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Contact: Christine Payton Dec. 14, 2011
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
The College of Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will begin offering a new doctoral program next Spring, pending approval of SACS Commission on Colleges. The university received approval for a Ph.D. in systems engineering from the state Board of Regents this fall.

“ It’s the first Ph.D. in systems engineering in the state,” said Dr. Mark Zappi, dean of Engineering.

Systems engineering is a multi-disciplinary engineering field that incorporates technology development, design and project management skills. Graduates are trained to find solutions to large, complex engineering systems such as coastal ecosystems, water treatment facilities, computer networks, aircraft and fiber optic networks.

All five engineering departments at UL Lafayette – chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical and petroleum – will participate in this degree offering, said Zappi.

“ The curriculum will involve two components: a systems engineering core and an engineering concentration core. This will allow students to maintain their discipline specialty by selecting a technical concentration while gaining expertise in systems engineering,” he said.

Unique aspects of the program include mandatory leadership training and possible commercialization of research discoveries.

“ We wanted a degree that industry will look at and say ‘That’s what we want right now,’” said Zappi. “We feel like this is another offering that Louisiana can use to attract Fortune 500 companies in our state.”

At least 10 current engineering students are ready to move into the new graduate program.


About UL Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state, with over 16,000 students. It’s a public institution that awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It includes diverse offerings from the humanities to scientific research and leads the nation in areas like computer science, biology and nursing. Its student-athletes – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns – compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate competition.

Document last revised Wednesday, December 14, 2011 1:07 PM

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