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Drexel's College of Engineering: Design Your Future

  • Abigail Dixon
Posted on January 4, 2021
Learning and Innovation

Drexel's College of Engineering provided the University's first bachelor's degree offering in 1914 and initiated cooperative education five years later. Today, the school is home to over 3,500 students across numerous areas of study. At present, Drexel's engineering college is the largest in the nation by undergraduate class size. The college's mission is to "cultivate technically and theoretically trained adaptable engineers who are dedicated to discovery and the application of technology, and who understand the global, social and ethical implications of creating sustainable solutions to societal challenges." This is reflected in the College of Engineering's involvement in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century, which identified 14 goals for improving life on our planet.

Graduates of the college who participated in three co-op positions saw a notable average starting salary of $62,685.

The college offers numerous academic offerings to learn more about the field. These options include, but are not limited to, ten undergraduate majors, sixteen undergraduate minors, master's degrees, doctorate degrees, and online certificate programs. Some unique offerings include an Entertainment Engineering minor that allows "for students with the technical literacy to effectively use, as well as develop, new tools for digital content creation and manipulation for entertainment applications," an accelerated BS/MS program that allows students to gain their undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees in five years, and a master's degree or online certificate in Peace Engineering. Drexel's Peace Engineering program "is the nation's first program dedicated to preventing and reducing violent conflict through education and research that integrates innovative technologies, approaches, and policies with the studies and practices of peacebuilders. This new program was created in collaboration with PeaceTech Lab, an NGO headquartered in Washington, D.C." In addition to the plentiful in-classroom opportunities, students can gain six or eighteen months of work experience in the field through co-op. In addition to valuable experiential learning opportunities, engineering students earn a notable median salary of $720 weekly when on a paid co-op. Graduates of the college who participated in three co-op positions saw a notable average starting salary of $62,685.

Similar to the on-campus experience, opportunities to get involved off-campus are vast for Drexel's engineering students — even for students in the same major! For instance, Brendan Tyrell, a mechanical engineering student, conducted his first co-op at Tango, a company working to develop a safety device belt for senior citizens. The belt is built to detect a fall using motion-tracking technology and deploys an airbag to protect the user if needed. Samuel Vaughn, another mechanical engineering student, spent his co-op this fall at Crayola working in quality assurance for their "Colors of the World" products. This product matches skin tones from around the world and Samuel is responsible for testing the pH, viscosity, and hue of the markers and crayons. And Masen Kasper, also a mechanical engineering student, spent his recent co-op with Philly Fighting Covid, an organization working to create PPE to give to hospitals free of charge. Whether working from home in the time of COVID-19 like Masen, studying water resource engineering in Venice, or collaborating with peers in Drexel's very own Innovation Studio, Drexel engineering students are continuously forging new ground and are doing so with the guidance of the engineering faculty.

The impact of the faculty and staff of the College of Engineering is notable across many disciplines both in and out of the classroom on today's most pressing issues. This past summer, professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, Franco Montalto, PE., PhD, taught a course on seeking innovative approaches to stormwater management planning in the face of accelerated climate change. While LD Betz chair professor and department head, Charles N. Haas, taught a course "Coronavirus and Engineering," which investigated how to keep indoor air clean and how masks work. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Michele Marcolongo, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was called upon by the chair of the Emergency Department at Einstein Hospital to create PPE by way of 3D printing headbands with a clear shield alongside Dr. Amy Throckmorton, associate professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering. Maureen Tang, PhD, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering, is serving as lead researcher on a project with the Academy of Natural Sciences that uses computer vision to identify egg masses of the spotted lanternfly, an invasive species in the mid-Atlantic, in hard-to-reach places with the goal of elimination and stopping the spread. Meanwhile, researchers at Drexel's College of Engineering and Drexel's College of Medicine have come together to develop Electrast, an agent that detects heart disease. Finally, selected to serve on Governor Tom Wolf's PA Committee for Reducing Gun Violence is Dr. Joe Hughes, distinguished university professor in the Department of Civil Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE). Hughes says of the experience, "there are issues of logistics and systems thinking and open-ended problem solving and quantitative formulations, and those are things that are part of the engineer's education."

Thinking about pursuing a career as an engineer? Drexel's engineering summer programs for high school students allow you to meet with our engineering faculty, learn about different areas of the field, and get a glimpse into life as a Dragon. If you choose to pursue an engineering degree at Drexel, you will join the ranks of some of the University's most notable alumni, from Bernard Silver '47 and Norman Joseph Woodland '47, developers of barcode technology, to Walter Golaski '46, who developed the first functional artificial blood vessel replacement! As a student, however, you will have ample opportunities through experiential learning, tier-1 research opportunities, and expert faculty to decide how you want to make your mark as an engineer. Perhaps you will get involved in Drexel's Society of Women Engineers, the Architectural Engineering Institute, or Engineers Without Borders. Learn more about the College of Engineering — we can't wait to connect with you!


Abigail Dixon is an Admissions Counselor at Drexel. When not in the office, she loves cooking different vegetarian recipes for her friends and family, traveling to new places, and listening to country music.

Abigail Dixon

Abigail Dixon
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