The Spartan Podcast

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“We’ve had significant growth over the last four or five years,” MSU College of Engineering Dean Leo Kempel tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Russ White on MSU Today. “We’re roughly 50 percent larger than we were in 2008.

“We also have a much more diverse group of students. We’ve gone over 1,000 women students in our college; we’re very proud of that. Our aspiration is that one out of every four of our students is women, and we’re well on our way to doing that.

“We also have a great diversity of courses that students are taking now from computer science to mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering – it really spans the gamut of technological innovations that are going to be the hallmark of the rest of the 21st century.”

Kempel details the Spartan Engineering program, the college’s extensive engagement in the rebirth of Detroit, and the K12 outreach programs in the college.

And Dean Kempel talks about the Composite Vehicle Research Center, a Center of Excellence in the research and design of composite structures for lightweight, durable, and safe vehicles for air, ground, and marine transportation.

The dream of the college’s new Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering, says Kempel, “is to bring together people from disparate thinking into one unit to solve very challenging problems.

“If we’re going to try to find new ways to understand the world around us, and to use that understanding to design new technology, we have to not just leverage the power of computing systems, we have to leverage the power of computing systems smarter.

“The purpose of the department is to break down silos and to really dramatically increase the rate of knowledge discovery in using computational methods – big data – to look at the world around us and find solutions to problems that are at the interface between the traditional ways that we look at the world around us.”

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