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Student Programs, Research Enhance Student Experience

In this issue of Engineering @ Nebraska, we focus on student programs and faculty research. In many ways, these two subjects go hand-in-hand. Indeed, if students are the heart of our engineering program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, then research is the lifeblood that keeps us going.

Student Programs helps students navigate the university system; encourages them to expand beyond the classroom into various extracurricular activities; and helps prepare them for a career in their chosen field through internships, cooperative education and interdisciplinary projects. They participate in recruitment and outreach efforts, take on leadership roles in organizations and student government, and organize events, including E-Week, Women Interested in Engineering and Discover Engineering. Through UNL Career Services and career resources at The Peter Kiewit Institute, students participate in several career fairs each year. To enhance the student education and research experience, the college also offers fellowships and teaching assistantships to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Many of our faculty are leaders in the nation—and indeed the world—in their respective areas of research. Our students are encouraged to participate in that research, which enhances the learning experience and encourages many students to continue in academics. The UCARE program pairs undergraduate students with faculty researchers, while the National Science Foundation supports a number of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) sites at UNL and throughout the country. Dozens of graduate students work with professors on numerous projects in every engineering discipline.

The common myth that faculty who are focused on research do not make good teachers is not borne out by the evidence. The great storehouse of knowledge that our visionary researchers possess is transported directly to the classroom and into the minds of our students, many of whom work side-by-side with those faculty on leading research using the latest technology in state-of-the-art facilities. The intellectual property we gain from such research activities is imparted to students through the education process. This is the primary means by which we provide our students an education that is on the cutting edge of engineering and technology today.

We’re excited about the programs and research in our college and hope you’ll enjoy learning more about what we do to offer our students a high-quality, well-rounded education.

– David H. Allen