Strategic plan for the College of Engineering

The College of Engineering has distinguished itself among the nation's top engineering schools for its commitment to reaching beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines in pursuit of innovation and solutions to real-world problems. Our strategic plan honors and expands upon that core strength, aligning the College's people, processes, and priorities around a common vision.

The title of the plan—Expanding Collaboration; Empowering People; Elevating Impact—expresses our vision for becoming an even more significant contributor of solutions to the world's problems, and a visible thought leader on vital topics within our areas of expertise. We intend to build upon our solid foundation as a world-class engineering college with a distinct identity and a reputation for excellence. Our intent is bolstered by our legacy of innovation and collaboration, and is grounded by our core values.

The plan will serve as the measuring stick against which we evaluate our decisions over the next five years. It establishes a common vision of our destination, and defines the route for our journey. It reaffirms our commitment to collaborate with our colleagues across disciplines in higher education, government and industry in pursuit of breakthrough discoveries and transformative solutions.

We move forward with renewed energy and dedication to advancing the science of engineering and its practical application to solving the salient problems of our time.

Strategic Objectives

We are proud of who we are and what we have accomplished. We will stay true to our interdisciplinary mindset by the choices we make in hiring, the students we select to join us, and the research challenges we undertake. Our faculty, students, and staff are given the resources and freedom to experiment. Our education is characterized by engaging classroom experiences paired with hands-on application of knowledge in well-equipped laboratories and shops. Our "maker" culture is ingrained in all that we do, leading to novel approaches and transformative results. Our impact is disproportionate to our smaller size because the mindset and methods we employ catalyze innovation.

We will achieve our vision by expanding collaboration, empowering our people, and elevating the impact of our work. We, therefore, direct our strategic energies over the next five years toward four key objectives that further advance meaningful research and continually fortify the scientific community with well-trained minds.

  1. Achieve and be recognized for extensive integration across engineering and other disciplines in our research and scholarship while maintaining strength in our core disciplines.

    Over the next five years, we will expand our engagement in "boundaryless" discovery through targeted growth of our interdisciplinary research and teaching initiatives. By investing in more cross-college initiatives, establishing mechanisms for departments to share space and expanding the number of integrated research initiatives we will not limit ourselves to the confines of the College of Engineering in our pursuits, but will proactively extend our outreach across Carnegie Mellon and to external partners. Notwithstanding, we believe that strength in our core disciplines is prerequisite to productive interdisciplinary collaboration. Therefore, achievement of this objective requires that we apply focus to maintaining the high quality of those core fields of study.

    We will seek out additional opportunities to participate in the global dialog on issues of importance to society where our research and scholarship can have a positive impact. We choose this purposeful, holistic approach to the sharing and pursuit of knowledge because it builds on our inherent strengths and it is precisely what is needed in our increasingly interconnected and complex world.

  2. Provide a world-class, campus-based educational experience that engages students' minds, hands, and hearts.

    Our mission is to produce creative and technically strong engineers. We choose to do this in a campus-based setting where students are immersed in an environment that engages them in classroom discussions, research with faculty and hands-on, experiential learning. However, we also commit to use more technology-enhanced educational approaches that increase the quality of student learning outcomes.

    Campus-based education requires significant resources on the part of the school and the student. Accordingly, by fostering an environment for educational innovation and hands-on experience we commit to delivering an educational experience that cannot be fully replicated online. The personal interaction of faculty and student immeasurably enriches the educational experience. Our faculty engage students in collaborative group settings, in discussion and debate, and in laboratory and shop experiences. We significantly challenge our students to take on unusual problems, to be innovative, to be inquisitive, and to take full advantage of our "maker" environment. Our students should trust that failure is tolerated if it leads to new knowledge being acquired, that interpersonal skills are as important as intrinsic knowledge, and that all of the College's courses and locations are accessible to them no matter which campus or learning center they are attending.

  3. Energize, equip and motivate our faculty, students, and staff to achieve excellence and to enjoy a high quality of life.

    Within the College of Engineering we have, and will, continue to operate with an authentic concern for the lives of our faculty, students, and staff. We seek excellence; we are intentional about being genuine and respectful; we welcome diverse backgrounds and perspectives; we act with integrity; and we trust and are trustworthy. It is these core values that propel us to incorporate in this plan an objective to energize, equip, and motivate our world-class faculty, students, and staff to achieve excellence and to enjoy a high quality of life.

    By providing our faculty, students and staff, with comfortable surroundings, appropriate workspaces and an undeniable sense that every individual in our employ and under our instruction is welcome, we will continue to maximize productivity in a collaborative, efficient and positive work environment.

  4. Drive the intellectual and economic vitality of our community, nation, and world.

    The successes of our College of Engineering are significant and many. We will continue to make significant contributions to the intellectual and economic vitality of the world through our discoveries and innovations. As we open our doors to ideas and opportunities, we will invite bright minds from around the globe to join us in our on-going quest for discoveries that transform the world into a better place to live and work.

    By expanding our participation and influence in national and international research forums, we will have a stronger voice on the world stage to share our insights and discoveries on emerging issues. We will form deeper industry ties, and increase opportunities to collaboratively develop solutions to broad problem statements that create economic value through new products that are useful, usable, and desirable in the marketplace. We will seek to develop new relationships to expand research opportunities beyond traditional sponsors. We will work to strengthen ties to our alumni, providing them a meaningful, life-long connection to the College, and drawing on their experiences to enrich our programs and our students.