“This program was developed for students who have interests that are
multi-disciplinary in nature and who are interested in design,” says Dr. Ron
Fannin, professor and chair of basic engineering, where the program will be
located. “There’s going to be a very strong design focus, probably more than
in any other engineering program we offer.”
The bachelor of science degree program in interdisciplinary engineering will
be the first of its kind in Missouri and one of only a few designed to qualify
for accreditation from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology.
Approved by the University of Missouri Board of Curators in July 2004 and the
Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education in October 2004, the program
will be offered this fall.
“It’s pretty unusual in the emphasis we place on getting them exposed to
design techniques and methods,” says Dr. Rob Stone, associate professor of
basic engineering and director of the Student Design Competition Center. “That
content is substantial and fairly unique among the programs we’ve reviewed.”
The program will allow students whose interests fall at the boundaries of two
traditional programs to design their own technical focus, such as with
robotics, pyrotechnics, or even entertainment engineering.
“This program is far more flexible than most engineering programs,” Fannin
explains. “It will better serve our students who want to prepare themselves as
engineering generalists. For the university, it provides a framework within
which to experiment with new focuses and areas, which may spin off eventually
as degree programs of their own. We can experiment and learn what’s feasible
in order to have a stronger program.”