Program approval, progress in hiring and enrollment sparks unprecedented opportunities for students, faculty, public engagement, and regional economic development
ALBANY, NY (July 18, 2016) – The University at Albany is well poised to expand and grow its first-ever engineering program.
University officials today announced that the New York State Education Department formally approved UAlbany’s Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering. The University will bring on 14 highly respected faculty members to the new College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS).
These moves fully support the increased student, parent and business community demand for engineering majors.
“With this approval in hand, we are moving full steam ahead in launching the first public option for computer engineering in the Capital Region,” said UAlbany President Robert J. Jones. “Adding computer engineering to our expanding academic profile allows UAlbany to attract a new cohort of high-achieving students and world-class faculty—and to prepare graduates who can fill the growing regional and statewide demand for engineers.”
The degree’s approval comes as science and engineering jobs in New York are expected to grow by 7.2 percent between 2008 and 2018—more than double the projected growth for non-science and engineering jobs over the same period. With an average starting salary of more than $70,000, graduates with computer engineering degrees command among the highest starting salaries for students with a bachelor’s degree.
CEAS’ computer engineering major integrates fundamentals from engineering, mathematics, computer programming and physics. Students will be trained in computer development, analysis and design, positioning them for multiple jobs in the computing industry.
The College is planning to follow the computer engineering major with four more undergraduate degree programs and a complement of graduate programs in each discipline.
“As computers and other digital processors permeate virtually all aspects of daily life, the demand for engineers who can design and implement the next generation of computing, embedded systems, and digital communications continues to expand,” said CEAS Interim Dean Kim L. Boyer. “Industry leaders are seeking highly-skilled professionals who can address these challenges—and UAlbany will prepare the next generation of innovators in this field.”
UAlbany’s new computer engineering major will prepare students to fill the regional and statewide demand for professionals in this growing industry. (Photo by Paul Miller)
Expanding the Ranks
Over the past year, Boyer has successfully recruited 14 new faculty members to CEAS from some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions.
The new faculty members join UAlbany from esteemed universities across the country including the University of Michigan, Brown University, University of Southern California, Dartmouth College, University of Colorado and Texas A+M University.
These faculty have interest and expertise in areas including computer vision and analytics, intelligent control, automated suturing, robot motion planning, communications and next generation networks, decision making under uncertainty, and medical cyberphysical systems.
A Major Piece of the Puzzle
CEAS, which is the primary aspect of UAlbany’s largest academic expansion in five decades, will eventually be housed in a fully renovated century-old school building adjacent to the University’s downtown campus.
The building, which was home to Albany High School from 1913 to 1974, will accommodate more than 1,100 students, faculty and researchers, and bring new life to a significant historic building in Albany’s urban core.
With the support of state legislators from the Albany area, UAlbany is seeking $60 million in capital funding to support the renovation of the North Lake Avenue facility, which the University purchased from City School District of Albany in 2013.
The renovation will also broaden UAlbany’s downtown footprint and make CEAS a hub for public partnerships and significant public engagement opportunities, including use of the facility’s 1,000-seat auditorium, “maker space” for entrepreneurs, and programs for local K-12 schools.
A corridor study, which is part of the City’s Rezone Project, will precede the building’s renovation. Visit UAlbany’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences to learn more.
“The University is poised to meet the growing need for engineers to live and work in the Capital Region, across Upstate and throughout the entire state. CEAS serves as a strong public option for students interested in computer engineering, and will help keep graduates in the area for the long term. It also provides an opportunity for women and students of color to obtain an affordable engineering education,” said State Senator Neil Breslin.
“I am excited that the University at Albany is starting a complete engineering program. As a local high-tech company specializing in scientific computing, we have difficulty finding enough local talent, and often hire from all around the country. It would be highly desirable to have another university nearby that can supply smart, motivated software engineers and computer science researchers who already know the Capital Region and want to start their careers here,” said Anthony Hoogs, Senior Director of Computer Vision, Kitware Inc.
“The new College will serve as a centerpiece for revitalization in the Downtown Albany are, as it grows new jobs and businesses. This is the kind of economic incubator that can benefit our entire region. I applaud UAlbany for developing and implementing a plan that will serve students, improve opportunity, help revitalize a community and create economic activity throughout Albany and the Capital Region,” said State Sen. George Amedore.
“I commend the University at Albany’s commitment to the Midtown Education District through their new College of Engineering and Applied Sciences,” said Assembly Member Patricia Fahy. “This bold expansion of UAlbany’s academic portfolio will prepare tomorrow’s leaders for the innovation economy.”
“The renovations and innovations proposed by the University at Albany will bolster the transformation of the Capital Region, and help entice a variety of businesses to make their home here,” said Assembly Member John McDonald. “This is an ideal and promising project for the University, for the City, local businesses and the community.”
“The University at Albany’s first Computer Engineering bachelor’s degree provides a phenomenal opportunity for many of Computer Information Systems and Engineering Science students at Hudson Valley. Now, they have an affordable and high quality public higher education pathway here in our region. We’re grateful for the opportunity to provide input as the program’s curriculum was developed, and we look forward to future partnerships with the university that offer more engineering and applied science options to our students and talent for our workforce,” said Drew Matonak, president of Hudson Valley Community College.
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