UCSB’s number-one ranked Engineering Dept. kicks off its annual Engineering Insights fair today, featuring such noted speakers as Google’s technical director, Mark Lucovsky.

Andrew Elliot, Engineering Dept. corporate affiliates program manager, expects attendance at the closed conference to reach about 350 people. About 160 of the attendees come from a variety of businesses, ranging from well-established firms to smaller companies. The event allows students and companies to share findings, gain knowledge and build business connections.

Elliot said one of the goals of the fair is to introduce recent research completed by UCSB students to outside companies.

“We hope to foster new relationships,” Elliot said. “We want to transfer recent knowledge to outside companies.”

While many guests coming to the event are very well known, perhaps the two most famous are Google’s Lucovsky, who is scheduled to speak Wednesday at 9 a.m., and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation Chief Technical Officer and Managing Executive Officer Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, who will speak at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Also scheduled for a presentation is the director of Intel’s silicon photonics lab, Mario Paniccia. According to the Engineering Insights website, he will discuss UCSB and Intel’s collaborative effort to develop the world’s first hybrid silicon laser. The new technology produced by the partnership increases the connection speed between computers and processors.

The fair follows the recent release of The Princeton Review rankings that placed UCSB’s graduate program in engineering as number one in its field. According to the Sept. 2 publication, this is the first year that rankings in this category have been officially reported by The Princeton Review.

Following UCSB in the rankings is Duke University. The only other UC to be recognized on the list is UC San Diego at number 16.

Criteria for the rankings are collected and validated by The Princeton Review, and include a number of quantitative factors such as undergraduate GPA, graduate record examination scores and the percentage of applicants accepted.

Many UCSB engineering students agree with the top ranking, but for personal reasons. Fourth-year mechanical engineering major Thomas Bui said the program is successful because of the faculty and students involved.

“The professors and TAs are outstanding,” Bui said. “They will go out of their way to help you succeed.”