Indiana State to offer new program in civil engineering technology

March 9, 2012

A new program at Indiana State University will prepare students for growing demands in engineering fields.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education on Friday approved the proposed Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering technology, which the College of Technology at ISU will begin offering this fall. Several ISU officials say the program is the first of its kind in Indiana. The new program is different from civil engineering, which deals with mostly theoretical concepts and design; people with degrees in civil engineering technology work more in the application area, said Robert English, associate dean in the ISU College of Technology.

"They take it from the design to the actual outcome or product," English said. "Students majoring in civil engineering technology are the how-to people, and they're very much needed in this state."

ISU faculty members analyzed different industries and collaborated with several organizations to determine anticipated workforce needs over the coming decade, and they determined that multiple industries will have a growing need for people with a background in civil engineering technology.

"We started doing some research checking the demand in the nation, and realizing that in other states civil engineering technology is available, and the number of students in that program is pretty high," said A. Mehran Shahhosseini, assistant professor in applied engineering and technology management who helped create the new degree.

The new offering will utilize several courses already offered in the construction management and mechanical engineering technology programs, with the rest of the classes to be new courses specifically for the program.

"The new program graduates will be able to analyze and design systems, specify project methods and materials, perform cost estimates and analyses and manage technical activities in support of civil projects," said M. Affan Badar, chair of the applied engineering and technology management department.

As part of the initiative, ISU also entered into an agreement with Ivy Tech Community College. Ivy Tech graduates who complete their associate degree in design technology will be able to finish the final two years at ISU to receive the bachelor's degree in civil engineering technology.

"The new civil engineering technology program will provide students with an education that is, and will be, very high in demand," said Bradford Sims, dean of the College of Technology. "This new degree is just the latest way that the College of Technology and Indiana State University strive to keep up with the latest trends and ever-changing demands of industry and technology."

Indiana State worked closely with the Indiana Department of Transportation to develop the program. The program will be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, or ABET; Sims noted that, based on the organization's website, it will be the only such four-year program in Indiana.

The program will be a nice complement to many of the existing offerings in the College of Technology, English said.

"The civil engineering technology program," he added, "is that little niche that we didn't have before."

Contact: Robert English, professor and associate dean, College of Technology, Indiana State University, 812-237-3881 or robert.english@indstate.edu

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or austin.arceo-negrich@indstate.edu