Kevin Olmstead

Engineer and Millionaire

Won $2.1 millon on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire'

February 15, 2002

Who Wants To Be An Engineer? "Millionaire" Winner Does

Engineer Kevin Olmstead, the largest winner in game show history when he won $2.1 million on ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" will promote the engineering profession during two National Engineers Week presentations on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the Kahn Rooms of the Hulman Union at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

"Millionaire"-winning engineer Kevin Olmstead will keynote National Engineers Week presentations.
Olmstead, senior project engineer with Tetra Tech (Ann Arbor, Mich.), will speak to more than 250 students from 13 area high schools during Student Visitation Day, from 12:15-1 p.m. His address, titled "Who Wants to Be an Engineer?", will encourage the students to consider careers in engineering, science and computer science fields. He will also talk about his "Millionaire" experience and how it has changed his life.

At 7 p.m., Olmstead will talk with Rose-Hulman students, faculty, staff and local professional engineers about how engineers have to be more proactive in promoting their professions. His address is titled "Engineering: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly."

In 2001, Olmstead became the largest winner on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" when he answered that Igor Sikorsky invented the first mass-produced helicopter. He used his winnings to buy his mother a gift. For himself, he purchased a laptop computer, a new vehicle and a new house. He has invested the rest.

Also a former "Jeopardy!" winner, Olmstead earned bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a doctorate in environmental engineering from the University of Michigan.

Student Visitation Day gives area freshmen and sophomore high-school students an opportunity to learn about engineering through job-shadowing with professional engineers and scientists, and touring local businesses and production facilities that employ engineers and scientists. Host companies include Pfizer, Bemis, Rose-Hulman Ventures, Great Dane Trailers, Cinergy and AET Films.

Other National Engineering Week events at Rose-Hulman include:

Junior Engineering and Technical Society's TEAMS regional competition, Feb. 21 -- Scholars from 15 Wabash Valley high schools will use their mathematics, science and teamworking skills to solve everyday engineering questions. Terre Haute South High School is the defending regional and state champion.

Regional MATHCOUNTS Contest, Feb. 23 -- The Wabash Valley's top middle-school students will test their mathematics skills in the MATHCOUNTS contest, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the Hulman Union. Honey Creek middle school in Terre Haute is the defending regional champion. Each school will have four students participating in three rounds of competition. The top two schools will advance to the state contest at Purdue University on March 9. MATHCOUNTS is organized by the Francis Vigo chapter of the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers.