The College of Engineering saw a 28 percent increase in new student enrollment this year.
The influx of new students is largely in part because this year has seen the largest freshman enrollment class in UNLV history.
The department has had success in research and design, and has been actively recruiting students from high schools to come to UNLV.
This is part of an increasing push to encourage students to enter the science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – fields, to help students succeed in today’s more demanding economy with a beneficial skillset.
“Locally and nationally, students are realizing there’s a great demand for qualified engineers and that starting salaries are much higher than many other majors,” said Rama Venkat, Dean of the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering.
This year the largest increase of freshman enrollment was in computer science, and a few more sections of the 100-level computer science courses were created to meet the demand.
The department is also adding a new minor in Unmanned Aircraft Systems that will give students the knowledge and tools they need to oversee every aspect of building, programming and operating unmanned drones.
Professor Paul Oh from Drexel University has joined the UNLV Mechanical Engineering Department as the Lincy Professor of Unmanned Autonomous Systems, and will be leading UNLV’s team in the DARPA challenge. This competition will require the team to design and build a robot that can act as a first responder during nuclear and natural disasters.
The College of Engineering has continued to diversify its programs even further by hiring Professor SJ Kim for its Entertainment Engineering and Design Program. This program aims to combine theater and pure engineering to help students learn how to work in the entertainment industry. All these new programs are built to develop a new interest in students who are willing to test their abilities and apply them in the real world.
“We expect to keep growing and we are increasing our recruitment efforts to attract top high school students as well as top transfer students around the nation. We expect our growth to continue to rise in coming semesters,” said Venkat.
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(This story was originally published in News Center at UNLV)