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Release: Immediate

Olympic gold medalist to speak at March 12 engineering dinner

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Greg Barton, 1988 U.S. Olympic gold medalist in sprint kayaking, will be the keynote speaker at the University of Iowa College of Engineering "Great Spaghetti Tangle" dinner, 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, March 12 in the South Dining Room of Currier Hall.

The dinner, being held in conjunction with UI engineering's MECCA Week (March 10-14), is open to all UI students, faculty, staff and the general public.

In addition to the dinner, a welcome reception will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 12 in Room 3108, Engineering Building, where Barton will give an informal presentation and answer questions. The reception will include refreshments and is free and open to the public.

Barton, president of Barton Technologies, a Seattle engineering consulting firm, will deliver a presentation on his Olympic and world-class achievements in kayaking. The session will include the showing of a 12-minute video segment about Barton's gold medal races by noted Olympic historian Bud Greenspan for his "Sixteen Days of Glory" film.

Barton's accomplishments include:

* Double Olympic Gold Medalist at the 1988 Seoul, South Korea Olympics;

* Olympic Bronze Medalist at the 1992 Barcelona, Spain Olympics;

* Olympic Bronze Medalist at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics; and

* Four-time World Champion.

Barton graduated from the University of Michigan summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1983. In addition to managing his firm, he has served as: athlete's representative to the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Team, 1989-97; keynote speaker for numerous meetings, events and fund-raisers, 1988-97; and 1996 Olympic Games announcer for the sprint canoe/kayak venue.

Tickets for the dinner and door prizes can be purchased at the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) office, 232 Jessup Hall; the UI mechanical engineering office, 2129 Engineering Building; and at the MECCA table in the Engineering Building lobby adjacent to the main office. Ticket prices are: $7 for students, $4 for children under 12, and $10 for faculty, staff and the general public. Dinner proceeds will support Iowa educational outreach programs conducted by UI engineering student organizations.

Event sponsors include: Associated Students of Engineering (ASE); Theta Tau Chapter, National Society of Professional Engineers; Multi-Ethnic Engineering Student Association (MESA); Society of Women Engineers (SWE); Hawkeye Engineer; WISE; Women in Engineering Committee; Caterpillar and the Engineering College Lectures Committee; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Iowa Memorial Union; UI Community Credit Union; UI Kayaking Club; First National Bank; Technigraphics; Olan Mills Portrait Studios; Herteen and Stocker Jewelers; The Grand Illusion; and UroSurge, Inc.

The acronym "MECCA" originated some 50 years ago and is composed of the first letters of five engineering departments from that era: mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical, and architectural. Additional information about the dinner may be obtained by contacting event organizer Jennifer Ocif at 337-8849 or by e-mail at