Time to Grow UW Engineering
Today's students want to make a difference in our world and they think big. It's exciting to see what they accomplish every day through their course and lab work, and when they compete nationally. Here are some great examples: bioengineering senior Cameron Turtle was recently named a Rhodes Scholar; an interdisciplinary UW team claimed the world championship in synthetic biology at the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition; an enterprising team of mechanical engineering students were selected to compete in the EcoCAR2 Challenge; many more have won research awards and exciting job offers.
“Our local industry partners need more graduates, and there is a strong pipeline of bright high school kids preparing now for future careers as engineers.”
As proud as I am of these students, I am painfully aware of hundreds of other would-be engineers who weren't admitted in spite of very good qualifications, because we just don't have the available slots. We want to grow. Our local industry partners need more graduates, and there is a strong pipeline of bright high school kids preparing now for future careers as engineers. Over the past many months, we've begun to develop models for growth — not just growth at the margins, of a few students here and there, but the addition of a few hundred students — enough to have real impact.
What does it take to grow at this kind of level? At this time, funding is necessary, and at a future date, facilities will be needed. As state support has waned, we have become more efficient, yet the simple fact is that engineering education isn't cheap – and the resources we have aren't enough. One idea on the table would require a substantial increase in private funds — gifts from alumni, friends and industry — to provide new sources of financial aid and scholarships for engineering students.
My new mantra is “access to education has two A's — affordability and availability.” We need to ensure all qualified students will have a chance to pursue an engineering education. How can you help? Read our cover story and let me know your thoughts. Together we must work with the State of Washington to create more slots, maintain high quality and ensure that a student from any economic background can become a Washington Engineer.
Research Symposium to Explore Molecular Engineering & Sciences
The finishing touches are being put on the new Molecular Engineering & Sciences (MolES) building near the west entrance to campus. The MolES Institute brings together interdisciplinary teams to catalyze translational research in the biotech and cleantech fields. The new building will provide cutting-edge research facilities for more than 15 research groups, three research centers, and a state-of-the-art molecular analysis facility.
Save the Date!