SUNY Oswego to offer electrical and computer engineering degree

SUNY Oswego will offer a new bachelor’s degree program in electrical and computer engineering starting next fall, coinciding with the opening of the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation.

The new program is expected to help meet demand regionally and nationally for engineers in such cutting-edge fields as bioinstrumentation, robotics and power systems and in embedded systems such as microprocessors, which are omnipresent in machines and products from autos to refrigerators.


Rachid Manseur, director of the electrical and computer engineering program at SUNY Oswego, works on programming a robotic arm with students Samantha Bielli ’13 and Ben Parsons ’13. The bachelor’s degree program will get under way for freshmen next fall.

Oswego is only the second public college in the state to offer an undergraduate degree in electrical and computer engineering. The program joins software engineering in the college’s computer science department.

Industry backing

From the beginning, Oswego’s proposal for an electrical and computer engineering program has had the support and guidance of employers throughout the region, including Welch Allyn, Lockheed-Martin, National Grid, Saab Sensis, O’Brien & Gere, Novelis and SRC, said Rachid Manseur, program director.

Some of those companies are represented on the college’s Engineering Advisory Board, which provides oversight and will assess the program as it moves toward a rigorous accreditation process through ABET, the quality-assurance authority for engineering and technology programs.

The college estimates that it will have at least 80 students enrolled in the program when it is fully up and running, producing about 20 graduates a year.

Lorrie Clemo, provost and vice president for academic affairs, noted that the college is prepared to gear up to meet higher student demand and to help reverse the region’s engineering shortage.

“At the heart of our proposal was a commitment to be laser-focused on curricula, activities, projects and learning facilities that would foster a vibrant, challenging and populous presence in engineering for Central New York,” Clemo said.

The Shineman Center will include two project laboratories, three studio teaching facilities combining lecture and lab, a faculty research lab, a project-building room and a computer lab, with state-of-the-art equipment for designing and testing medical and robotic devices, circuit boards and microprocessors.

A robotics expert, Manseur emphasized that robotics, embedded systems and the other specialties under Oswego’s electrical and computer engineering umbrella are “synergistically compatible” with existing Oswego programs in software engineering, human-computer interaction, cognitive science, graphic design and information science.

SUNY IT is the only other public college in New York that offers a bachelor’s degree program in electrical and computer engineering. Regionally, Cornell University and the University of Rochester offer the degree.

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