This year’s Mr. Engineer knew he needed an edge to win the competition. So he dressed as a woman.
When Engineering junior Brian Foster was first introduced to a crowd at the Chrysler Center last night, he sported a penguin-print tie and claimed to love dorm food.
During the talent portion of the competition, he abandoned the suit and replaced it with a pink sweater, a knee-length skirt and red heels. It was in this getup that he sang a rendition of Weird Al’s “Truck Driving Song.” At this point, he appeared to have the competition in the bag.
Foster would end up winning the annual Mr. Engineer last night. The Society of Women Engineers created the competition in 2000 to bring together the engineering community. It has since become a tradition on North Campus.
This year, the 13 contenders represented a variety of engineering societies on campus like Theta Tau, Sigma Gamma Tau and Pi Tau Sigma.
The night began with brain teasers.
Contestants were given one minute to answer a riddle. While most contestants came up with ridiculous solutions and fed off of the audience’s energy, Foster separated himself from the pack by giving the only correct answer of the night.
Next, the competitors showcased their talents.
Contestants rapped, salsa danced, sang, juggled and lip-synched their way into the judges’ hearts.
After the intermission, the five finalists were announced. Fun and games were put aside. Their last chance to secure the title of Mr. Engineer was to answer a long and convoluted question of ethics.
Chrysler Auditorium sold out, selling 250 tickets. The money raised through ticket sales and donations – close to $2,000 – will be given to SafeHouse, an organization that aids victims of domestic violence. Contestants received extra points for raising money on behalf of the Society of Women Engineers.
Over the years, the talent competition has consisted of everything from impersonations of Britney Spears to tap dance routines.
“The comedy routines usually win it,” said Ashley Issa, co-chair of this year’s competition.
Before Foster received his sash and trophy, Phil Kofahl, last year’s Mr. Engineer, reflected on his own victory.
“It was a rush. It was magical,” he said. “It validated four years of college.”