Starting in 2020, USF will launch a new engineering program within the College of Arts and Sciences. On Aug. 30, the University hired an assistant dean for the program, Dr. Jeremy Kasdin.
Kasdin has been a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University since 1999. He has an extensive history of holding executive roles in the industry, including working as a chief system engineer and project manager of a NASA spacecraft through Stanford University.
“We live in a world today that’s really been structured by engineers, by engineering. I think that [USF] needs to have a quality engineering program that’s well-integrated with the overall liberal education. I think [the program is] going to fulfill a real niche in the Bay Area and become hugely successful,” Kasdin said.
Although the program is still in its early stages of development, a team of faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences is currently working on the overall structure and curriculum of the program, which will be completed next year, Kasdin said.
As for specific concentrations within the program, “there’s likely to be environmental engineering [with] a civil engineering component, a computer engineering program that would complement the current computer science [major and] an electrical engineering program that will complement some of the activities currently going on in physics,” said Kasdin.
Hana Bögtter, an associate professor of architecture and community design and a member of the development team for the new program, spoke more specifically about innovative elements of the curriculum. “Students will have the opportunity to learn empathy and perspective along with engineering problem-solving by working on real problems in a cross-disciplinary project course every spring starting in year one,” she said in an interview with USF News.
Kasdin is excited about the work that has gone into creating the program. “I think from the president and down, everybody has committed to making this a successful engineering program… [They] did a wonderful job with the vision of social justice and engineering for good [as] it came together well-rounded in both the liberal arts science and engineering,” he said.
Kasdin said he hopes to eventually turn the department into a separate school of engineering with unique departments. “[This is] really resource-dependent, but I think there’s a lot of opportunity [at] USF, because of its location and the mission.” Kasdin wanted to work with USF because he wanted to be a part of creating something new. “Starting from a clean slate [and] creating a new program that reflects the values of the University and helps students [is] very exciting and rewarding.”