Hug an engineer today!

Friday, Feb. 24, 2023

Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,

Happy Friday!Today is your great opportunity to hug an engineer, albeit very carefully, during National Engineers Week. If you have trouble finding one, I encourage you to drop by the Saint Louis Science Center tomorrow and find many in the making at our student design team displays. You will meet some of the most talented and creative students behind the rockets, rovers, flyers and other futuristic projects. Our participation in the science center’s SciFest: Engineering Expo is just one of the many activities held on and off campus to celebrate the contributions of engineers to address society’s greatest challenges.

This year’s theme, “Creating the Future,” is a fitting tribute to the role engineers play in developing innovative solutions to provide critical contributions to critical global challenges. A tribute to all possibility thinking engineers who are focused on making the world a better place.

S&T has a long legacy of creating the future. As I wrote during National Engineers Week in 2020, as we prepared to celebrate the 150th anniversary of our university, our faculty and graduates have been among the most innovative and entrepreneurial possibility thinkers of the past century and this one. Now in our third century, our alumni “imagineers” became creators of the future of their time; from Harry B. Smith, known as the father of pulse-Doppler radar, to Daniel C. Jackling, who made it possible to mass-produce copper wire for the electrification of the nation, to Dr. Robert L. Banks, to Dr. Sandra Magnus, who went on to great heights as a NASA astronaut, to Dr. Qiang Fu, who is developing glass for our smartphones, just to name a few.

Similarly, our own faculty are creating the future through their research: development of new therapeutic moleculesadvancing hypersonicstransmitting Wi-Fi data with lightefficient electric arc furnacesimproving electromagnetic compatibility and many more exciting projects that hold promise for a better future.Coincidentally, this week, hundreds of companies performed thousands of interviews with our graduating students for tens of thousands of job openings. This year, as in the last few years, S&T established a new record in the number of companies present on campus and the number of jobs offered along with the highest-ever starting salaries for all three tiers of our graduates: bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.Ds. Thanks in no small measure to our able Career Opportunities and Employer Relations team, which does the heavy lifting for the events.In our win-win-win recruiting endeavors, the companies walk away with the “goods”, our faculty and staff rejoice in their sense pride, and our real champs, our graduating students, walk away with jobs and a great sense of accomplishment. Our senior students, having pursued their purposeful education relentlessly, have clearly endured setbacks and success, encouragements and disappointments, and countless other perturbations to arrive at their “Olympic moment.” The moment of showcasing their terrific skills, knowledge and abilities they have amassed during the course of their education here at S&T.The engineering achievements of the past century alone are unfathomable! I have always thought that if Edison or the Wright Brothers came back to life, they would not believe the advances of their inventions. On the occasion of National Engineers Week, we must recognize that a bright new world is ahead of us, and in the spirit of innovation and engineering “imagineering,” it is inspiring to think about the promise of biopharmaceuticals, autonomous systems, new materials, space exploration, disease-fighting vaccines and treatments, hypersonic travel, instant communication, and many other creative human endeavors.

Happy Engineers Week! And remember that rockets didn’t make space travel possible, engineers did! So hug an engineer today.


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Mohammad Dehghani, PhD
Chancellor | 573-341-4116

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