College Grows in Enrollment and Academic Quality

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cue13-davis_0.jpgDear Alumni and Friends,

This has been an outstanding year of growth and advancement in the college. We are seeing continued increases in our student enrollment, with the total up another 5 percent last year to nearly 5,000 degree-seeking students in the college in fall 2012. This growth is highly encouraging as an indicator of the quality that students see in our departments and programs.

We had about 4,000 students in fall 2006 and expect to reach 6,000 students by 2020. The case for growth is simple: (1) increased engineering enrollments will help meet student interest and employer needs, and (2) a larger engineering college will help enhance our reputation and that of CU-Boulder as a whole.

Along with this student growth, we have introduced a number of new programs, including a new Global Engineering Residential Academic Program (RAP) for undergraduate students, and new graduate degrees in architectural engineering and in materials science and engineering. The ATLAS Institute, which offers various interdisciplinary degree programs, minors, and certificates in technology, learning and society, has also become part of our college. These programs are all detailed on the following pages.

This year is the first year of our full-time occupancy in the new Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building on East Campus. The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering moved to the new building last spring, along with some of our faculty and students participating in the multi-departmental BioFrontiers Institute.

We also have seen large-scale growth in research awards, which were up 7.6 percent to $73 million in fiscal year 2012—an impressive 83 percent growth during the last five years. Despite the downturn in the economy and its resulting effect on the budgets of federal government agencies that fund the majority of this research, our faculty has been quite competitive in winning grants.

You can read about our cutting-edge work in areas such as biotechnology, energy, and “big data” on the following pages—and see how students are benefitting through their involvement. From undergraduates in our Discovery Learning Apprenticeship Program to graduate students funded by some of the most prestigious national grants, it is clear that research impacts the quality of the education we provide.

We are indebted to the alumni whose support has helped to make our college the international leader we strive to be in both research and education. With 7.1 percent of our FY 2012 budget coming from private gifts—more than twice that appropriated by the state of Colorado (3.2 percent)—we couldn’t do it without you!

Private donors have made it possible to enhance our merit scholarship program for Colorado’s top high school students. The scholarships will reach an estimated 55 percent of our in-state freshmen next fall and help convince them to study engineering at CU-Boulder. Please take a look at the scholarship “infographic” for more details on this program, and let us know if you’d like to help us grow it—or help us build the resources we need to achieve excellence in other areas.

In closing, I thank you for all you do on behalf of CU Engineering. And, if you haven’t reconnected with us in a while, we hope to see you at a future event.


Robert H. Davis, Dean

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CUEngineering:  A publication for alumni and friends. Read the 2016 edition of CUEngineering magazine here.

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