Engineering

Professor Mertens, Chair; Professors Ning and Palladino∙∙; Associate Professors Blaise and Cheng; Lecturer Woodard

The mission of the Trinity College Engineering Department (ENGR) is to educate and inspire engineering students within the liberal arts environment so that they will possess the knowledge and vision to make significant contributions to the engineering profession and to society at large.

In keeping with this mission, the Engineering Department offers two four-year degrees in engineering: a bachelor of science in engineering, accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (http://www.abet.org), and a bachelor of arts in engineering science.

For more than a century, Trinity has offered a rigorous program in engineering within the liberal arts setting. Trinity engineering majors develop solid backgrounds in mathematics, physical science, and engineering science and design; receive a broad education that includes substantial study in the arts, humanities, and social sciences; and undertake a broad range of independent research projects and senior capstone design projects. Trinity engineering graduates have been accepted to leading engineering graduate schools, as well as professional programs in law, business, or medicine, and they have assumed leadership positions in business and industry. In addition to providing courses for the major, the department offers introductory engineering courses that engage non-majors in the study of current topics and issues in technology and introduce engineering problem-solving methods.

The Trinity engineering program affords many opportunities, both formal and informal, for close interaction among faculty and students. For example, students are encouraged to work with faculty in independent studies and senior capstone design projects, often in areas not available in formal courses. Members of the Trinity engineering faculty promote student awareness of professional issues and sponsor student chapters of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The Trinity Engineering Advisory Committee (TEAC), a focus group of distinguished alumni and associates, sponsors summer internships, provides advice for choosing graduate schools and career placements, and conducts annual seminars focusing on the engineering profession and on modern engineering practice.

Trinity engineering students study in the Roy Nutt Mathematics, Engineering & Computer Science Center, a modern, high-technology facility. Engineering laboratories support instruction and student projects in microprocessor system design, telecommunications, digital signal and image processing, solid state electronics, integrated circuit design, biomechanics, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, thermal science, materials science, digital logic design, robotics, and electrophysiology. The department offers students 24-hour access to labs and computer facilities. The latter include networked workstations dedicated to the design of electronic systems and data acquisition, digital signal and image processing, computer aided design, and advanced scientific computing. All computers are connected to a high-speed, campuswide network that offers students access to a wealth of computing resources and the Internet. Student design projects are also supported by a well-equipped machine shop.

The engineering major—The Trinity engineering degrees are based in the formal study of mathematics, physics, and chemistry, extended by completing engineering core courses in mechanics, material science, electrical circuits, and automatic control theory, and rounded out by a senior capstone design project. Engineering electives, which may include graduate-level courses at Rensselaer at Hartford, provide depth of study in the major. Every engineering major must demonstrate proficiency in computer-aided design, data acquisition, programming, and preparation of technical reports and presentations. To ensure significant exposure to the traditional liberal arts, each student must complete at least eight course credits in the arts, humanities, or social sciences and is expected to achieve depth of study in at least one subject area within these disciplines. Independent study or internship credits are not normally counted toward a degree in engineering. Students must obtain departmental approval before enrolling in courses to be taken at other institutions and counted toward the engineering major.

The bachelor of science in engineering

The B.S. in engineering degree, accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, requires completion of core mathematics, science, and engineering courses; engineering electives; and a yearlong senior capstone design project. Engineering core courses and electives provide exposure to the engineering sciences and serve as bridges linking basic mathematics and science to the creative process of engineering design. The senior capstone design project, which requires ENGR 483 and 484, engages students, working in close collaboration with their faculty advisers, in the process of creating an engineering system from inception to implementation and testing. This process requires students to consider such design criteria as economic and environmental costs and constraints, aesthetics, reliability, and complexity, and to write formal design specifications, evaluate alternatives, synthesize a system, and evaluate its performance. Firmly grounded in the traditional liberal arts, the B.S. in engineering program emphasizes a rigorous curriculum and incorporates newer fields and interdisciplinary approaches. The educational objectives of the B.S. in engineering program are the following:

Students pursuing the B.S. in engineering may choose elective course pathways in electrical, mechanical, computer, or biomedical engineering concentrations. Concentrations provide additional engineering course selections beyond basic mathematics, science, and engineering science, to satisfy an individual’s interest and prepare students to carry out the senior capstone design project. Students may design their own B.S. program in consultation with an engineering faculty adviser. Such programs must satisfy the basic mathematics and science requirements, the core engineering requirements, and include at least 13.5 Trinity course credits of engineering topics, including ENGR 483 and 484. The engineering faculty adviser works with each student in tailoring a program that includes an appropriate mix of engineering science and design.

The bachelor of arts in engineering science

The B.A. degree provides a flexible and interdisciplinary engineering experience for students who wish to broaden their learning horizons across disciplines in Trinity’s liberal arts curriculum. The B.A. is different from the ABET-accredited B.S. degree in that it requires integration of engineering studies with significant study in such cognate areas as economics, international studies, environmental science, neuroscience, or public policy and law. Consequently the B.A. provides a strong background for students who wish to pursue careers in public service, management, or entrepreneurship, for example. Its mission is to educate students able to develop and convey solutions to multidimensional problems that require scientific, technological, global, and social perspectives with the following objectives:

Engineering degree requirements—Specific requirements for the four-year bachelor’s degree programs in engineering are summarized below.

General requirements for engineering degrees—B.S. and B.A.

The Writing Intensive Part II requirement is fulfilled by one of the following courses: ENGR 212L, 221L, 232L, 301L, 307L, 308L, 323L, 362L, 431, or 484.

Bachelor of science in engineering

Beyond the general requirements listed above, students pursuing the B.S. in engineering must choose one of the options below. Completion of a concentration is noted on the final transcript.

Bachelor of arts in engineering science

Environmental science pathway—The B.A. elective pathway in environmental science introduces engineering students to the fundamentals of environmental science fieldwork and methods, and provides a broad understanding of the natural environment and the impact of human behavior. It requires completion of a one-semester senior capstone design project with an environmental engineering component.

Requirements for the Environmental Science Pathway of B.A. in engineering science

Completion of the general requirements of B.A. in engineering science, with the following modifications:

Cognate courses—Engineering majors are encouraged to select, in consultation with their faculty advisers, courses from the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences that address individual interests and broaden educational perspectives. Additional courses in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and neuroscience enrich basic scientific understanding and address the special interests of students; such courses are highly recommended. Students intending to enter graduate study in engineering are advised to elect mathematics courses beyond the four-course basic mathematics sequence. Recommended areas include probability and statistics (MATH 305, 306), linear algebra (MATH 228), numerical analysis (MATH 309), and mathematical methods of physics (PHYS 300).

Honors—To be eligible for honors in engineering the student must: (1) Earn a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all engineering courses; (2) earn an overall GPA of at least 3.3; (3) earn a grade of B+ or higher on the engineering senior capstone design project.

BEACON courses—Additional courses in biomedical engineering are available through the Biomedical Engineering Alliance and Consortium (BEACON), which includes the University of Hartford, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Connecticut Health Center. For details regarding days and times courses are offered, as well as course descriptions for each semester, consult the BEACON Web site (www.beaconalliance.org).

Study away—Engineering majors are encouraged to study abroad for one semester in the junior year. Students who plan to study abroad must contact the Engineering Department chair as early as possible, even before major declaration, to develop an individual four-year course plan.

Fall Term

Spring Term