The students, faculty and staff of the USF College of Engineering are thrilled to be sponsors of ROBOTICON, now in its second year at the USF Sun Dome. We hope this weekend is not only a great time for you and your team in the competition, but also a time where you can experience what it is like to work in engineering as part of a collaborative team working together on a challenge.
USF’s College of Engineering has been one of the centerpiece programs for our research university for more than 50 years, and I hope that you get to meet the many students and faculty who will be at ROBOTICON throughout the weekend to learn more about the college. USF Engineering offers nine undergraduate degrees including computer science, computer engineering, and information technology. We have a brand new program in medical engineering that just started this fall, and we soon will launch a new degree in cybersecurity. I am an aerospace engineer by training, but there is great demand for engineers in almost every field you can imagine – engineering degrees are among the most versatile and engineering graduates earn some of the highest salaries.
Our college of more than 6,300 students is global in nature, with students from across Florida and around the United States and even across the world. More than 30 student organizations can broaden and enhance your college experience, including Engineering Expo, USF Robobulls team that competes in Robocup competitions worldwide, Society of Aeronautics and Rocketry (SOAR), and USF SAE Racing Team just to name a few. Our students learn through experience, including practicums, internships and capstone design courses. Our Mini Circuits Design for X Laboratory, a collaborative makerspace for undergraduates that give students the opportunity to expand their creative designs.
And while our curriculum is rigorous and you will be challenged, we also believe in supporting you as person. Our Engineering Living and Learning Communities continue to thrive. The program provides in the hall tutoring resources, peer mentors, social and academic activities along with faculty involvement for the students.
I can think of no better way for you to get an idea of what it’s like to be an engineer than through programs like the FIRST and ROBOTICON. Last year, I had a chance to meet students from around the state and even as far away as China, and I was so impressed by the spirit of camaraderie and the way people brought their individual talents together to address the challenge. Learning to work as a team and to keep a positive attitude when your robot isn’t working as intended is one of the most important experiences you can have – and that’s true, no matter what you decide to do as a career down the road.
Of course, I am biased – I think engineering is the best and most exciting profession out there. Every day, I get to work with students and faculty who are incredibly creative and dedicated to solving big problems. Three members of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame – telecommunications pioneer Richard Gitlin, global solar energy leader Yogi Goswami, and bioscience engineer Shyam Mohapatra – are members of our faculty and lead very active labs. USF is a global leader in generating new U.S. patents – ranking 5th among American public universities and 11th among universities worldwide – in inventing new technologies. We have an amazing culture of innovation and invention, and our students have a hand in all we are achieving as a college and a university.
Visit the USF College of Engineering website for more details on our programs, scholarships and to get to meet some of our fantastic students and faculty: http://www.usf.edu/engineering/.
Have a wonderful time at ROBOTICON. I hope to meet as many of you as possible over the weekend – you can follow me on Twitter at @roberthbishop – and please visit us soon!
– Dr. Robert Bishop, Dean – USF College of Engineering