Brains, talent and personality are the usual qualities expected for competing in a pageant. On Thursday night, however, the Mr. Engineer crown at the Rat was sought after by a unique group of contestants.
Hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the fourth annual Mr. Engineer Pageant asked contestants to showcase their personalities outside the classroom. The contestant that showed the best personalty was then crowned “Mr. Engineer.”
This year, junior Michael Vander Meiden was crowned.
His biggest take away from the event was the experience, the 2015 Mr. Engineer said.
“You kind of just have to go and have a good time and not worry about everything that’s going on,” he said. “Nothing really went according to plan, so kind of relax and have a good time while you’re doing it; I definitely did.”
The other five engineers that participated in the event were Joseph Cotto, Nikhil A.C. Delahaye, Sonny Huynh, Cody Morris and Kyle Rosen.
Morris came in second in the competition, followed by Huynh in third.
The first round of the competition was the introductions. The contestants strutted the runway walk while the hosts spoke about their interests, involvements and achievements.
Delahaye said the event shows the diversity of engineering and those in the field.
“It helps to counter the stereotypes about what makes an engineer,” he said. “You can have a lot of other interests outside engineering, math or science and still want to be an engineering major.”
Each competitor then shared his talents in the next portion, varying from hip-hop to singing to poi, which involves moving lit-up tether weights in a variety of rhythmical patterns.
Liana Madden, who attended the event, thought the talent portion stood out the most. Madden even wanted her friends to take part.
“I actually nominated my friends, but they didn’t end up doing,” she said.
In the last round, each contestant dressed up in their best geek-chic outfit. With 45 seconds on the clock, they were interviewed with back-to-back engineer based questions. Each question answered correctly added two points to their overall scores.
Co-host Gino Parra, who won the competition last year, said the event went better than expected.
“The crowd was in it; there was a good turn out,” he said. “Everything overall went smoothly. The talents were on point, and that’s all I could really ask for.”