I’ve had the pleasure of sitting on the advisory board for Civil and Architectural Engineering Department at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Wyoming. This past week I had the pleasure of being asked to sit on the National Advisory Board for the College. One of the most exciting developments at UW is the appropriation of funds from the state to significantly enhance the facilities and curriculum of the College of Engineering.
My grandfather was and Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at UW. After his time at Purdue, where he earned his PHD, he came back to teach and research at UW. He also spent many years as the department head of civil engineering. I had the pleasure of spending lots of time with him over that past 8 years and we spoke a lot about his time at UW. When I told him that UW was likely going to upgrade the college, he said “well, its about damn time.” According to him, the building was out of date back in the late ’50s.
One of my passions, and why this post exists, is so I can talk about economic development in Laramie and Wyoming. The college of engineering expansion may be the best opportunity for UW to enhance economic development in the state of Wyoming. Our students will have the best facilities to learn in. While a new facility is vital, the college itself will improve. I can see great synergy between the College of Engineering with the School of Energy Resources and the NCAR facility. Once realized, the College of Engineering will generate more students and graduate students that are ready for industry. One hope of mine is that these graduates will find work in Wyoming and some will have an entrepreneurial spirit and start new businesses.
Given the opportunity, the College of Engineering will become an even more important role in diversifying the states economy. Thanks to our state government, there is a vision to fund this endeavor to a level never seen before at UW.