College of Engineering Looks Forward to Next 50 Years

College of Engineering Looks Forward to Next 50 Years
Keynote speaker Dr. Patricia D. Galloway, member of the National Science Board, talks about the 21st century engineer and the future of engineering ducation.
More than 200 guests gathered at the Bronco Student Center to celebrate the College of Engineering's 50th anniversary.

After celebrating a half-century of excellence in education, the College of Engineering embarks on its 51st year this fall.


With 1,000 incoming freshmen and transfer students arriving in September, the college will continue its focus on hands-on learning while giving students a competitive edge when they enter the workforce of the 21st century.


“The College of Engineering aims to educate graduates who are prepared to be productive contributors in the global market. We have a very strong reputation with employers, thanks to our alumni who are able to hit the ground running,” said College of Engineering Dean Dr. Edward C. Hohmann.


As the engineering field grows more competitive, especially with students from other countries in the job market, the challenge lies in giving Cal Poly Pomona graduates a competitive edge. Educating well-rounded engineers will be the key, college officials say.


In addition to developing students' technical skills, the college will graduate engineers who can communicate with others, work in teams and assume leadership roles. Already, students learn communication and teamwork during the first year in Engineering 100. Those skills are further sharpened during their final year when working on a senior design project and presenting at the annual Engineering Project Symposium. Engineering courses throughout the curriculum will receive further enhancement in communication, teamwork and leadership training.


In the coming years, the college will place a stronger emphasis on systems engineering in its graduate studies. Bioengineering will be further integrated into existing programs. On the facilities side, college officials plan to revitalize Building 9 and improve the lab space. There are also plans to develop space where students can work on their projects and where seminars and symposia may be hosted for invited guest speakers or students giving presentations.


In the past 50 years, the college has come a long way from a small building and 11 students in its first graduating class. Today, its facilities include a $52 million state-of-the-art laboratory and classroom building and $12 million in equipment. The college has graduated more than 20,000 students, providing significant support for California's economic growth.  


To commemorate the 50th anniversary, the college hosted an anniversary celebration on May 30 that was attended by more than 200 friends, alumni, faculty and staff. Guests looked back on the 50 years of hands-on learning and looked to the college's future.


“Alumni from every decade since the first graduating class attended our anniversary event, which is significant because we are celebrating a 50-year reputation for producing engineers and engineering technologists — more than 20,000 graduates so far,” Hohmann said. “With the support of our alumni and company partnerships, we are moving forward to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”


The evening began with a VIP reception in the University Art Gallery, followed by an anniversary dinner with live music by the Cal Poly Pomona Jazz Band. Keynote speaker Dr. Patricia Galloway, author of “The 21st Century Engineer” and an internationally recognized leader in civil engineering and construction, discussed the increasing challenges engineers face in the new global landscape.


Proceeds from the May 30 anniversary celebration will support equipment, facilities and faculty development at the College of Engineering. To learn more, visit Photos of the anniversary dinner are available at