I t has been another year marked by incredible accomplishments and commitment in the School of Engineering. The extended impact of the pandemic has tested the core of our faculty, staff and students. I have always said that our greatest accomplishment in building this young School of Engineering has been the dynamic team we have assembled who bring so much of themselves to work every day. This could not have been more true than how it has played out over the past two years. At every twist and turn in our journey, the staff, faculty, and students would get up, dust themselves off and move forward. There are some bright lights at the end of the pandemic tunnel. In one of the biggest announcements in our school’s history, the university will break ground this May on the $110 million Schoenecker Center in an effort to support engineering, arts, math and the sciences. The building will increase classroom, lab and collaboration space in the School of Engineering by nearly 70%, while advancing innovative programming at the intersection of all the STEAM disciplines. As you will see in these pages, there are some other bright lights. The past year has also seen significant advances in enrollment and programming. This year, we recorded the highest undergraduate engineering enrollment in our history. In 2021, we led the campuswide effort to facilitate ease of transfer from Minnesota’s two-year college system and were awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support scholarships and programming to onboard those transfer students.
And to top it off, this year also marked our highest annual level of research awards, aided significantly by a $5.4 million award to expand our Center for Microgrid Research. As one of the youngest engineering programs in the nation, we are building something truly special here in Minnesota. At the heart of this effort is the evolution of a national model of how to engage students from the first-year experience to the Senior Design Clinic. Excellence in design and discovery requires reliance on the questioning mindset fostered by a liberal arts education, teamwork, hands-on skills and a rigorous technical education that are brought together here at St. Thomas. Our St. Thomas Engineer magazine shows a snapshot of what is going on here. I encourage you to drop us a line, follow us on LinkedIn or visit; we’d love to give you a sense of the energy of today’s students and faculty, and how they collaborate with the business community that surrounds us. Cheers, Don
Dr. Don Weinkauf Dean, School of Engineering
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