Nebraska Engineering Fall, 2005
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from the dean

How We Can Strengthen Nebraska's Economy
It is no secret that there is increasing interest in research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Engineering. Many of our stakeholders ask why there is so much emphasis on research when we are in the business of education. This is a question that has no simple answer. It is quite complicated, but here is my attempt to respond to this question.

Dean David H. Allen
Dean David H. Allen
photo: Tim Randall

This summer, you might have read newspapers that reported Nebraska has the slowest growing economy of any state. I don't need to tell you that this is dire news for the citizens of Nebraska. We faculty believe the College of Engineering can play a major role in improving the economic outlook of our state. We propose to accomplish this by graduating more, and better-educated engineers that will infiltrate the business community in our state.

An essential part of a better education is the production of new intellectual property. In the past four years, the College of Engineering has doubled its research expenditures. There has been corresponding growth in the number of patent applications and scholarly publications from our faculty. These are not just "mad scientists" work- ing in darkly lit laboratories. They are consum- mate world-class academics who are committed to passing on their knowledge to our students.

This is not just textbook education. It is the creative process whereby intellectual property is created. For those of us who teach, this is our grand challenge–each of us is obsessed with passing on whatever truly unique skills we possess to the next generation of our students. I am proud to work with the faculty who face this challenge every day on behalf of the people of Nebraska.

The next time you hear about a research achievement coming from the College of Engineer- ing, I ask you to remember that research produces knowledge that is passed on to our students, and these students are the economic future of the state of Nebraska.

–David H. Allen

© 2006 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Engineering