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Trustees approve two new engineering degree programs (Released: 11/10/98)

by Karen Grava, Office of University Communications

STORRS, CT ­ The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees gave formal approval today to the establishment of two new baccalaureate degree programs in the School of Engineering. Starting in the fall 1999 semester, the University will offer courses of study towards a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Environmental Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, pending the approval of the state Board of Governors of Higher Education.

The Board of Trustees has approved three new degree programs in the School of Engineering since September, when it gave the go-ahead for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Amir Faghri, dean of the School of Engineering, said the new degree programs are a necessary response to national trends toward greater diversification in the types of engineering degrees being offered.

"We in the School of Engineering have been evaluating our existing undergraduate degree programs, together with the high technology educational needs of society," Faghri said. "It is clear that there is an increased need for engineering professionals with expertise in information technology in all its phases, in environmental engineering, and in materials engineering."

The University of Connecticut is the first public university in New England to offer undergraduate degrees in environmental engineering and metallurgy and materials engineering, said Faghri, and the new degree programs allow the University to provide prospective students a much broader range of options.

"Through these programs, our future graduates will contribute to the economic growth and competitiveness of the state," he said.

All the new programs are developed based on the existing strengths of the School of Engineering and no new departments or new administrative structures are being created, Faghri added.

"We have nationally recognized faculty in these areas with very strong graduate programs, particularly in environmental engineering, and in metallurgy and materials engineering," Faghri said.

The UConn School of Engineering is ranked 26th among engineering schools at public universities in terms of external research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation.