2016 - 2017
Message from the Dean Message from the dean
Another year has passed and the UMSL/Washington University Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program continues to provide a viable pathway for students to earn an ABET-Accredited Engineering degree at an affordable price while staying in the St. Louis area. The scheduling of classes in the late afternoon/evening and the proximity of classes to engineering employers helps many students earn while they learn.

In this issue we highlight the largest graduating class since the program’s inception, report on a unique studio-style class designed to help new students define their professional identity, and look at the inherent entrepreneurial spirit of engineering by looking at the capstone-design classes required of all graduates in the program.

Whether you are a prospective student, parent, teacher, counselor, or employer of entry-level engineers, I invite each of you to one of our regularly scheduled information sessions to learn more about our Joint Engineering Program. These information sessions are held each Friday in April and November on the Washington University campus. For more information, please see our Website.

Joseph A. O’Sullivan
Dean, UMSL/Washington Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program
Largest Graduation Class Since Program’s Inception
Largest graduating class This past academic year, 89 students earned B.S. degrees in the UMSL/Washington University Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program. This brings the total number of ABET-accredited degrees awarded to 883 since the program’s inception in 1993.

Seventeen civil engineering, 38 electrical engineering, and 34 mechanical engineering degrees were awarded in commencement ceremonies on the UMSL campus held in December 2015, May 2016, and August 2016.

The graduating class represents the diverse groups of students who find the Program to be the right choice for them. Graduates range from the full-time to the non-traditional student. Approximately half of the graduates began their college career right after high school, while the remaining returned to school after military or other life and work experiences.

A common history of many of the graduates was their desire to combine practical work and academic experiences. Most held either full- or part-time time employment at local engineering firms while attending school. The late afternoon/evening scheduling of classes often meets the needs of both students and employers.

Some of this year’s graduates shared their talents with the Wash U Formula Racing Team, The Engineers Club of St. Louis, Regional Business Council, UMSL Veterans Association, UMSL’s Society of Future Engineers, Opportunity Scholars Program, etc.
Engineering Studio Class Designed to Help Integrate Life and Academic Experiences
Engineering studio class A new one-credit hour engineering studio class introduced in Fall 2015 is designed to help students build real-world understanding of business, ethics, and society, and integrate real-world perspective with traditional coursework; as well as build their own professional identity. Students learn from local leaders in industry and work in teams to explore modern engineering problems and solutions.

The course, which is designed for students making the transition to their upper-level engineering courses at Washington University, provides tools for increasing student success both in and outside of the classroom.

Course coordinator, Frank Wilson, built the module-based class on topics ranging from organizational leadership to emotional intelligence to diversity in engineering. Students in the class are exposed to topics via readings, guest speakers, and field trips. The end of the semester culminates in student group presentations on a topic of the students’ choosing.

The engineering studio class has been developed as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant whose goal is to reorient the engineering curriculum by centering on student success and preparation for professional success using the latest tools from engineering education research.

The goal is to tie many of the professional concepts introduced in this introductory studio course to the ones learned in the capstone-design class students complete during their last year in the Program (see next story).
Entrepreneurial Spirit Brought to Life in Design Project Courses
Entrepreneurial spirit In recognition of the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in engineering, capstone-design projects bridge mathematics and basic sciences to creation and useful application. Students are introduced to the design process, which includes: understanding best practices and client requirements, cost analysis, concept selection techniques, and project deliverables. These projects are required of all students in the Joint Engineering Program between UMSL and Washington University.

For instance, in civil engineering, students have the option of choosing a structural project, which may include the deliverables of both drawing and calculations, and culminate in plans of mid-sized, multi-story office tower, or a water resources project detailing the design and analysis of a water surface profile, as well as culvert design for a given discharge capacity.

Professor Mark Jakiela, instructor of one of the mechanical engineering design project classes, reports students have designed novel machines/processes that range from an automated beach umbrella actuator, to a devise used to lift objects from an automobile trunk. Students are required to provide calculations, drawings, and working prototypes of their design. Students often use the machine shop lab at the School of Engineering and there are plans for students to use TechShop in the Cortex campus in Midtown St. Louis. Click here for additional examples of student design projects.

Students in electrical engineering have designed and created water rescue locators and transponders, improved circuit testers, and a system creating a variable light show. Past instructors of electrical engineering students in their capstone-design class include Dedric Carter (Washington University’s Vice Chancellor for Operations & Technology Transfer), Paul Nauert (Ameren) and Jim Bornholdt, (Boeing) and Dennis Mell (Professor of Practice at Washington University).

School News
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program

Washington University
School of Engineering & Applied Science