(Columbus, May 22, 2017)  —  More than 1,700 engineering professionals are attending this week’s Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) 2017 Joint Engineer Training Conference & Expo at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) May 23-25.

The event, held annually in May, is the premier education and training conference for engineers and affiliates in the architect/engineer./contractor industry focusing on cultivating solutions to benefit national security.

“We have 30,000 members throughout the globe and 105 chapters,” said Ann McLeod, SAME director of meetings and marketing. “Our host chapter this year is in Dayton.”

The attendees are composed of 20 percent active-duty military personnel or civilians working for the government, with the remaining 80 percent being government contractors, mostly military veterans.  Members represent branches of the armed forces and public health service.

More than 70 education sessions in seven tracks are being offered to advance participants both personally and professionally.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Eileen Collins, United States Air Force (Ret), the first woman to serve as pilot and commander of a United States spacecraft
  •  Noah Galloway, a military veteran, sustained debilitating injuries during Operation Iraqi Freedom and became despondent afterward. He has recovered to become a personal trainer and motivational speaker and earned third place in the “Dancing with the Stars” televised competition.

The exhibit hall will be open Wednesday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and again from 7:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 25.

The event will conclude with the Society Ball Dinner and Awards Gala the evening of May 25.

Founded in 1902, the SAME mission is to lead collaborative efforts to identify and resolve national security challenges and promote the core values of integrity, patriotism, public service, national security, technical competence, excellence and environmental stewardship.