Starting in the fall of 2017, Shepherd University will begin offering a Bachelor of Science in engineering science with concentrations in environmental engineering and systems engineering.
“I’m thrilled about being able to offer a program in engineering science,” said Dr. Colleen Nolan, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “It’s a program that addresses a real need here in West Virginia and our surrounding region.”
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, projects through 2021 that employment of systems administrators will grow eight percent and systems analyst or systems engineering jobs are expected to grow more than 21 percent. Job prospects for environmental engineers are also promising. According to the website collegegrad.com, employment in environmental engineering is expected to increase by 12 percent over the next decade because of a wave of retirements in that field and an anticipated population growth in the region.
Reza Mirdamadi, chair of the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Engineering, said typically degrees in engineering focus on specific topics, like mechanical, chemical, and nuclear.
“Today, the differences between various fields in engineering are blurred, with all these topics coming together,” Mirdamadi said. “You might graduate as a mechanical engineer and you may end up doing other things that are not in the field of mechanical engineering because employers are looking for graduates who have the ability to learn and enough technical background that they can learn on their own.”
Mirdamadi said Shepherd’s engineering students will be exposed to applied mathematics, applied science, computer science, and engineering courses in an effort to make them well-rounded and able to tackle whatever problems arise in industry.
Nolan said Shepherd hopes to eventually gain accreditation for the program from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
“I think this is a great opportunity for our students,” Nolan said. “It’s a timely program that will compliment what we’re currently offering to students interested in computer science, math, and engineering.”