Tarek Sobh, dean of the School of Engineering and the senior vice president of graduate studies and research at the University of Bridgeport (UB), will brief White House officials today, when the National Academy of Engineers (NAE) updates lawmakers on Grand Challenges for Engineering, the national campaign that has identified areas of human concern that require innovative engineering solutions.
Deans from engineering schools across the U.S. who have committed to providing solutions to the Grand Challenges have been invited to attend the White House. They will be recognized for their commitment and will demonstrate how their institutions will identify and train exceptional engineering students to address the Grand Challenges relating to health, alternative energy, sustainability, infrastructure, virtual reality, personalized learning, scientific discovery, and cyber security.
Once exceptional students are identified, they would be designated as Grand Challenge Scholars after training and demonstrating eminence in interdisciplinary research and development, global engagement, service, and entrepreneurship.
The UB School of Engineering is “perfectly poised” to meet that challenge, Sobh said. “We’re already doing this, but now it will be formalized.”
Home to the largest graduate engineering program in Connecticut and the second largest in New England in terms of both the number of students and graduates, UB consistently ranks among the top international universities in the U.S., Sobh noted.
The University of Bridgeport also houses the fastest-growing graduate Biomedical Engineering program and PhD program in Computer Science and Engineering in New England. In addition, UB is home to a high-tech incubator (CTech IncUBator), interdisciplinary research laboratories and centers, and with students from more than 82 countries and significant global partnerships, “is an accomplished international university by any definition,” he added.
Because of these factors, UB is also ready to launch an integrated Engineering Grand Challenge credit-bearing certification program within the School of Engineering, starting in the fall of 2015.
Twenty to 30 undergraduate and/or graduate students will annually participate in externally sponsored multidisciplinary research within the Grand Challenge areas, work at start-up companies housed at the CTech IncUBator, study and work at international STEM programs with UB’s overseas partner universities, and complete a service management and engineering concentration, which provides students with avenues to apply their technical experiences to societal problems.
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