at the Hillcrest Foundation Amphitheatre at Caruth Hall.

“The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan have shown how quickly natural disasters turn into engineering disasters that ultimately become humanitarian disasters,” says Dean Geoffrey Orsak. “Our engineering students need to engage these tough global issues early in their professional development so that they are well prepared to take on these challenges when they enter the workforce.”

The second in a new series introduced by the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership, these public debates engage the student population in current events while reinforcing big-picture engineering that incorporates business, economics, ethics, and public policy. The first debate in Fall 2010 addressed offshore drilling policy in the wake of the gulf oil disaster.

More than 150,000 displaced persons in Japan live in temporary structures not unlike the one SMU students built and call home this week on the Dallas campus. Part of The Hunt Institute's Engineering and Humanity Week, makeshift tents and huts in a "Living Village" simulate what it’s like to live, cook, and sleep in temporary shelters, much like those surrounding the Fukushima power plant.

SMU Director of Debate Ben Voth will moderate the debate that brings world news to life for students. Students, faculty, alumni, and friends of SMU are invited to gather from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Hillcrest Foundation Amphitheatre at Caruth Hall.

“Debate is an important part of any educational process,” Voth says. “These public debates provide a way for strong ideas to emerge with regard to key global problems engineers face such as with nuclear power.”

SMU students participating in the nuclear power debate include Chris Dawkins, a sophomore from Fort Smith, Arkansas with a triple major in political science, public policy, and economics, and Sean Tabbert, a junior from Austin pursuing a computer science degree.

John Kiser, Associate Dean and Executive Director for the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership, says the public debates groom future engineers for collaborative, multidisciplinary environments in which they will put technical expertise and theory into practice to make a difference in the world.

“These public forums, in conjunction with extensive Hart leadership development programs, give students a voice and the confidence they will need to influence others and speak up for what they believe in,” Kiser adds.

The Hart Center for Engineering Leadership, officially opening on October 13, 2010, was created to help engineering students think and act strategically about their professional development. The Center was founded on the belief that leadership and professional development of students should be done by design and with purpose. This new vision challenges students to proactively sharpen their leadership skills as they build their deep technical knowledge. Visit for more information.