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Virgin Galactic CEO to Inspire Future Engineers to Pursue Aerospace – and You can be There!

Hundreds of aspiring engineers from high schools and colleges across Southern California will converge on the campus of UCI September 7 to explore the future of aerospace at the free Aerospace Workforce Development Symposium & Expo.

Virgin Galactic CEO George T. Whitesides will give an inspirational keynote on “Opening Space to Change the World for Good,” during the symposium which runs from 1 to 4 p.m. A panel discussion and short, Ted-like talks feature innovators from Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Dassault Systemes, Make in LA, Edge Factor, UCI Samueli School of Engineering, the National Institute for Aviation Research, Caltech and Base 11 will round out the symposium.

“We’re bringing together the top leaders from industry, academia and philanthropy to look at what aerospace workforce development solutions and models are working, as well as to discuss emerging innovations in training and education,” said Landon Taylor, CEO of the workforce and entrepreneur development company Base 11.

Following the symposium, students will explore hands-on activities and view real-world exhibits ranging from flight simulators to mobile rocket labs at the expo from 4-7 p.m. Exhibitors from major aerospace corporations like Parker Aerospace and Astronics will be exhibiting alongside student rocket clubs from San Diego State University and Cal State Long Beach.

“At UCI, we appreciate that the best way to become an engineer is through hands-on, experiential learning,” said Greg Washington, Stacey Nicholas Dean of Engineering at UCI. “That’s why we will have so many exhibits at the Expo to touch and explore, so students really get an understanding of the opportunities that await them in aerospace.”

The event is co-hosted by the UCI Samueli School of Engineering, Base 11 and Dassault Systemes, which are working together on an initiative to develop engineering talent.

“There is growing demand in industry for skilled, motivated individuals to tackle new and interesting challenges,” said Al Bunshaft, SVP of Global Affairs at Dassault Systemes. “That’s why we want to bring together a diverse group of promising young engineers and excite and inspire them to pursue their dreams in aerospace.”

The Aerospace Workforce Development Symposium & Expo is being held in conjunction with the 20th Annual Mars Society Convention at UCI September 7-10, and guests of the convention will be able to attend the symposium as one of the featured “tracks” and enjoy the expo between sessions.

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Follow the conversation on social media with #AerospaceExpo.

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