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Engineering Update 11-15-06

SPSU Engineering Update

November 15, 2006


Welcome to this, the first edition of the SPSU Engineering Update.  It is my intention to get this out every two weeks or so to help you stay informed as to what’s happening with Engineering here at SPSU.  So what is happening?


Fifth engineering program proposed:

That’s right, a fifth engineering program goes to the Senate today for discussion and approval.  The Bachelor of Science in Engineering with concentration in Systems Engineering is proposed and will begin the fall semester of 2007.  Given the success of the last two engineering proposals we believe it will receive a warm reception at the Board of Regents.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.


The Four Engineering programs:

Yep, we have four of them.  A year ago who would have thought SPSU would have four engineering programs with 202 engineering majors?  When last I checked we had 30 undergraduate Construction Engineering (CE) majors, 146 combined undergraduate and graduate Software Engineering (SWE) majors, and 26 graduate Systems Engineering (SyE) majors.  The fourth program, Mechatronics Engineering (ME), is so new we haven’t anyone majoring in it yet.  With all of the inquiries we’ve been getting, we can expect that program to grow rapidly.


If you have questions about any of these programs or know students or prospective students with an interest, please contact Barbara Thomas for SWE, Russ Hunt for SyE, Glenn Allen for ME, or me for CE.


Engineering Planning Committee:

You may have heard this committee was formed some time ago to look at the prospect of offering the Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, and Industrial Engineering degrees.  Well, its mission has changed a little since its formation to include planning for the future of engineering at SPSU.  Representatives include a faculty and department chair from each of the CET, MET, ECET, IET, and SWE departments.  As chair of the group, I even let Deans sit in once and awhile.


We are quite a diverse group which has explored subjects such as common engineering curriculum alternatives, program educational objectives for new engineering programs, and future resource needs.  Of late we have reviewed and provided input to the engineering proposals sent or soon to be sent to the Board of Regents.  We’ll be looking at faculty and equipment needs for the existing engineering programs next.  Next time, I’ll update you on our progress.


What IS the Difference Between Engineering and Engineering Technology at SPSU?

That’s the 64 million dollar question, isn’t it?  Those of you who have been here a few years know that this is a tough question to answer in 25 words or less.  Well, we need to know the answer to this question and others if we hope to maintain our status as the platinum standard in Engineering Technology and achieve a comparable level in Engineering. 


Well, in January we, as a faculty (all of us), will try to answer that question and others in a workshop format.  While still in the planning stages, it is hoped this workshop will, in addition to helping us define Engineering and Engineering Technology, aid us in identifying how an SPSU Engineering Technology graduate is different from an SPSU Engineering graduate.  At the conclusion we should be able to identify the characteristics of engineering faculty and how they differ from those of engineering technology faculty as well.  Sound ambitious?  It is, but we need to do it to be successful.


Last, but not least

Well, that’s the first update.  I’ve tried to be mercifully brief and hit just the high points.  If you’d like more information about any of the topics addressed herein, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Look for another update in a couple weeks or so.  Next time I’ll fill you in on our progress with the BS Eng proposal, EPC activities, and our plans for an annual engineering event in February.