How Lamar University College of Engineering prepares graduate students to be job-ready
Lamar University (LU) College of Engineering prepares students to pass competency-based tests in future jobs. “Skill-based testing, especially programming, is an integral part of the interview process for many graduate students,” says Dr. James Curry, associate professor of industrial engineering. “Over the past five years, the complexity of the interview process and candidate testing has increased dramatically. Companies today want new employees to be able to contribute from day one. In response to business and labor market needs, the department has developed new courses such as Python Programming, Automation (PLC), User Interface, and Machine Status. »
In order to maximize their employment opportunities, LU Engineering focuses on training students to lead digital transformation projects. LU Engineering offers a wide range of Masters and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Engineering Management and Civil Engineering. LU has low tuition and living costs. Most full-time graduate students receive support through scholarships with tuition or in-state assistantships.
LU engineering students are also encouraged to take relevant cross-departmental courses. For example, the College of Business offers unique courses in ERP with SAP, CRM with SAP, and Project Management with Primavera. Engineering and Computer Science also collaborate to provide several machine learning and computer vision courses.
“We have upgraded our labs across all departments and added a new Emerson Advanced Technology Center with the latest Delta-V control systems,” adds Brian Craig, LU Engineering Dean. “The faculty and I are fully committed to preparing our graduates for digital transformation.”
Vaibhav Chauhan, a graduate in industrial engineering, is the beneficiary of this new offer. “When I was writing my thesis course on data mining, I had to use Python. Other courses, such as databases and heuristic algorithms, also helped me develop the state of mind of a programmer.
LU Engineering faculty members use software to develop interesting and exciting models, allowing students to participate in real-life projects. For example, Dr. Qiang Xu researches and teaches simulation and optimization to improve chemical plant efficiency, with over 100 published journal articles. One of his students, Dr. Jialin Xu, recalls, “Back in school, I had many opportunities to tackle real-world challenges facing industries, including multiple research projects and courses. of industrial technology. All of these elements have strengthened my knowledge and prepared me for my current position as a process optimization engineer. »
Another student, Honglin Qu, who currently works for Enverus Inc. in Denver, Colorado, agrees. “These projects pushed me to learn new things, try different methods and hone the results to perfection, which was very difficult. However, such training is exactly what future employers appreciate.
The ultimate result of integrating such skills into their curricula? Impressive rankings. LU Engineering ranks 20th among the best engineering schools in the country according to bestvalueschools.com. Payscale.com ranks LU among the top three engineering schools for return on investment and second best for average alumni salaries.