Bobby B. Lyle School Of Engineering:

Innovative New Programs

Following are examples of programs of the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, to address special challenges in U.S. engineering, competitiveness and societal issues.

Programs Announced October 17, 2008:

  • Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® Lab at the SMU Lyle School of Engineering. Through this new partnership, SMU will be the first university in the nation to host a Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® Lab. It will be modeled closely on the iconic and top-secret California research and development facility created by Lockheed Martin to solve complex technology problems. “The lab will involve small, focused groups of students and faculty who work together under intense schedules to solve real and challenging problems, working outside the usual organizational processes found in industry,” SMU Engineering Dean Geoffrey Orsak said. The goal is to have 100 percent of SMU students participate in the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® Lab at the SMU Lyle School of Engineering.
  • The Center for Engineering Leadership at SMU. This program will provide a four-year customized leadership development program for each engineering student, overseen by a team of executive coaches. These focused plans will foster the broad professional and leadership skills needed by engineers to excel in today’s competitive global environment.
  • A new international institute. Now in its planning stage, the institute will help to develop and deploy sustainable, technology-based solutions for the global poor. The institute will illustrate how engineering expertise can be applied to societal challenges. Details about the new institute will be forthcoming.

Other Recent Programs:

  • The Caruth Institute for Engineering Education is taking on the challenge of improving math and science skills in middle and high schools to prepare more students for engineering studies and address the nation’s shortage of engineers. The institute has hired a nationally recognized leader, Dr. Dolores Etter, as its director and the Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Engineering Education. She previously served as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition and as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology.
  • The institute includes The Infinity Project, which provides engineering, science and math curricula to 300 high schools, middle schools and colleges across 37 states and abroad. Because collegiate studies in engineering require pre-college mastery of math and science, the program aims to help students prepare for engineering majors in college.
  • Visioneering is an annual workshop at SMU giving middle school students the opportunity to play “engineer for a day” by working on a specific project. An example is brainstorming how NASA would handle a medical emergency during a mission to Mars, inspired by the increasing importance of biomedical engineering.
  • The Gender Parity Initiative is working to achieve a 50 percent graduation rate for women in engineering, up from the current 32 percent at SMU and 20 percent nationally. Instead of a separate curriculum for women, the initiative emphasizes the many different career paths for an engineering graduate, such as medicine, law and business.
  • WISE, Women in Science and Engineering, is comprised of SMU students who mentor fifth and sixth grade girls at four Dallas public schools. SMU students work with 15-20 girls in a series of Saturday events that include demonstrations, speakers, and hands-on experimentation.
  • Engineering Summer Camps for Girls and Seniors. Because not all K-12 students have access to a challenging math and science curriculum, the camps help bridge the gap by teaching concepts not yet offered in their schools. Aiming to increase in particular the number of girls pursuing engineering studies, the camps are offered for girls in grades 8-12 to give them an early introduction to the subjects, and for boys in grade 12.

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