Outstanding research and location highlight graduate engineering at UTA

As you explore your options for pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in engineering, The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Engineering should rise to the top of your list. Located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area in Texas, UTA is the most comprehensive engineering school in the region. The institution offers 14 master’s programs and nine doctoral degrees across seven departments, also benefitting from a location that sits within a few miles of dozens of corporations – including the headquarters of some of the world’s largest corporations. The campus is easily accessible, and there are dozens of opportunities to enjoy yourself outside of class, including great food, shopping, the arts, professional sports, music, and outdoor recreation.

The university prides itself on its diverse student population. Around 80 percent of graduate students are international applicants and there are dozens of student organizations aimed at participants from various countries. Diversity allows a stimulating exchange of ideas that makes the College stronger.

“When I first arrived on UTA’s campus, I was pleased by its diversity. It gave me an opportunity to learn and share about various cultures from all over the world. I live on campus and take full advantage of excellent recreational facilities and access to many student events. Faculty, staff and the campus environment make me feel at home,” says Surya Sarat Chandra Congress, a doctoral student in the Civil Engineering Department.

Surya Sarat Chandra Congress (second from left) and his doctoral advisor, Anand Puppala, Ph.D., (third from left) earned a National Science Foundation grant to use UAVs to help the City of Beaumont, Texas, clean up debris after Hurricane Harvey hit the region in 2017

Your primary reason for coming to UTA is to get a degree that will help you land a job. Though the school can’t make guarantees, graduates are well-respected in industry and put themselves in excellent positions to earn a spot with top corporations. The College of Engineering hosts two career fairs a year, with more than 90 companies across seven disciplines represented at each one.

Graduate engineering students have found success in landing jobs with top companies upon graduation. In the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, for instance, three labs – the Advanced Materials and Structures Lab, the Aerodynamics Research Center and the Electronic, MEMS and Nanoelectronics Packaging Center – have enjoyed 100 percent placement of graduates in the past year with companies such as Motorola, Apple, SpaceX, Amazon, Tesla, Raytheon, Samsung and Shell.

Of course, the College also serves many working professionals who seek an advanced degree to get ahead in their jobs.

James Worsham, a master’s student in the Computer Science and Engineering Department and an engineer at Lockheed Martin, was enrolled in an online master’s program at another university before enrolling at UTA, and here, he enjoyed the experience of actually being in the classroom and the lab.

“I work as a full-time engineer and take classes in the evening here on campus. The school does a great job of ensuring that local professionals can exceed academically by providing a large selection of classes in the evening and having professors who are willing to help outside of core class hours,” says Worsham. “My graduate research is similar in nature and technical problem space to the problems we face in industry. There have been times when I’ve been able to take concepts being studied in the classroom and apply them to problems in the workspace. This relationship between work and academics really helps drive innovation and new solutions.”

Internships are an important part of engineering education, and UTA students are encouraged to pursue them.

“Many graduate students branch out to look for positions nationwide instead of locally. Internships are found through a variety of sources; career fairs, online postings, professors’ referrals, specific research projects and networking through student organizations. We offer workshops, résumé reviews and mock interviews to help students prepare for job searches,” says Carole Coleman, co-op and internship coordinator for the College of Engineering.

“The intensive practical exposure drove my coursework in the Computer Science and Engineering Department, and the opportunity of being a graduate teaching assistant helped me get an internship in the field of machine learning at a very hot tech startup in California,” said Viswanathan Rajalingam, a master’s student from Chennai, India.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education has designated UTA an R-1: Doctoral University—Highest Research Activity institution. This category is limited to the top doctoral research universities in the United States, and places UTA among an elite group of 115 institutions, including Harvard, MIT, and Johns Hopkins.

The College of Engineering accounts for nearly half of the university’s research expenditures each year, with funding from the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, and many other public and private organizations. Since 2011, research expenditures within the college have risen from about $22 million to $31.4 million. Overall, UTA’s engineering-related expenditures have risen from $37.5 million to $45.3 million. Twelve members of the UTA faculty, including eight engineering faculty, are Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, while one engineering professor is a Fellow of the National Academy of Engineering.

Graduate students, especially at doctoral level, are the beneficiaries of this research activity. They have dozens of options to pursue their research interests alongside faculty who are international leaders in their field. UTA boasts top-quality facilities, like the Shimadzu Institute Nanotechnology Research Center and the soon-to-be-opened Science and Engineering Innovation and Research Building. The Nanotechnology Research Center is the most advanced clean room in the region with equipment for desposition, characterization, etching/ashing and dicing/bonding, and the SEIR Building will bring together researchers from disciplines across the university for collaboration on healthcare-related studies.

“There are plenty of opportunities here for doctoral students, and I was privileged to be part of a National Science Foundation project that aided Hurricane Harvey relief using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs),” Congress says. “The research challenges I’ve faced since the beginning of my studies have had a positive impact on me by helping me become a strong and well-rounded engineer. I recently made three presentations about our work at the Transportation Research Board meeting in Washington, DC, and I am rapidly becoming a leader in this innovative UAV technology. I hope to continue developing my skills and contributing to the knowledge base in the field.”

Are you interested in learning more about UTA’s College of Engineering? A recruitment officer from UTA will be in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in November:

  • November 13, Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard Road City Center, 4-9 p.m. Register for free here.
  • November 14: Ritz Carleton, Kuala Lumpur, 2:30-8 p.m. Register for free here.
  • November 15: MACEE Kuala Lumpur, 18th Floor, Menara Yayasan Tun, Razak, 200 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Academic Advising 3-4 p.m., Call 603-2166-8878 to register for free.
  • November 17: Intercontinental Hotel Jakarta, 12:30-6:30 p.m. Register for free here.
  • November 19: Makati Shangri-la Manila, 2:30-8 p.m. Register for free here.

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