UW Tier-1 Initiative: College of Engineering and Applied Science
In May 2012, Governor Mead, the State Legislature and the Wyoming Governor’s Energy, Engineering, STEM Integration Task Force articulated a vision to propel the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) and the University of Wyoming (UW) to the realms of excellence in instruction, research and service. UW’s leadership, faculty and staff are committed to this vision; and equally important, UW’s industry partners have embraced this vision and will help actualize it.
On March 5, 2014, Governor Mead and the Wyoming State Legislature approved biennium funding of $8 million for Phase I of the Engineering Initiative, in addition to $18.4 million for facilities development.
The faculty, staff and students of the College of Engineering and Applied Science are most grateful for this support. We also appreciate greatly the wisdom and dedication of the Task Force members and so many of our alumni and champions, who guided this effort and helped make it happen. We are honored by their vote of confidence and will strive to fulfill our collective ambition of becoming a Tier 1 institution.
Our Aspiration. A Tier-1 college is a nationally recognized institution of academic excellence and world-class research. The unambiguous goal of the Tier 1 Engineering Initiative is to elevate UW’s CEAS to national prominence in undergraduate education and selected areas of research, and to enhance economic development in Wyoming. To this end, the implementation plan of the initiative focuses on the following strategic goals:
- Excellence in Undergraduate Education: The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences has solid educational programs that produce talented graduates, who are in demand by employers. Our goal is to enhance these programs and expand our local recognition to a national reputation.
- World-Class Research and Graduate Education: Research leading to discovery and innovation often happens at the interface of different disciplines, where ideas and talents intersect to solve pressing problems. We seek to build world-class interdisciplinary research capabilities in selected areas that will have significant impact on Wyoming and the nation and enrich student mentoring.
- Productive Economic Development through Partnerships: We will promote discovery and innovation and seek productive partnerships with the state, national agencies, and industry to actualize research findings and catalyze economic development in Wyoming.
- K-14 STEM Education: Strength in K-14 education can enhance the quality and quantity of students who pursue STEM programs at UW and ultimately pursue high-impact careers in the State. We will introduce STEM concepts early in the K-12 educational experience, and we will also enrich the STEM skill sets of UW’s freshmen and sophomore students to improve performance and retention.
Initial Enhancements to Build Capacity. By end of Phase 1 of our six-year implementation plan in 2016, CEAS will:
- Add 6 faculty members, 4 research scientists, 10 postdocs, and 45 PhD candidates to support research and economic development in selected niche areas of importance to Wyoming. Initial efforts will focus on (1) Unconventional Reservoirs, and (2) Advanced Coal Technologies and Energy Conversion and Delivery.
- Form 4-6 multi-disciplinary research clusters that will integrate our research capabilities across the UW campus, build partnerships with industry, and increase current productivity in funding and scholarship.
- Provide 90 Engineering Undergraduate Scholarships aimed at attracting the brightest students from Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain Region.
Outcomes. The outcomes of this investment will be transformative. By the completion of Phase 3 in 2020, CEAS will:
- Offer an outstanding educational experience, and increase the undergraduate enrollment from 1,400 to 1,800.
- Double the number PhD graduates to 30 per year, and double the current productivity in funding and scholarship.
- Increase the number of industrial partnerships and outreach activities.
- Integrate multidisciplinary educational and research environments to focus on problem solving and economic development.
- Establish a competitive capacity for excellence in education and research and achieve the success metrics indicative of our progress toward Tier-1 performance.
Wyoming state government has made a significant investment in a historic initiative to propel UW to the realms of excellence. This is the beginning of a process to transform the University of Wyoming and deliver greater value to the people of Wyoming. This is UW’s first in a series of responses to Wyoming’s call to excellence.
Khaled A.M. Gasem
College of Engineering and Applied Science