Missouri S&T awarded NIST grant for engineering standards and safety certificate program

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On January 22, 2024

Missouri S&T will soon offer a graduate certificate program in standards and safety in electrical and computer engineering — likely the only program of its kind in the United States. 
 
“As far as we are aware, there are no other certificate programs offered by universities focused solely on standards,” says Dr. Pourya Shamsi, a Woodard Associate Professor of Excellence in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Missouri S&T. “Many universities have courses with modules covering standards, but our goal is to offer a program specifically on standards for engineers in a variety of fields who get into decision-making and standards-compliance positions in their industries.  
 
“Our graduates will be familiar with how standards are developed by national and international agencies and how compliance with standards is measured.”   

Dr. Pourya Shamsi is leading Missouri S&T’s efforts for the new certificate program.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced that Missouri S&T would receive $150,000 to develop courses for the program. S&T was one of eight universities announced to received NIST funding to advance standards education, with the institute awarding over $1.1 million total. 
 
Shamsi says this new program will help S&T graduates stand out even more in the job market and make them more prepared to make an immediate difference in the workplace. Graduates will understand the criteria and guidelines put in place by different agencies so their work can be uniform, safe and of a high quality, he says. 
 
“Many industries are now requiring new employees to have knowledge of specific standards related to their field,” he says. “We hope that our program can be a platform to prepare students and employees to understand standards and to work in positions where they can be the most effective in terms of compliance.” 

The new program, which Shamsi says should have course availability in fall 2024 and be fully launched the following spring, will feature four graduate courses. The first course will focus on general standards in engineering, while the second will take a closer look at the specific standards and agencies for electrical engineering. Then, students will take two more graduate-level courses more directly related to their specific areas of interest. 
 
As part of the NIST grant, Missouri S&T will also work with ELTEK International Laboratories to develop training materials and workshops covering safety standards and curriculum. This collaboration will allow students and industry professionals to have even more hands-on experiences with standards testing processes and procedures, Shamsi says. 

“Having ELTEK as a partner will help take our work to an even higher level,” he says. “Their team will bring decades of experience to the table, and they have excellent facilities to host workshops and seminars.” 

For more information about the standards and safety in electrical and computer engineering graduate program, email Shamsi at shamsip@mst.edu

More about Missouri S&T

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students located in Rolla, Missouri. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, Missouri S&T offers over 100 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top public universities for salary impact, according to the Wall Street Journal. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu. 

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