Engineering celebrates its past and its future


THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING has played a vital role in University efforts to enhance its relevance, connectivity and productivity in the region and worldwide: a theme repeated by President Luis M. Proenza as he worked his way through the crowd of more than 400 celebrants gathered to celebrate the college’s 100th anniversary.

Engineering's 100th anniversaryPresident Proenza has often said that the University has many points of pride, and the College of Engineering is among the brightest. 

The college that started with two professors and 28 students grew over the century to 100 professors (all with Ph.D.s) and 2,800 students. That growth accelerated its pace in the last decade when enrollment doubled and faculty’s research activity increased seven-fold. Its 100-year old co-op program is seen as a national model, providing the talent pool for industry around the world. 

The relationship with industry is a symbiotic one: “This is a very telling fact,” said College of Engineering Dean George K. Haritos. “Nationally, less than 5 percent of university research is funded by industry. At this college, 25 percent of our research funding comes from that sector. This college is as vibrant, relevant and successful today than at any other time in its 100-year history, and we mean to keep it that way."

'Cauldron of creativity'

The event’s keynote speaker — Akron native Deborah Wince-Smith, president of the Council on Competitiveness — emphasized that “engineering is in everything” and universities and industry must work together to deploy engineering concepts across all fields of education. 

Video: Deborah Wince-Smith

Don't miss: Video of Wince-Smith's keynote at the centennial celebration.

“We need a cauldron of creativity," said Wince-Smith, sporting a button on her dress that read ‘Love an Engineer.’ “We need engineers who think like artists and artists who think like engineers” to enable the nation to meet today's big challenges and innovation opportunities.

Significantly, Wince-Smith's call for collaboration is reflected foundationally in UA’s strategic Vision 2020 and in the University's Achieving Distinction program, both of which encourage cross-disciplinary work.


In the media:

Akron Beacon Journal: "Engineering college celebrates 100 years of helping build Akron and industry"

Akron Beacon Journal editorial: "An engineering centennial"

First Bell: "University Of Akron College of Engineering Marks 100th Anniversary"

Crain's Cleveland Business: "University of Akron celebrates 100 years of growth in engineering"

Akron News Now (WAKR-AM): Interview with Deborah Wince-Smith

Cleveland Plain Dealer: "University of Akron's College of Engineering celebrates 100th anniversary"

Video: 100 years of engineering

Video: Provost Mike Sherman

Video: Dean George Haritos

Photos from the event

Engineering Centennial Celebration, May 22, 2014

From left, President Luis M. Proenza; keynote speaker Deborah Wince-Smith, president of the Council on Competitiveness; and College of Engineering Dean George K. Haritos.

Engineering Centennial Celebration, May 22, 2014

From left, College of Engineering Dean George K. Haritos, Deborah Wince-Smith, president of the Council on Competitiveness; and Frances Buchholzer, dedicated friend of the University.

Full photo gallery