AcademicsAwards

CSU-Pueblo’s engineering program ranked among top 100 nationwide

Jane Fraser ~ photo courtesy of csupueblo.edu
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Jane Fraser ~ photo courtesy of csupueblo.edu
Jane Fraser ~ photo courtesy of csupueblo.edu

Recently, U.S. News and World Report ranked Colorado State University-Pueblo’s undergraduate engineering program at No. 97 on a top 100 list the company published. Only schools that do not offer doctoral programs were ranked. CSU-Pueblo’s program tied for 97th with 13 other schools across the country.

All the participating schools offer programs that are certified by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, commonly referred to as ABET. The order was based on peer assessment surveys and opinions of faculty and deans.

Jane Fraser, chair of the engineering department, said everyone in the department was thrilled at the accomplishment, despite not having received a physical award or prize.

She added she was extremely surprised to find out about the ranking.

The only other Colorado school on the list was the United States Air Force Academy, ranked in seventh place.

Fraser explained that even though CSU-Pueblo is not as well-known as other schools, the school’s engineering program has two strengths that made it stand out among others: a strong theoretical foundation and hands-on learning experience.

These two factors, combined with CSU-Pueblo not having doctoral programs and consistently having professors as opposed to graduate students teach undergraduate classes, makes the engineering program strong, Fraser said.

CSU-Pueblo engineering students are required to take a class called “manufacturing processes,” in which they manufacture a product from beginning to end. Something as simple as a nut cracker requires the students to learn and physically engage in acts such as bending metal, cutting metal and even welding.

“We want to graduate students who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. They’ll never weld again, but we also want them to respect the people who do that work,” Fraser said.

The engineering department offers two undergraduate degrees: a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering and a Bachelor of Science in engineering, with a mechatronics specialization.

Graduates of the CSU-Pueblo engineering programs have been employed by various credible employers, after receiving their diplomas, according to Fraser.

A May 2016 graduate from the engineering department, Travis Hobbs, was employed in July by a specialist consultancy, focused in the world of mining called BMT WBM Denver.

In an email to Fraser from Hobbs, regarding the recent U.S. News and World Report ranking, he stated “The real world is definitely more complex than the classroom, but I feel that my foundation and fundamentals from the classroom are what got me here. I also managed to beat out three candidates from the school of mines.”

Hobbs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in engineering with a specialization in mechatronics and two minors in mathematics and physics.

“The professors will help you just enough to get the wheels turning, which in my opinion is best. It causes you to develop a very detail-oriented work ethic that is crucial in my field since the slightest error can result in tragedy,” he said.

Fraser said the engineering faculty is currently focused on further developing and strengthening the university’s graduate program.

“We are very involved in research, and we want to make sure our master’s program is as strong as our undergraduate program, so we are looking at strengthening parts of that,” she said.

According to Fraser, the engineering department is currently moving forward with cannabis research, specifically related to water and energy use and growing and producing it locally.

“I want to say thank you to my colleagues. This has been a group effort. We work as a team in this department,” Fraser said.

To view the complete U.S. News and World Report rankings list visit:

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/engineering-no-doctorate?_mode=list.