Nov 282005
Authors: Melissa Edwards

The Engineering Building is eerily quiet, yet still crammed with students hunched over books or with their eyes glued to the computer screen. The hallways are nearly empty, even between classes, but students can no doubt be found in one of the buildings many computer labs.

The College of Engineering offers a challenging education with many career opportunities after graduation.

"They try really hard. We have great students," said Neil Grigg, a professor in the civil engineering department.

Students must try hard to gain admittance to the college. According to the College of Engineering's Web site, students must have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.3, a minimum ACT score of 22 and a minimum combined SAT score of 1000. However, most students admitted to the college far exceed these criteria. More than half of the students admitted to the college have a GPA higher than 3.7.

Che-Yun Chan, a senior civil engineering major, said she chose to study engineering at CSU because she wanted a challenge in her education.

"I was studying communication, but I wanted something more challenging, something more," she said. "The camaraderie you gain from your fellow engineering students is great. You can bounce off each other from the stress of all your classes."

The College of Engineering is home to 1,405 undergraduates. However, out of those students, only 238 are women. The relatively small class sizes of engineering classes make this more noticeable, but some students, such as Chan, said it does not affect her learning environment.

"I don't think it affects my learning. I don't really notice it anymore because I just got used to it," she said.

Grigg said that while there are very few women, he is not sure why, but he does not think that affects how students view the college.

"We have a reputation as one of the best engineering colleges in the country," he said. "The appeal for students is that we have a high-quality engineering college."

Mario Marconi , a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department said CSU has a lot to offer students who are interested in a career in engineering fields.

"This place is for people that want to know how things work, for people who are more oriented to take things apart and see what is inside and to understand and imagine new things," he said. "This college is well-fit for anybody that has a curiosity for how nature works."

Marconi also said the College of Engineering is a strong program because of the quality of research brought in by the faculty.

"The people working in the college are well-fitted and well-trained professionals. We have a strong research program," he said. "That is I how people create knowledge. We have a consistent increase in the quality of research."

Engineering students may not have as much free time as other students because they are constantly working in labs or learning new equations, but Marconi said the goal for engineering professors is for students to put extra effort into their education.

"The message is that the opportunities (after graduation) are absolutely related to the quality and level of his or her education," he said. "We not only want our students to pass, but we want them to pass with flying colors."

Chan also said being an engineering student is demanding, but she expects good things to come after graduation.

"We may be nerds," she said. "We're different because we are always studying and we have no lives, but in the end, I don't think we'll regret it."

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