The College of Engineering at the University of Georgia, a university-wide academic unit with more than 100 faculty members from twenty-four departments across eight schools and colleges, is organized to capture the convergence of scientific and engineering disciplines. Unlike conventional engineering schools where faculty members are appointed to an engineering department, UGA engineering faculty in the College of Engineering are housed in academic units throughout campus. In addition, engineering faculty at other universities and engineers in the private sector participate in the College of Engineering.
This innovative interdisciplinary approach to engineering increases opportunity for learning, research and outreach at the confluence of disciplines, giving rise to new but pervasive fields like pharmaceutical engineering, metabolic engineering, marine engineering, ecological engineering, information engineering and biological engineering. Academic programs emerging in this environment adopt an educational approach that gives engineering students broader learning experiences and prepares them for careers devoted to the integration of discoveries from multiple disciplines. The programs graduate engineers with liberal arts backgrounds. The use-inspired research paradigm that emerges out of the collaboration between science and engineering leads to the development of products and services that are relevant to the needs of society. The engineering outreach programs enhance economic development and quality of life for Georgians, and prepare them to be global leaders in science, technology, education and sustainable development.
The unconventional approach to organizing a major discipline is unique and may be the first of its kind at a research university in the United States. It employs principles of entrepreneurship, boundarylessness, networking and life-long learning to create a learning organization that is responsive to unpredictability and adoptive of opportunity.
The development of high quality, relevant programs in engineering at UGA will not only serve the University and its students, but the state of Georgia and a changing world.