Originating from the UK in 2014, the International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) has grown into a platform that celebrates and acknowledges women engineers around the globe — encouraging more young women and girls to take up engineering roles in a profession where they are still hugely under-represented.
Such a platform is necessary to combat the drastically low numbers of women working in engineering. According to a report by the US Congressional Joint Economic Committee, women make up just 14% of all professionals working in engineering. Only 27% of women are working in computer, science, and math positions. Such data is concerning as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers are expected to grow 1.4 times faster than non-STEM careers between 2020 and 2030.
As the demands for STEM careers grow, where should aspiring female engineers study engineering? Here are Study International’s picks on the top four engineering schools in America to kickstart a career in engineering:
University of South Carolina
The College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) at the University of South Carolina (UofSC) prides itself on its commitment to educating the next generation of engineers and computing professionals who can develop new technologies that will improve our lives and the world. Women are not excluded from this opportunity — as many as 21% of students at CEC are women, surpassing industry averages.
At UofSC CEC, students receive an education that will prepare them to break down barriers. The college has a small faculty-to-student ratio (1:21.8) which ensures that students get individualised support from the faculty. UofSC CEC professors here do more than impart technical knowledge, they also mentor, model behaviour and help create tomorrow’s thought leaders in their fields. Mechanical Engineering professor Lingyu (Lucy) Yu, as the associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, is leading efforts to create activities and events to promote recruiting and retention of underrepresented and underserved minorities and women.
Paired with US$42 million in research funding, students here have access to ample research opportunities and collaboration with industry professionals. Chemical engineering assistant professor Sanaz Sadati received a US$524,988 NSF CAREER award last year that will fund research into how blue phase liquid crystals form when they are confined within curved geometries. Sarah Gassman, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is part of a research study to improve South Carolina’s road pavement design. Nicole Berge, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is looking into engineered nanomaterials’ impact on municipal landfills.
To learn more about how the college is changing the game with their prolific faculty members, hands-on research opportunities, a dedicated career centre and curricula ready for the digital transformation of the 21st century, click here.
Ohio State University
There are many reasons why students from all over the world choose The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering. Programmes are ranked No. 1 among all Ohio universities and 16th among public universities according to US News and World Report. The campus has a strong community, urban, and metropolitan feel. Most graduate students receive funding support and various other forms of aid from their programme of study. The Office of International Affairs provides support on immigration, employment and other student programming.
A vast array of MS and PhD degrees here are highly ranked and led by world-renowned researchers and educators. Graduate students have access to career services support, such as resume writing, interview skills and access to more than 600 employers. With more than 60,000 alumni, students can tap into a strong professional network around the world.
When you choose Ohio State, you’re choosing a world-class institution that will prepare you to be key contributors to society through your technological, professional and personal skills. And Ohio State offers a wide range of academic graduate programmes, including Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering Education, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Integrated Systems Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering and Welding Engineering.
Located in Philadelphia, Drexel University is home to over 23,000 students at its 15 colleges and schools. Even though its history dates back to 1891, it is very much in tune with technology and innovation; for example, in 2000, it was the first university to have a totally wireless campus.
Drexel is also part of Philadelphia’s Cellicon Valley Avenue of Technology — one of America’s highest concentrations of medical universities and hospitals, biomedical device and health systems organisations, as well as related industries.
Curricula here include flexible, in-depth specialisations such as Bioinformatics and Neuroengineering. The School also has other related postgraduate programmes including Biomedical Science, Biomedical Engineering and Business, and Bioinformatics — at MS and PhD levels; they are also available as Concentrations and Certificates.
As part of their experiential learning and networking experience, students can opt for three or six months to do their Graduate Co-op in this emerging field.
With internationally renowned faculty, a welcoming environment and their unique co-op education, Drexel will help you achieve your dreams of becoming a biomedical engineer. For more information, click here.
UNH Graduate School
The University of New Hampshire is making waves as a leader in the engineering field. Its College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) is top ranked for both research activity and sustainable leadership, all whilst being situated in one of the top 10 tech cities in the US. Alongside this, CEPS ensures its students are given access to world-class facilities. It’s home to the largest wind tunnel of its kind in the world, as well as an interoperability lab that’s one of the world’s leading test spaces for data and networking products — all of which are utilized by the world’s top organisations.
At UNH, experiential learning is not only emphasised; it’s prioritised. CEPS encourages its students to pursue a number of research and design project activities through capstone learning experiences, where students can gain direct exposure to the industry. Its diverse community ensures that students are surrounded by a range of talented future pioneers, and its exciting study abroad programs provides students with the opportunity to gain unique and holistic learning experiences.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International