Engineering Challenge Bonds TU and Virginia Tech Students

Monday, April 16th 2007, 9:04 pm
By: News On 6

Monday’s shooting at Virginia Tech took place at the Engineering and Science Building. A group of Tulsa engineering majors formed a special bond with some Virginia Tech students. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports now they’re worried about their friends.

"That's what I was thinking when I first heard about the news, hoping everyone I knew was okay," said TU engineering grad student Joshua Buck.

Joshua Buck is part of TU's Challenge X team. As part of a competition sponsored by General Motors, the team is spending four years revamping an SUV. The goal is to make the vehicle more fuel-efficient. Seventeen teams from schools across the country were chosen for Challenge X. The winner of last year's phase of the competition was Virginia Tech. TU's team members say while competing against them they've developed a camaraderie with their Hokie counterparts.

"We've grown close to the other teams by helping them out, helping us out. It's really a large team effort," said engineering student Clara Seaman.

All of the Challenge X teams are scheduled to meet up in Detroit again this year.

"When something like this happens, it's very terrifying," chemical engineering professor Dr. Christi Patton Lukes said.

The team's advisor, Dr. Christi Patton Lukes, has received updates about Virginia Tech’s Challenge X members via e-mail. She believes all of the students are okay, but she's not sure.

"You just really wonder what was happening and how horrible and tragic it is,” she said. “People's nerves are frayed, and to have something like this, I couldn't imagine."

Joshua and Clara say they will keep their friends in their prayers, and are confident they'll see them all again soon.

"I look forward to seeing them this summer at the competition,” Seaman said. “I hope at that point to be able to give them my personal sympathies."

Virginia Tech has one of the premiere engineering programs in the country. And the University of Tulsa team says it is tough to compete against them because their students are so talented.

If you have family or a professional connection with Virginia Tech, the News On 6 would like to hear from you. Please contact us at 918-732-6105 or email the News On 6.

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