News
6:41 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

UW offers its blueprint for future top-tier engineering program

The University of Wyoming has sent Governor Matt Mead a blueprint to transform the College of Engineering and Applied Science into a top program nationwide.

In December, Governor Matt Mead’s Energy, Engineering and STEM Integration Task force released its report on how to turn the College of Engineering and Applied Science into a Tier One academic and research institution. Mead then asked UW to come up with, what Associate Provost Andrew Hansen calls, ‘the dream’ vision for achieving that goal.

Drilling Simulator at UW's College of Engineering and Applied Science
Credit University of Wyoming

This week, the university, did just that. In addition to designing a $110 million-dollar new building, the report recommends a host of new funding requests.

“We would love to have a significant number of additional undergraduate scholarships. We also would like to have graduate fellowships, we also believe it’s very important to increase the faculty by 25 to 30 faculty positions to cover the niche areas of importance to the state,” says Hansen.

Hansen says if the legislature acts quickly on this plan, the revitalized school could be up and running in four-to-five years. 

Hansen says the university studied how other land-grant schools, like the University of Utah, invested heavily in their engineering programs more than a decade ago.  He says that state is now reaping the benefits, and UW can, too.

“It’s a long term endeavor,” says Hansen, “you don’t turn out an excellent engineering school overnight. But I think if you look back 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, you might say wow, we made some dramatic progress, and the results are doing wonderful things for Wyoming.

Hansen says a strong engineering college is instrumental in fueling any state’s economy. In order to get there, he says, the report also recommends developing niche areas of research and enhancing relationships with industry.

He says it’s also crucial to promote engineering to middle school students as a great career.