Our Mission

Dean Branicky meets with students at the start of the fall semesterThe mission at the University of Kansas School of Engineering is to give the students a high-quality educational experience; to generate and apply knowledge through research, development and scholarly activity; and to serve society, the state of Kansas and the engineering profession.

The primary objective is to produce graduates with the technical competence to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering; to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems; to design and conduct experiments, including the analysis and interpretation of data; to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs; and to use techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

The goals of the faculty, staff and administration are to: 

  • Serve KU Engineering students through a balanced undergraduate and graduate education program and strive to help each of them achieve their full potential.
  • Serve the state, region and country through research conducted by individual and groups of faculty researchers. Group efforts are particularly encouraged.
  • Serve the state, region and nation through professional activities, short courses and other contributions. 

Building on Excellence Initiative

​The School of Engineering has embarked on a strategic plan that leads to significant expansion while taking explicit care to maintain and improve the high-quality student programs the university is known for. The Building on Excellence Initiative is a multi-faceted approach that drives growth in facilities, faculty, leadership, research and, most important, students, as it helps industry partners find the new talent, designs and techniques they need to fuel economic growth and business success.

Over the next several years, the KU School of Engineering will:

  • Increase by more than 60 percent, the number of students graduating with a bachelor's degree in engineering or computing
  • Add faculty members to match the growing enrollment and maintain the desirable student/faculty ratio of 23:1
  • Add support staff to lead expansion of student recruitment, retention and support activities, and 
  • Add facilities that address the high-tech research, classroom and office space necessary for successful expansion. The proposed buildings, constructed in phases, will increase by nearly 60 percent the amount of space available for KU School of Engineering activities and endeavors.

These endeavors tie in exceptionally well to the university's own strategic plan: Bold Aspirations.

The Building on Excellence Initiative is supported through resources from a variety of partners, including the State of Kansas through the Engineering Growth Act, employers, research funding and, in part, through additional revenue from growing enrollment. 

The Kansas Board of Regents offers a comprehensive report on earnings data from all undergraduate degree programs offered at public universities in Kansas.

How We Will Grow

Students

Educating students is central to our mission.

The KU School of Engineering has long prided itself on not only the instruction and opportunities our students receive, but also the quality of the student choosing to study at KU.

As we strive to expand our student body, the school's faculty and staff expect to maintain the high quality student and graduate that employers have come to expect.

Our efforts will focus on:

  • Maintaining student-faculty ratio,
  • Early outreach and recruitment efforts to ensure K-12 students see the excitement of engineering and computing,
  • Outstanding scholarship offers to high school seniors,
  • Leadership and enrichment opportunities at the undergraduate level,
  • Early intervention and retention programs for current students.

Faculty

As our student body increases, so too must the size of our faculty.

The Building on Excellence Initiative seeks to increase the number of faculty members in a strategic fashion that will attract professors talented not only in outstanding instruction, but in discovery and innovation.

The initial plan is structured on the assumptions that:

  • Engineering faculty members are hired in groups of five to six new positions over a five-to six-year span. 
  • Most of the faculty member additions will be at the assistant professor level in early years.  In subsequent years, a combination of assistant professor and senior-level faculty members will be hired, the latter in order to build upon the overall strength of a particular research thrust.
  • Significant numbers of highly qualified, potential faculty members are available in the targeted research thrust areas.  Competition among major institutions, the subject areas involved, and the fit of potential candidates to a research thrust may mean that some hiring takes place outside of the planned schedule.

Review the searches currently under way.

Staff

The school’s goal is to maintain the exceptional quality of its students while simultaneously increasing the quantity and their overall success rate. 

KU School of Engineering staff members play a crucial role in recruiting high-quality, high-ability students, as well as providing appropriate intervention and support for students who may be struggling in certain subjects or challenged by the transition to college.  Enrichment programs provide opportunities for students to gain experiences that industry values and that broaden students’ skills before they enter the workforce. Staff members also maintain connections with employers and provide important services for students that help them progress from high school graduate to work-ready professional.

Staff will expand the retention programs that provide early intervention, student engagement and support to students who otherwise might not graduate from KU as engineers and lead successful careers.  Staff members also will drive recruitment efforts that make KU a top engineering choice for some of the best students in the country and the world.

Facilities

Increasing the size of the student body, the size of the faculty and the scope of KU’s research can only continue with an investment in space. It’s a good thing we’re at KU. We’re in the midst of a major expansion. When it’s complete in Fall 2015, the expanded facilities will provide an enhanced student experience, new opportunities for research, and cutting edge technology. 

Phase I – Research and the M2SEC

The Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center was dedicated in Fall 2012. This 47,000 net square-foot building provides a unique opportunity for several engineering and campus wide research groups to work together on projects and to develop commercial applications based on project results. The facility is reserved for research purposes.

The $24 million research building is funded in part through a $12.3 million award from the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology Construction Grant Program and with private donations and other KU support. Learn more about what this grand facility has to offer

Phase II – Accommodating Students

Phase II of the KU School of Engineering expansion focuses to a great extent on the student experience. The 135,000+ square-foot expansion includes a building at the KU Engineering Complex as well as the Structural Testing and Student Projects Facility on KU's West Campus in Lawrence. The $80-million project incorporates the latest findings in instructional layout, designs and methods to ensure KU students get the most from their classroom experience.

It includes state-of-the-art classrooms that enhance access to cutting-edge curriculum, teaching and research laboratories that allow students to apply what they learn and push the boundaries, collaboration and study spaces, and student project design space. The main building will be the new front door for the KU School of Engineering and home for student recruitment, retention efforts, such as tutoring, group and individual study space, student organization space, and the Engineering Career Center.

Phase II, also known as the Learned Hall Engineering Expansion Phase 2 (LEEP2) is partially funded through bonds partially supported by the University Engineering Initiative Act of the Kansas Legislature.

Treanor Architects has designed the main structure at the Engineering Complex with thoughts toward a possible later-date expansion. Facilities on KU's West Campus opened in Fall 2014. The main Engineering Complex structure is scheduled for completion by Fall 2015.

 

 


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Engineering Research Highlights

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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