Archive for ‘Engineering’

ACU’s First Director of Engineering

0 Commentsby   |  07.18.12  |  Department, Engineering

ACU’s Engineering Program officially launches this fall with a new class of entering freshpeople.   We are pleased to announce that Dr. Ken Olree will be the first director of the engineering program.  The ACU press release says:

“I am extremely excited to be directing the new engineering program at ACU,” says Olree, the new director of engineering. “This is a unique time in history. Never before have the needs been as great, and the technology as available, to solve the problems that exist in the world today.”

Our new engineering program will greatly strengthen the offerings and options in the department.   So far, many of our physics majors have gone on to engineering fields after graduation.  In fact, the national averages show that 1 in 3 physics undergraduates are employed in engineering and 1 in 5 who attend grad school will do so in engineering.  The new engineering program will give students more options and the ability to focus on their discipline of choice.  This program also seeks to offer ACU’s first ABET accredited engineering degree.

UPDATE: The Abilene Reporter News has also covered the story.



The Best-Paying College Majors

0 Commentsby   |  08.02.11  |  Careers, Engineering

Interested in getting the most bang for your college tuition buck?  A new report from lists that the top 10 best-paying college majors are all in the closely related fields of engineering, physics, computer science, and applied math.

Let’s take a look at the results sorted by mid-career median pay:

  1. Engineering
  2. Engineering
  3. Engineering
  4. Engineering
  5. Engineering
  6. Engineering
  7. Physics
  8. Applied Math
  9. Computer Science
  10. Engineering

Overall, these results should come as no great surprise.  Discoveries by past physicists have paved the way for the technology we have today (i.e. you have to discover quantum mechanics before you can invent iPhones). Science and technology still drive the economy today, mostly through the products developed by engineers.  For a slightly less-serious take, the blog even has an interesting post today about the importance of engineering to an economy.

OK, now that I’ve made my point, here’s the list again from in lovely chart form showing the actual fields of engineering as well:

Degrees Degrees
Annual pay for Bachelors graduates without higher degrees. Typical starting graduates have 2 years of experience; mid-career have 15 years. See full methodology for more.

You have to go pretty far down the list to find a field which does not heavily involve number crunching.   If you’re interested in the other end of the spectrum, or just looking for non-mathematics-based fields, Huffington Post has the  worst paying majors list as a slideshow.

Of course, future salary potential is just one small factor to consider when choosing a college major.  Find a job that you love and you’ll be better off in the long run.  Have fun browsing.

-Dr. D


Physics Department Update


0 Commentsby   |  07.22.11  |  Department, Engineering

I’d like to give you a short status update on the physics department.  I’m motivated to do this do because during the past two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to:

  • welcome 16 of the new students joining our department this fall,
  • attend the ninth Christian Engineering Education Conference, and
  • see first hand how our students are contributing to research at ACU, BNL, and LANL.

If I’m allowed to speak presidentially, then I’d say the state of our department is outstanding.  We have a current group of students that are excellent and accomplishing great things this summer.  Read our latest DANGO reports for more details (see below).  We have a very promising group of students arriving this fall and there are more scheduled for the August passport session that I haven’t had the opportunity to welcome to campus yet, but I look forward to doing that soon.

Finally, the faculty of the Department of Physics has worked extremely diligently over the past year to develop a plan to change us into the Department of Physics and Engineering.  Experts in Engineering, Business, Finance, and Recruiting from both inside and outside of the university have reviewed our plan and everyone has been very supportive.  Clearly there is a great student demand for Engineering and we believe we can develop a world-class engineering program that will compliment our current physics program.  It was exciting to me to attend the Christian Engineering Educators Conference and hear about how Christians who engineer are leading and serving for Christ.  I heard about how faculty and students participate in engineering mission trips and I participated in some discussions of how God is the ultimate designer.  There is definitely a place for engineering at ACU.  Currently we are looking for the right Christian engineering professor to help develop and lead this program.  If you know of a professor that may be qualified, please pass their name on to me.

God has blessed us in many ways and I’m excited about what is in store for the Department of Physics (and Engineering?).

–Dr. Rusty Towell, Department Chair