Engineering a major change

Zach Petroff | Opinions Editor | The new School of Science and Engineering had a brief open house at admitted students' day on Sunday.

Zach Petroff | Opinions Editor

April 20, 2023

The current Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences is combining with biomedical engineering, math and computer science programs, and it will be adding new engineering programs.

On Sunday, in an address to potential future Duquesners, university President Ken Gormley announced that the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences will be changing its name to the School of Science and Engineering to “reach for bigger goals, we are excited to bring this opportunity to our current and future students,” Gormley said.

“Duquesne is well positioned to train and educate the next generation of engineers,” Gormley said. “With our strengths in the sciences, physics, math and biomedical engineering, we already have the resources in place to create a top-flight engineering program.”

In September of last year, Duquesne’s biomedical engineering program was accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of university programs in engineering and engineering technology. In previous years, the program has been recognized by NASA for their work in material science.

“One of the strengths of our science and engineering programs is that students will gain hands-on experience early in their academic careers,” said Duquesne Provost Dr. David Dausey. “We will open our maker spaces and labs to them as first-years and sophomores so they are better prepared to produce high-quality work that readies them for their next move.”

The university plans to offer degrees in mechanical engineering, environmental/energy engineering, systems engineering and engineering physics in fall 2024. In the meantime, students will still have the opportunity to take general engineering courses in fall 2023 as part of an early-access engineering program before choosing a specialized field.

“This is an exciting time for our current and future engineering students,” the Dean of the School of Science and Engineering Ellen Gawalt said. “With the establishment of the new School, we will welcome the biomedical engineering students, binary engineering and future engineers into a school that offers a complete suite of basic and applied sciences, math and engineering offerings.”

The curriculum and faculty will remain unchanged for current students, according to Gawalt.

“Current and future students can continue to expect the hallmarks of a science and engineering education at Duquesne,” Gawalt said. “[There will be continued] close interactions with faculty, mentoring, access to research opportunities and small class sizes.”

Junior Hannah Valenty welcomes the “logical reorganization of current departments.”

“As a physics major, I’m happy to have the math department in the same school,” Valenty said “I think Duquesne will benefit greatly from the new engineering programs by attracting prospective students with this high-demand field.”

Biomedical engineering student Tony Carbino is also excited for the addition.

“The creation of the School of Science and Engineering is a really awesome way to broaden our research and curriculum within biomedical engineering and the sciences while bolstering existing programs,” Carbino said. “Adding more programs, courses and personnel to the exciting STEM curriculum at Duquesne is really exciting because of this potential to be even more interdisciplinary in our education.”