The world is full of challenges and engineers play a key role in solving everyday problems. From traffic flow to clinical operations, from farming to sea navigation, and from outer space to Earth’s core, engineers collaborate with other professionals to employ the best tools for the tasks. Students at the USF College of Engineering eagerly take on roles to change the world of tomorrow.

"Well, certainly the biggest change has been with the advent of computers. Computers now allow us to look at problems from a totally different point of few, because we can do large scale simulation, we can search the internet, we have instant access to information, and we can communicate in so many more ways than we could before, not just written but now video and other ways. I think that’s the biggest change. The other changes include the access to technology -- the price of the technology has reduced to the point where we can utilize it in the classrooms in a way we couldn’t before. The capabilities of the technology have improved, so for example, if you’re talking about biosensors, environmental sensors, or navigation sensors, I mean just think about the impact of the global positioning system, GPS, on navigation. Now I can have a GPS in my watch. I think those are the big things. The advent of the computer and the miniaturization of the computer and other technology, along with the reduction in price making them more affordable, has really changed the education picture in engineering."


"I see that devices are becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives, not just as a phone but really as a way to interact with the world. For example, with some of the FaceTime or skype you do from the phone, you can actually have conversations with people around the world now and it’s free, so that makes it accessible to more people. Let’s say I’m interested in addressing issues around homelessness and want to develop an app for that. So, you can bring a team together of engineers, but then you need to bring in social workers and creative types to look at what does the app look like, how does it feel, how is it used, in addition to the coding and the technical parts of it. So, I think more and more it becomes essential for us as engineers to work across boundaries where we wouldn’t have typically worked in the past. In order to solve the problems that we need to solve, we need to work across boundaries -- and the phone provides that capability. We can work across even international barriers now, so it’s not just engineers working with artists, but it could be engineering students working with professionals in the workforce or the government or another country where students are solving a similar problem. So I think it just widens the area of possibilities."


"If you look at an automobile, for example, you can see engineering’s impact all over the automobile but you can also see artists who created the original concepts, interior designers, folks who are interested in ergonomics, physicists and scientists who are looking at various aspects of the airflow over the car. So even if you take any engineering element in the built environment that we live in, you’ll see that it took much more than just engineers.

The beauty of where we are today is that engineering silos are being taken down, and rightfully so. Engineers want to solve problems, and that means we need to understand all parameters of a problem, which includes the human aspects, the environmental aspects, the technology aspects, the business aspects.

The other thing to think about is engineers and students who study engineering will most likely not be engineers their entire career. They’ll start off engineering, they’ll go into leadership, they’ll go into management. They might start to run a business, or they might change fields -- but what they bring with them is that problem-solving capability, they bring that with them throughout their lifetime. So, when I think about engineering being everywhere I think that the engineered world is everywhere, and it’s not just engineers who make that world."

The USF College of Engineering Design for X Laboratory is an open-lab “makerspace” where students can employ what they learn with state-of-the-art tools, including electronics workbenches, laser cutters, 3D printers and more.
Students can safely pursue collaborative, fun and meaningful multidisciplinary engineering projects that expand their creative design and project management skills. The project teams are made up of engineering students, who have the opportunity to collaborate with non-engineering students, under the guidance of supportive faculty. Through these projects, students gain experience with teamwork and industry design and safety procedures.
The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) exposes students to the transportation industry as a future engineering career option. CUTR provides high-quality, objective expertise in the form of insightful research, comprehensive training and education, effective technical assistance and in-depth policy analysis, which supports transportation agencies, the transportation profession and community, policymakers, and the public. The challenge for a growing region like Tampa Bay is how to connect hubs like Ybor, South Tampa, Westshore, and St. Petersburg. CUTRʼs research goals are to design and implement a transportation plan, as well as improve safety, mobility, and sustainability
STEM, is creativity. STEM is productivity. STEM is energy. STEM is a nationwide effort that focuses on introducing young students to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math as tools to help solve the problems of today and tomorrow. Through several events and programs, such as the annual Engineering Expo and Roboticon, the University of South Florida’s College of Engineering is involved in an outreach effort to teach the younger Tampa Bay community what engineering is and what engineers do.
As technology becomes a larger part of our daily lives, researchers, designers and engineers are working closer than ever to come up with collaborative solutions. Engineers reach beyond the traditional boundaries and form teams with other professionals to deliver the best solutions to the public. From developing mobile technology applications, to prototyping electronic sensors, to re-inventing traditional tools for modern application, engineering teams now involve nurses, physical therapists, artists, social workers and more.


Freddie Coleman, Torie M. Doll, Ryan Noone, Sandra C. Roa, Eric Younghans, University Communications & Marketing

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