The University of Missouri-Rolla plans to offer a doctoral degree in systems engineering to respond to the growing need for trained systems engineers. The program will build upon the success of the university’s master’s degree program in systems engineering, which attracts students from The Boeing Co., the U.S. Air Force and many other diverse companies and laboratories.
The University of Missouri Board of Curators approved UMR’s proposal for the degree programs at its meeting Friday, Dec. 15, in Columbia. The proposal now goes before the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education for final approval.
“Systems engineers are responsible for the design and management of complex systems,” says Dr. Henry Wiebe, dean of UMR’s School of Extended Learning. “There is a need for engineers who are concerned with the whole system and can take an interdisciplinary and top-down approach.”
The degree is an outgrowth of the master’s degree in systems engineering currently offered at UMR, which has more than 270 students enrolled and has graduated more than 150 students as of the fall 2005 semester.
Given the strength of the master’s degree program, a doctoral program in systems engineering would be a natural progression, says Dr. Cihan Dagli, professor of engineering management and systems engineering at UMR. “UMR’s strong foundation in the master of science degree program in systems engineering is an asset in starting the Ph.D. program,” Dagli says. “Based on current interest, we estimate there will be 44 Ph.D. students in the program at the end of five years.”
Using existing faculty and newly developed courses, the new doctoral degree program will foster and promote interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition, the Ph.D. program will allow the current master of science-related graduate research opportunity to perform research at a higher level.
For more information about the doctoral degree program in systems engineering at UMR, contact the UMR admissions office at 573-341-4164.