Pitt | Swanson Engineering
First-Year Conference Information for Parents

First-Year Conference Information for Parents

The annual First-Year Conference represents the culmination of every first-year student's year-long experience in engineering. Your students have worked diligently to present to their instructors, colleagues and families, and we hope you will share in your support.

This page provides some helpful information for families and friends who will join us at the 2018 First-Year Conference. If you have any unanswered questions please email ssoefrsh@pitt.edu.

  • Parents and family members are welcome to attend; click here for a copy of the invitation.

  • To ensure that we order an appropriate amount of food, please register here with the number of family and/or friends attending. Do not include your student in your family headcount!

  • Conference registration begins at 8:15 a.m. in the Benedum Hall main lobby, on Pitt's mid-campus in Oakland:


NEW PARKING OPTION THIS YEAR: Because of increased demand, the University will open the O'Hara Garage (across from Benedum Hall) to conference attendees for a limited time Saturday morning. The rate is a flat $5.00 per car (cash only) - entry will be available between 6:30-10:30 am, and the garage will close at 6:00 pm. Inform the parking employee that you are attending the First-Year Conference, or display this flyer on your dash.


  • Metered parking is available on the streets surrounding Benedum Hall. Please note that the City of Pittsburgh has installed a new Pay-by-License Plate Digital Meter System. Visit the Pittsburgh Parking Authority website for information about the digital meters. You can also download the convenient parking meter app to monitor and update your parking without ever leaving Benedum Hall. 
  • Ample parking is also available at the Soldiers and Sailors Garage on Bigelow Boulevard:


  • Because of this year's large class of first-year students, we will keep a very tight conference schedule. Presentations will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. Please visit the Conference Schedule page in advance to find the exact time and location for your student's presentation. Upon your arrival our staff will be available to assist visitors with any questions or directions throughout the conference.
  • For your convenience, Benedum Hall Room 102 on the main plaza level will be designated the Parents' Reception Area. Coffee service will be provided, and you'll be able to chat with your fellow parents, recharge your cell phones or watch some of the conference proceedings on the main screen. The Office of Marketing and Communications will also sponsor FREE family photographs with the TapSnap photo booth in the lobby, so have a fun photo taken with your student after her or his presentation! 

  • Conference food service, including morning coffee and tea as well as lunch, is provided through the generosity of The Heinz Endowments. To ensure that we order an appropriate amount of food, please register with the number of family and/or friends attending. Do not include your student in your family headcount!

  • At 1:45 p.m. we will present this year's keynote speaker, Matt Tokorcheck, Vice President for HR Strategy and Talent Acquisition at FedEx Ground, followed by presentation of the award-winning best papers at 2:15. We encourage you to stay for this event as well as for the final paper presentations at 3:00 p.m.

  • After a full day with your engineering student, we encourage you to stay on campus and enjoy the rest of the afternoon. If you would like to have dinner in Oakland please visit the Oakland Business Improvement District for a list of great eateries.

  • Please register by clicking here with the number of family and/or friends attending. Do not include your student in your family headcount!



Information updated 3/27/2018