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‘Solving Society's Audacious Challenges’ Topic of Nov. 16 Talk at Cal Poly


Aaron OpdykeAaron Opdyke, a Cal Poly civil engineering alumnus now working as a research assistant, will present “Solving Society's Audacious Challenges: The Nexus of Engineering and the Humanities”. After the talk, he will answer questions from the audience.

Date: Monday, Nov. 16
Time: 6:10 p.m.
Location: The Advanced Technology Laboratories (Building No. 7) at Cal Poly

At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September, 193 nations committed to three extraordinary tasks: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and address climate change. Opdyke will discuss the need for interdisciplinary teams to solve these pressing societal challenges.

Opdyke, who worksat the University of Colorado, Boulder,
will also present best practices in high-stakes interdisciplinary collaboration by sharing his recent research in post-disaster recovery. Specifically, he will examine how such collaborations played an integral role in post-disaster recovery efforts following
Super Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in 2013.

His talk is co-sponsored by the new science, technology and society (STS) minor program in Cal Poly’s College of Liberal Arts. Students in the program explore the interconnections of science, technology and society and how each impacts and influences the other and the world.

“The STS program is designed to empower students to tackle the biggest challenges and questions we face in the 21st century,” said program Director Jane Lehr. “We need leaders like Aaron who can understand, innovate and create bridges between diverse disciplines and professions to solve today’s and tomorrow’s complex problems.”

The event is co-sponsored by Cal Poly’s College of Liberal Arts Lottery Fund, the Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program, and the Cal Poly chapter of Engineers Without Borders, of which Opdyke is past president. This event is part of the Cal Poly Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation in STEM Program’s Students for Social Change series.

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