FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg is seeing 20/20 for the College of Engineering and Computing.
In response to President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which calls for an increase of 10,000 engineers per year, FIU wants to increase the number of engineering graduates by 20 percent by 2020.
On Tuesday, as part of that commitment, Rosenberg announced plans to build a new, $150 million, 225,000 square-foot, LEED Certified Gold engineering building just south of the Modesto A. Maidique Campus in land currently occupied by the Fair. The engineering expansion would mean the graduation of an additional 350 engineers annually and the creation of 550 jobs in South Florida.
“This engineering expansion will propel South Florida forward by expanding the quantity and quality of jobs, nurturing start-up companies and acting as a collaborative research center,” Rosenberg said. “We get it! FIU is a solutions center and we’re determined to do our part to create a tech hub in Miami that will contribute to the prosperity of our region and our state. We’re passionate about developing and keeping talent in our community.”
In addition to graduating more engineers and spurring job creation, the expansion would increase research expenditures by $30 million annually, and allow for the submission of 27 additional patent applications per year.
Much of the growth in engineering will take place in disciplines closely aligned with medicine, nursing, health sciences and public health. The proposed building’s close proximity to other academic programs at MMC will encourage research collaboration in areas such as biomedical engineering, cybersecurity, electrical engineering, nanotechnology drug delivery and environmental engineering. The School of Computing and Information Sciences, which is part of the College of Engineering and Computing and already is housed at MMC, will also experience significant growth.
“We are educating the next generation of engineers and computer scientists, who will be innovative leaders,” said Ranu Jung, interim dean of FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. “This nation needs highly trained STEM professionals. This expansion offers the opportunity for cutting edge research and the education, engagement and empowerment of our students.”
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education is an important part of FIU’s contribution to workforce preparation, innovation and research for Florida and the nation. The College of Engineering and Computing accounted for 56 percent of FIU’s STEM degrees in the last academic year.
FIU also plays a unique role nationally in educating minorities, specifically, minorities in engineering. The university is #1 in awarding B.S. in engineering degrees to Hispanics in the continental U.S., and #5 for African-Americans nationwide. With the addition of the new building, the College of Engineering and Computing would grow from 2,061 students to 7,500, and increase faculty from 105 to 214.
To see a rendering of the state-of-the-art engineering building, please click here.