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Dean's Column

New Interdisciplinary Degree Programs for Engineering Professionals

Frieder Seible, Dean

The most exciting and innovative engineering often occurs on the interface between traditional disciplines. We are extending our interdisciplinary collaborations - which have always been at the core of the Jacobs School culture - to new graduate education programs for engineering professionals. Beginning this fall, the Jacobs School will offer four new interdisciplinary Master of Advanced Study (MAS) programs for working engineers: Wireless Embedded Systems, Medical Device Engineering, Structural Health Monitoring, and Simulation-Based Engineering.

These master degree programs are engineering equivalents of MBA programs at business management schools. Geared to early- to mid-career engineers with practical work experience, our new MAS programs align faculty research strengths with industry workforce needs. The curricula are always jointly offered by two academic departments, so that the training focuses in a practical way on industry-specific application areas that are not available through traditional master degree programs. The four new programs bring our total number of professional engineering master degree programs to five. The fifth is our successful Master of Advanced Study program in Architecture-Based Enterprise Systems Engineering, a collaboration with the UCSD Rady School of Management.

The pace of technological innovation increases every year, and engineering leaders must be dedicated to lifelong learning. In order to stay relevant, it is mandatory for most working engineers to update their knowledge, especially on the interface between disciplines. The Jacobs School Master of Advanced Study programs offer this opportunity.

The new Wireless Embedded Systems curriculum, for example, provides engineers with the necessary background and expertise in hardware, software, systems and communication theory to prepare for the next step in the wireless revolution.

Threads common to each program are teamwork, networking, design projects, and relevance to industry needs. Students in the Medical Device Engineering program have the opportunity to design a medical device and prepare to bring it to market. The Simulation-Based Engineering program is the first in the nation focused on the emerging field of computational simulation, which is a primary means of analysis and decision making in national laboratories and many industries. As a leading research engineering school, the Jacobs School produces the intellectual and human capital that drives innovation and keeps companies competitive. Training engineering professionals to become technical leaders in emerging fields - such as structural health monitoring from a systems-level approach - is an important part of our engineering talent pipeline. If you know engineers who might benefit from one of our programs, please spread the word. Applications are now being accepted for fall classes.

Frieder Seible

Frieder Seible