St. Thomas Newsroom

Dean’s Column: A Thousand Answers

Dr. Donald Weinkauf, dean of the School of Engineering.

We are building something truly special here in Minnesota! Enrollments continue to climb in both our undergraduate and graduate programs. This fall we will start our new civil engineering program to expand our range of offerings. At the same time, we continue to thrive with the normal flow of life in engineering at St. Thomas – a multitude of student research projects with faculty, collaborations with more than 25 industry partners in our Senior Design Clinic, and alumni doing great things in the world, such as Natasha Wright at MIT who was just listed in the Forbes “30 under 30” for technology contributions in the field of energy.

For several years now, mechanical engineering has been the No. 1 selected major for incoming freshmen across the entire university. Our undergraduate and graduate programs are experiencing a nearly decade-long period of annual double-digit growth. Today, nearly one in six students who study at St. Thomas are in the School of Engineering. And as such, engineering has been identified as a space resource priority in the new University of St. Thomas Campus Master Plan.

The vitality of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area technical community is what keeps us strong. I don’t think there are many other communities in the U.S. that could so energetically support the growth of a new engineering program such as what we are building here at St. Thomas. We believe in a different kind of engineering educational experience that fosters the skills needed to be an impactful engineer in the 21st century – one in which our students understand that there are virtually a thousand answers to nearly every question.

Our St. Thomas Engineer magazine is just a snapshot of what is going on here. I encourage you to drop us a line or just plan to drop in. We would love to show you the energy of our students, faculty and the business community that surrounds us.