Engineering is a diverse field, but the role of the engineer is critical to the development of a nation, be it within healthcare, food, manufacturing or research.
In an era where humans and machines intersect, future engineers don’t just need to be equipped with the technical skills in their relevant fields, but also need the soft skills that would enable them to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of work.
A solid engineering degree will equip students with the right tools to enhance their employability and career prospects in an increasingly competitive job market. This makes it essential for aspiring engineers or professionals who are keen on pursuing their undergraduate or graduate studies in the field to select a university that offers a modern curriculum and reflects the changes happening in industry.
International students who are keen on pursuing their engineering studies in the US may want to consider the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s (UT) Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. UT is a public research institution that offers prospective students an affordable place to study; the cost of living in Knoxville is 18 percent lower than the national average, according to PayScale.
The university boasts of many accolades; for instance, it’s ranked 5th in PhD students/tenure track (TT) faculty among public ECE departments, and 13th in research expenditures/TT faculty among public ECE departments in the 2017 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) survey.
Preparing aspiring engineers for the real world
The School is among the Top-25 public EECS departments and the premiere EECS department in Tennessee, priding itself on preparing the next generation of skilled engineering professionals who are ready to respond, adapt and evolve with future demands.
The institution does this by tapping into the expertise of its faculty. The School has 45 faculty members who are world-class leaders in their fields, dedicated to teaching students and aiding them in developing the technical and communication skills needed to have successful careers. According to Head of School, Gregory Peterson, the rigorous curriculum prepares students to be successful in their future profession and offers the flexibility to choose courses that match their interests.
Students of the School will also benefit from learning in state-of-the-art facilities. The Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building is in a 150,000 square foot facility that opened in 2012, housing teaching laboratories equipped with the latest electrical and electronic equipment, computers and software. This ensures students receive an education using modern tools and techniques expected of new graduates to help improve their career-readiness.
Degrees that meet industry-demands
The university offers degrees at BS, MS and PhD levels. At the undergraduate level, students can study a BSc in a range of programmes, including in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science. It also offers a five year BS/MS degree and a Cybersecurity Minor. As accreditation plays an important role in measuring the quality and impact of a degree, prospective students will be heartened to note that all programmes here are ABET accredited, ensuring they meet the quality standards of the profession.
Meanwhile, graduate students can choose from their MSc programmes in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering or Computer Science, while they offer a Doctor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science.
Primed for success
As the School is flanked by a strong faculty who are among the leading minds in engineering, coupled with its stellar facilities and quality programmes, UT has all the right ingredients to cultivate student success.
One of the university’s alumna, Catherine Schuman, was among the seven Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers representing a range of scientific disciplines who had received the coveted Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Early Career Research award. The programme supports the development of individual research programmes of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science.
Schuman, who works as a Research Scientist in Computational Data Analytics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, received her doctorate in computer science from UT in 2015, where she completed her dissertation on the use of evolutionary algorithms to train spiking neural networks for neuromorphic systems.
She received funding for her proposal, Learning to Learn: Designing Novel Neuromorphic Algorithms with Machine Learning. Her project will use machine learning and high-performance computing to automatically create new algorithms that will enable real-time continuous learning for neuromorphic systems, which are novel, energy efficient computing systems inspired by biological neural networks. The work aims to provide a path for using neuromorphic computers for real-time adaptive machine learning-based analysis of scientific data.
It’s clear that UT serves as a launchpad for success by equipping students with an arsenal of skills and knowledge, enabling them to tackle the challenges facing the industry. Thus, regardless of their chosen engineering discipline, students who study at UT are primed to become future scientists and engineers that support their respective nation’s workforce.
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