Online Profiles

Iowa State University - 2016

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Engineering Information

College Description

Engineering College Description and Special Characteristics

1) The Iowa State University College of Engineering practices engineering within a social context: emphasizing fundamental knowledge, practical skills, and leadership values to produce engineers who can work across disciplines to create new approaches, solve problems, and turn ideas into reality. Such innovation will make a crucial difference as our world strives for clean water, safe food, sound infrastructure, adequate healthcare, and renewable energy. The college is taking the lead in Iowa and throughout the global community to help meet these challenges through advanced research as well as educating tomorrow’s innovators and leaders.

2) Engineering contributes substantially to Iowa State’s long history of advanced research across disciplinary boundaries. College faculty members are collaborators in research centers throughout campus. They play leadership roles in the Bioeconomy Institute, NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals, Virtual Reality Applications Center, and Wind Energy Initiative. Research funding is crucial to the college’s mission because it increases opportunities for graduate students; allows faculty to pursue important innovations and advance engineering knowledge; leads to the development of premier laboratories; and contributes to the application of technology that enhances quality of life. The college conducts $88.1 million annually in research across a broad range of topics including tissue engineering and drug delivery; advanced transportation systems; cleaner energy sources; advanced manufacturing; critical materials; disaster-immune electric power grids, hacker-proof computer networks, and other cyber-physical systems; non-destructive evaluation; asteroid deflection; sensors and robotic systems; and human-computer interaction.

3) The college offers 12 undergraduate degree programs including aerospace engineering, agricultural engineering, biological systems engineering, chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computer engineering, construction engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering and software engineering.

4) The college’s undergraduate minor programs include:
• Nondestructive evaluation, a multi-disciplinary and rapidly evolving engineering discipline where students learn how to determine the condition of an engineering component or structure without affecting its usefulness
• Engineering sales, equipping students with a broad understanding of the technical sales process, primarily from the business-to-business perspective
• Nuclear engineering, providing students a basic knowledge of nuclear science to apply to a wide variety of careers, including establishing electrical energy systems needed for economic security and growth.
• Biomedical, an interdisciplinary minor exploring interactions between various engineering disciplines and biological systems with four specialized tracks
• Energy systems, providing students an understanding of broad energy perspectives; the language of energy systems; and the economic, environmental and policy issues related to energy.

The College of Engineering has also worked with other Iowa State academic units to offer several interdisciplinary minors, including an entrepreneurial studies minor, sustainability minor, and wind energy minor.

Additionally, undergraduates can participate in a university-wide Leadership Certificate and minor program, which provides students the soft skills needed to advance in the engineering profession.

5) The college offers state-of-the-art facilities to 8,296 undergraduate and 1,349 graduate students. Iowa State’s facilities include one of the world’s premier tornado simulators, one of the few atom probe microscopes at a university, robotics lab, Wind Energy Manufacturing Lab, and the Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) with C6, an internationally renowned virtual reality cave. In other labs, ultrasound and lasers are being used to develop cancer treatments, and rapid prototyping technology is producing replacement bone fragments reverse-engineered from CT scans.

6) Iowa State University is the first institution in the U.S. to offer MS and PhD degrees in biorenewable resources and technology. The program offers students from a wide variety of science and engineering backgrounds advanced study in the use of plant- and crop-based resources for the production of fuels, chemicals, materials and energy.

7) As host of one of a handful of Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education chartered by the National Security Agency, Iowa State offers a multidisciplinary MS in information assurance supported by faculty members from six departments. The degree prepares students to embark on careers that focus on protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.

8) Our Engineering-LAS Online Learning department offers 25 online graduate engineering programs and over 150 graduate and undergraduate engineering courses. Online Master degrees are offered in traditional engineering disciplines and in emerging fields such as human-computer interaction and information assurance. Graduate certificates are available in biorenewable resources and technology, environmental engineering, construction management, nondestructive evaluation, systems engineering and numerous other fields. Engineering faculty taught nearly 4,844 student credit hours (credits multiplied by the number of students) online in academic year 2014-2015. Our online engineering programs and courses serve practicing engineers, corporations, government agencies, students in industrial co-ops, and on-campus students.

9) There are seven departments within the College of Engineering with formal concurrent BS/MS programs. Being accepted into a concurrent program allows students to jump-start their graduate degrees. In some majors, students can complete their MS in two or three additional semesters. Application and eligibility requirements vary; other non-formalized individual programs may also be possible. The program is offered in agricultural engineering; chemical engineering; civil, construction, and environmental engineering; electrical and computer engineering; industrial engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering. The college also offers concurrent BS/MBA programs.

10) The college honors its commitments to diversity and leadership through numerous programs, including Leadership through Engineering Academic Diversity (LEAD) learning community, which engages underrepresented engineering students. A variety of discipline-specific student societies and general engineering honor societies offer students many opportunities to improve and practice their leadership skills. The college also supports the Academic Program for Excellence (APEX) a summer bridge program to help underrpresented minorities transition from high school to college.

11) The College of Engineering encourages all students to have meaningful engineering work experience before graduation through its cooperative education and internship programs. More than 70 percent of engineering students graduate with one or more experiential education work experiences, which contributes to a high full-time placement rate.The five-year average placement rate six months after graduating is 95 percent; and the average starting salary is about $61,000. The college’s most recent career fair, held in September 2016, featured 444 companies interacting with more than 7,000 students. On the 3 days following the career fair, 2,150 student interviews were held.

12) Learning communities are a central feature of the engineering program. These small groups of students generally take 1-3 courses together and may live in the same residence hall. Benefits also include peer and faculty mentoring. 85 percent of first-year engineering students participate in learning communities; retention is greatly enhanced for participants; and the program has been cited multiple times by U.S. News & World Report in its annual rankings.

13) The College of Engineering Admissions Partnership Program (EAPP) is a jointly administered program between Iowa State Admissions and the College of Engineering. Community college students who are accepted into the program are assigned an academic adviser in their major and a transfer peer mentor. These students are invited to campus, participate in the Engineering Career Fair, establish online professional networks with their peers, and are encouraged to make meaningful connections as a part of the program. The goal of the program is to increase community college student engagement prior to transfer, resulting in decreased “transfer shock” and increased retention and graduation rates for these students.

14) Each department in the college offers a master of science and doctor of philosophy degree for graduate students; many also offer course-work only master’s programs. Students can earn interdepartmental graduate degrees in bioinformatics and computational biology; biorenewable resources and technology; environmental science; executive engineer dual master's degree; human-computer interaction; information assurance; sustainable agriculture; systems engineering; toxicology; and transportation.

15) The College of Engineering offers students the opportunity to learn from the very best. Some of the remarkable faculty members in our ranks include Nobel Laureate Dan Shechtman, Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows Vikram Dalal, Leonard Bond and Balaji Narasimhan, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Fellows Larry Genalo and Diane Rover, and former astronaut Clayton Anderson, along with many others.