Four-Year Engineering Program Approved for UMES

  • Friday, June 22, 2007

    3-D Center PicPRINCESS ANNE, MD--The Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland (USM) announced today the approval of a new independent four-year engineering degree for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). 

    "As America strives to excel as a major global competitor in the STEM fields-- science, technology, engineering and mathematics--it is important for us to provide, support, and participate in programming such as this," said President Thelma B. Thompson. "The approval of the four-year engineering degree fosters UMES' institutional mission to offer programs that are responsive to the workforce needs of this region, of our state and of the nation."

    The newly established program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering with four different specializations: electrical, computer, mechanical and aerospace.  The curriculum, which supports the growing technological demands of the Eastern Shore, is designed based on experience gained from on-going collaboration in the pre-engineering and collaborative electrical engineering programs with the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) and Salisbury University (SU).  The joint electrical engineering and pre-engineering programs will no longer be offered at UMES as it is being replaced by the new four-year program.  Following formal approval from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, students already enrolled in the programs will be offered an option to transfer to the new engineering program as early as the fall semester of 2007.

    The digital and analog electronics lab, a control and robotics lab, a space vehicle mission planning lab, and an embedded system design lab have been established in the Department of Engineering and Aviation Science through a number of grants, as has the Center for 3-D Visualization and Virtual Reality.

    "Having an engineering program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is essential to maintain the viability of industry, especially in rural areas of the State," said Rafael Correa, director of operations, MaTech, Inc. "The life cycle of technology today does not give industry the luxury of business as usual.  Continuous improvement is the survival tool of the global economy and engineers play a prominent role as the 'drivers of innovation.'"

    "This is wonderful news for Maryland and the Lower Shore, the educational, business and research communities," said Maryland State Delegate D. Page Elmore (R, District 38A, Somerset and Wicomico counties).  "The engineering major at UMES will allow our local students to live and study on this side of the Chesapeake Bay."

    The recommendation to the Board of Regents to approve an engineering degree for UMES came from recent meetings involving USM's vice chancellor for academic affairs and the vice presidents, deans and chairs of the collaborative engineering program at UMCP, UMES and SU.  The recommendation follows a 1997 effort by presidents of the UMCP, UMES and SU to establish a four-year collaborative electrical engineering program at UMES and SU.

    "We appreciate the active support from the professional and business community of the Eastern Shore as well as from our sister institutions," said President Thompson, "and I thank the Chancellor, his staff and the Board of Regents for their trust and confidence.  We will not disappoint them."

    "The realization of the long dream to have a four-year engineering program has finx