April 2, 2010

Top engineering minds converge on LSU’s campus to identify opportunities for LSU’s College of Engineering

The LSU College of Engineering faculty is currently in the informative stages of its strategic plan to prepare for the next phase of growth. As a proactive measure, the college sought input and counsel to better structure its program and be more efficient and effective in areas and opportunities in engineering.

A blue-ribbon panel of distinguished engineering deans converged on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge to tour engineering facilities, visit faculty, meet students and hear about the college's strategic initiatives. At the conclusion of the visit, the group of esteemed engineering deans met with Chancellor Michael Martin, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Astrid Merget and College of Engineering Dean Rick Koubek to discuss their findings.

"LSU owns a strong engineering heritage, both past and present, recently celebrating its centennial in 2008," said Martin. "Our College of Engineering boasts some great strengths, such as producing engineers who receive higher than the national average starting salaries in many of our degree programs, but there's always room for improvement in future planning. This is a program on the move. Louisiana relies on the strength of engineering at LSU, but our goal is to be even better."

The visiting group came to LSU as fellow engineers to help identify areas where the LSU College of Engineering can advance and work to improve the state of Louisiana and beyond. The following exemplary academicians participated to help LSU Engineering achieve its full potential and identify areas of new opportunity:

  • Don Giddens, Georgia Institute of Technology, dean of engineering
  • David Munson, University of Michigan, dean of engineering
  • Vincent Poor, Princeton University, dean of engineering and applied science
  • Gavriel Salvendy, professor emeritus at Purdue University, and currently professor and head of Industrial Engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China
  • Subra Suresh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, dean of engineering

"The culture of the engineering profession is one of mutual respect," said Koubek. "Engineering can address grand challenges to help the state, region, country and global society. Because of the potential that resides in the engineering and construction fields in the Gulf Coast region, this group of deans recognized the value of LSU as the flagship institution and its impact on the state and region. The results of their findings will help solidify the college's strategic plan and identify key areas where LSU can compete nationally."

LSU's College of Engineering is critical to the current industrial base and is vital to sustaining and improving the region's built and natural infrastructure. In essence, the college is key to enhancing and diversifying the economy of the state. Specific strengths highlighted by the committee included:

  • LSU engineering is the flagship engineering program in the state, educating about half of the state's graduates in the field.
  • The college owns strong industrial connections with an impressive alumni roster.
  • Its unique geographical location provides opportunities for research and innovation.

Strategic aspirations and recommended actions from the external review will help move the program into an area of excellence where LSU is uniquely positioned to pursue a competitive advantage.

For more information, contact Mimi LaValle at 225-578-5706 or mlavall@lsu.edu.

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