The University of Maine College of Engineering is growing to meet the state’s increasing needs for more engineers.  In the last two years, the College has added 10 new faculty positions in critical areas such as biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and construction engineering technology.

When combined with seven replacement hires, 17 faculty have joined UMaine Engineering in the last two years.  The College is very proud that 10 of these new hires are women. The influx of diverse talent helps UMaine Engineering to continue to lead innovation on campus as well as with our industry and community partners.

“Robert Bowie, MD, is a great example of the depth of experience of UMaine Engineering’s new hires,” said Dana Humphrey, Dean of UMaine Engineering.

“Dr. Bowie has more than 20 years’ experience in emergency medicine.  In January, he joined UMaine’s biomedical engineering program as a full-time Professor of Practice.

In addition to his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia, Bowie has a bachelors degree in physics and a masters degree in biomedical engineering. He is working with students on senior capstone projects to bring expedited medical care to patients injured in remote locations.

Engineering Education and Design Center

The UMaine Engineering facilities are growing, too. The College is excited to share plans to build a new Engineering Education and Design Center to expand its capacity and enhance the education of its students.

The project was given a boost in July thanks to a bipartisan agreement reached by the Maine Legislature to commit $50 million toward an estimated $80 million construction cost. The team of WBRC Architects Engineers, headquartered in Bangor, and Ellenzweig, a Boston-based firm that specializes in classrooms and laboratories for engineers and scientists, is designing the building, which could be as large as 120,000 square feet.

The academic and laboratory building will become the heart of UMaine undergraduate engineering education.  A hallmark of the center will be hands-on, team-based laboratories for design projects, in which students from multiple engineering disciplines will collaborate.

Classrooms will accommodate not only group learning but also distance learning opportunities for select courses originating at UMaine and shared with other University of Maine System campuses. This building will help meet Maine’s engineering workforce needs and address increased demands for UMaine’s high-caliber engineering programs.

Maine needs more engineers

The demand for engineers is growing each year.  Engineering employment in Maine has grown 25 percent over the last decade.

Each year, Maine companies struggle to fill 1,400 engineering vacancies. The demand for UMaine engineering graduates has never been higher.

This past October, UMaine hosted a record 133 companies at its annual Engineering Job Fair. These companies were vying to hire UMaine engineering graduates for internships and full-time jobs. It should be no surprise that UMaine engineering graduates enjoy a placement rate approaching 99 percent.

The demand for engineers in Maine is going to continue to grow.  “An estimated 27 percent of Maine’s engineering workforce is age 55 or older.  As these experienced engineers retire, they must be replaced with new talent,” said Dean Humphrey.

“This is critical to growing Maine’s manufacturing sectors, maintaining the safety of our roads and bridges, and developing the new technologies that are vital to Maine’s future economy.’

As the state’s only comprehensive engineering program, offering 11 bachelor’s degrees as well as eight master’s and five Ph.D. degrees, the UMaine College of Engineering is proud to provide the graduates and new technologies to move Maine’s economy forward.

Maine Engineering Pathways will launch in fall of 2018

To further grow Maine’s capacity to produce engineers, UMaine is collaborating with the University of Southern Maine (USM) to create the Maine Engineering Pathways Program.

This program will be launched in the Fall of 2018 to help more students prepare for a Maine-based career in engineering and to build workforce development capacity in response to a critical state shortage.

This 1 + 3 program creates a new opportunity for students to begin the first year of their engineering education at the Bangor and Augusta campuses of the University of Maine at Augusta, the University of Maine at Farmington, the University of Maine at Machias, or the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and then complete their engineering degree at UMaine or USM.

In this new program, students go directly into the field with an introductory course to explore engineering as a career. In addition, students will build their expertise in foundational mathematics and science courses. This new option is in addition to the traditional four-year engineering degrees at UMaine and USM.

Interested students and parents can learn more by visiting the Maine Engineering Pathways Program website: engineering.umaine.edu/mepp, or by contacting the admission offices of the participating institutions.