CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has reorganized several of its engineering departments into schools – a move to advance collaboration in education and research, spin out more new companies, and graduate new engineers who are ready to innovate.
It is the College of Engineering’s latest step to increase its impact as one of the nation’s top engineering programs.
“Our ultimate goal is to deliver the impact of the nation's top-25 engineering colleges – graduating new engineers and spinning out ideas from research at the level of those schools,” said Ron Adams, dean of engineering at OSU. “We will focus on assuring that our graduates are work-ready and entrepreneurial, and that our research collaborations across the university and with industry result in new products and companies.”
The new schools, Adams said, will better align disciplines to produce opportunities for hands-on learning for students and more powerful ideas from research.
“Faculty and staff will have increased opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other, and students will be able to pursue their degree programs and research in a more interdisciplinary context, giving them better preparation to enter the engineering work force,” Adams said.
“This structural change will help us deliver even greater impact for Oregon and the nation’s future.”
In recent years, private investment in the College of Engineering of close to $100 million, coupled with state funds directed through the Oregon Engineering and Technology Industry Council, have stimulated significant growth at the college: a 130 percent jump in engineering research, a 40 percent increase in engineering degrees conferred, and a 60 percent jump in doctoral enrollment since 1999. This has moved the college to a position of 40th among United States engineering programs in overall output of degrees and research, Adams said.
The three new schools are:
• The School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering
• The School of Civil and Construction Engineering
• The School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
These join the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, which was formed in 2003. The Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics and the affiliated Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering in the College of Agricultural Sciences will remain as separate departments for the time being, officials said.