School of Engineering: School finds new home in Bannow

School of Engineering: School finds new home in Bannow

For the past year, engineering students and faculty have been enjoying newly-renovated classroom and lab space in the Rudolph F. Bannow Science Center, moving in even while workers put the finishing touches on offices.

“McAuliffe Hall, previously the home of the School of Engineering, is a beautiful, historic building, but it’s not designed for engineering studies,” said Dr. Bruce Berdanier, dean. “While the classroom space is beautiful, the labs are long and narrow, making it awkward to teach, and the corridors are winding and dark.”

Moving the School of Engineering to Bannow has had a number of benefits, he said, including “wide open spaces that are inviting to students, and lab space that was designed for that purpose, making it beneficial for both students and professors.” In addition, locating the School within the same building as math and physical sciences classes, and next door to the School of Nursing, opens up a range of possibilities for easy collaboration and cross-disciplinary projects, some of which are already underway.

The large mechanics lab, with its many windows, is especially welcome, as mechanical engineering is by far the most popular major in the school. Several significant pieces of equipment purchased over the last few years allow students to conduct advanced vibration studies, test compression and tensile strength, understand heat transfer and flow velocity, and engage in fluid dynamics experiments.

Engineering highlights
• The Mechanical Engineering program has begun offering a dual BS/MS degree. The School now has five-year dual BS/MS programs for all of its accredited degree programs. The School has also initiated a new undergraduate major in bioengineering, and the program in computer science is now being offered through the School of Engineering rather than the College of Arts and Sciences.

• Student admission at the undergraduate level increased significantly with the arrival of 54 full-time first-year students in September 2013. At the graduate level, the School is pleased to welcome a significant increase in international students; in spring 2014, the total graduate enrollment was 152, and the School anticipates a graduate enrollment of 250 in 2014-2015.

• Once again, a team of engineering and business majors won an award in the School of Business’s annual Business Plan Competition. The Social Track award, for new organizations that attempt to resolve a pressing social problem that markets have failed to resolve, went to the creators of BoneSmart, a wearable, wireless, non-invasive medical device designed to measure bone density and blood flow. Team members, all seniors, were Robert Garrone and Michael Raymond, electrical engineering majors; Stephanie Sutherby, a mechanical engineering major; and Ralph Belfiore and Bernardo Navarro of the School of Business. The device is also being developed for the School’s Senior Design course. Mentors were engineering faculty members Drs. Shahrokh Etemad and Ryan Munden, as well as mentor coordinator David Murray, vice president, NCM Media Networks.