Dean’s Message

Richard B. Brown

Dear Friends:

For more than a decade, the College of Engineering has been ramping up enrollment, faculty and facilities. According to the most recent American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Profiles, the College of Engineering is 39th of 348 schools in the size of our undergraduate enrollment, and 47th of 271 schools in graduate enrollment. The number of tenure-track faculty has increased by 55% since 1999, placing us 35th out of 357 schools.

Working closely with University of Utah, state and industry leaders, the College has a clear vision of its role as a leader of innovation, technology commercialization, and production of engineers and computer scientists. We must continue to provide outstanding talent for companies engaged in fiercely competitive global markets.

The College has doubled the number of degrees awarded per year since 1999, fueling Utah’s growing high-tech economy by providing greater numbers of engineering and computer science graduates. In 2013, the college awarded 777 degrees – 483 bachelor’s, 219 master’s and 75 doctoral degrees – more than twice the 368 engineering and computer science degrees issued in 1999.

The increase stems from former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt’s 2000 Engineering Initiative – a challenge to the state’s higher education system to double its number of engineering graduates – and from subsequent support from industry, the Utah Legislature and Leavitt’s successors as governor.

In addition to the College of Engineering’s contribution to developing an outstanding workforce, the faculty has grown engineering research to more than $81 million per year (up from $25 million ten years ago). University research is a major source of technology innovation that benefits companies seeking to maintain a competitive advantage and leads to spin-off companies that create new jobs.

The College is ranked among the top 30 U.S. engineering schools in total annual research expenditures by ASEE, and College research successes have contributed to its being ranked among the top 100 Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences programs by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Driven by interdisciplinary collaboration and entrepreneurial spirit, our students and faculty form ventures that keep society productive, healthy and entertained. We continue to successfully commercialize intellectual property through invention disclosures and patents. In FY 2013, the College of Engineering filed 86 invention disclosures, obtained 40 U.S. patents and launched seven of the University of Utah’s 17 start-up companies.

Building on the University of Utah’s innovation-rich heritage, the College’s new Center for Engineering Innovation helps bridge the gap between basic research, engineering innovation and the commercial marketplace. Since 2006, the college’s faculty and students have founded 50 startup companies from university research.

As one of the fastest rising engineering programs in the nation, the College of Engineering looks to the future with a tremendous sense of optimism and anticipation to advance even further.

Richard B. Brown
Dean, College of Engineering at the University of Utah
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