From the Dean
With this issue of Engineering @ Nebraska, we are beginning a new era in engineering in Nebraska. Our goal is to be the best engineering program in the country in providing creative opportunities for our students. We don’t want our students to just “think outside the box,” we want to throw the box away. To some of you this may sound strange, but we engineers actually love what we do, and we want to infect others with our passion for engineering.
In the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln we are exploring an ever-growing ménage of educational offerings we will provide the next generation of innovative minds in our state. For too long higher education has been hampered by our own inability to grow beyond our educational parentage. This has been especially true in the engineering disciplines, wherein we have languished in classroom hegemony that is narrow in scope, thereby transferring our own shortcomings to those we intend to serve the most—our students. At Nebraska, we have recommitted ourselves to serving students, because they are our future. You see, for us, engineering means ingenuity!
I want to take this opportunity to tell you about some of the programs we are developing that promise to change our students in ways you might never have imagined. First, we have the Engineering Learning Community, which allows freshmen with similar academic interests to live and take classes together, foster closer interactions with faculty and create a sense of community within the larger university atmosphere. In addition, every spring there is an Engineering Learning Community trip that allows students to see first-hand what goes on behind the scenes. One year they went to Disney World, another time to the Coors Brewery and yet another to Dade-Behring. This year, they went to Seattle to visit Microsoft, Boeing and HDR.
The College of Engineering is also heavily engaged in international education for our students. We currently have study abroad programs in Italy, France, Brazil and China, and we are developing opportunities in Venezuela and Sweden. We are one of the few engineering colleges in the country that offer a variety of true engineering programs abroad. In just three years our study abroad programs have grown to about 75 student participants each year. In fact, we are ranked in the top 25 engineering programs in study abroad offerings in the United States.
Finally, I am pleased to tell you that this year we are kicking off our first ever summer camp for entering freshmen. After a wildly successful program put on last year in the Department of Computer & Electronics Engineering, chaired by Professor Bing Chen, we have decided to go collegewide. This summer, approximately 30 percent of our entering freshman class will enjoy two days of activities that will introduce them to Nebraska Engineering.
I am proud of the efforts made by our faculty and staff to give the people of Nebraska an ever expanding and improving educational program in the College of Engineering. We believe that the new programs are just the start of a new era at Nebraska. We want you to know that at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, engineering is not just a degree program, it’s a way of life!