As we embark on another academic year, we are pleased to celebrate many milestones in the College of Engineering. This year, we again welcome a record number of engineering students to campus, and we are growing in all aspects of our mission.
In this issue, we highlight growth in our faculty. The College has grown from 60 faculty members in 2011 to more than 90 faculty this year, and these new members of our University are contributing to innovative research, new areas of expertise and novel courses in the College. Much of this growth has been based on a strategic approach of building interdisciplinary expertise in emerging and economically critical research areas. We have dedicated resources to hiring faculty in areas such as autonomous systems, advanced manufacturing, big data, cybersecurity, infrastructure and high-performance computing. These new faculty are encouraged to develop cross-disciplinary research programs and to engage with regional industry on solving technological challenges.
In the pages that follow, you will meet just some of these faculty and learn more about how they are driving our research in new directions. These faculty are also important contributors to our teaching program. The College aims to be responsive to industry needs, adding new academic programs in areas such as autonomous systems, batteries and energy storage, and cybersecurity. This fall, we also launched a new bachelor's degree program in biomedical engineering. This program will complement our existing M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and will meet undergraduate student demand for this rapidly growing field. We are also developing new courses in areas such as advanced manufacturing and high-tech entrepreneurship. These courses enable our graduates to enter the workforce with relevant experience and the skills employers in our region and around the globe are looking for.
We are also continuing our efforts to build partnerships with industry. This year, we will be offering a unique flight coordinator course, developed in partnership with Insitu. In the Spring, we hosted our third annual Innovation Day, in which seniors in the College present capstone design projects, many of which were designed in partnership with local industry, to area employers and middle- and high-school students. And our Distinguished Lecture Series continues to bring key industry figures to campus. This year, we were pleased to host Jason Mendenhall, executive vice president of Cloud, a Switch company, who spoke on "The Internet of Things, the Future and Our Part in It."
As our growth brings us new opportunities, it also requires that we expand our physical space to meet the needs of more students and faculty. We are embarking on a campaign to create an engineering complex, anchored by a new engineering building that will house critically needed laboratories for research as well as expanded office space. This year, we are also renovating the Palmer Engineering building to improve laboratory facilities and seismic safety. The entire Engineering Complex project, both renovation and new construction, will add approximately 50 new offices as well as 40 state-of-the-art teaching and research labs, including a Class 100 clean room that will enable the College to recruit top-caliber faculty in fields such as chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering.
Your engagement has been critical to the College over the past years as we have grown to this point, and your continued support will be crucial to the success of our new endeavors. Many thanks for your friendship to the College.
Dean of Engineering