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Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering

In this Section

“Technology Serving Humanity”
Goodarz Ahmadi, Dean and Distinguished University Professor; John Moosbrugger, Associate Dean for Academic Programs; Susan Powers, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

In our modern technological society, engineers and scientists must work together with a variety of other professionals in seeking solutions to complex problems. Revolutionary advances in applied science and technology have broadened the horizons of engineering. At the same time, these advances have created a multitude of challenging multidisciplinary problems in virtually every sphere of human activity.

The role of engineers in today’s society has become more and more complex. Engineers require not only a knowledge of mathematics and the associated sciences for finding solutions to problems, but at the same time must be aware of the broad social, economic, political, and environmental implications of their ventures. The engineering programs at Clarkson are designed to provide students with a foundation in science, engineering, humanities, and management. Our goal is to enable Clarkson graduates to make significant contributions in their chosen fields while at the same time recognizing their responsibilities to society under the motto of “technology serving humanity.”

In preparing students to become effective contributors to society and industry, Clarkson University has developed an award-winning program called SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design). SPEED projects, including FIRST Robotics and Mini-Baja, encompass multidisciplinary approaches to solving real-world problems. Not only do the SPEED projects involve design and fabrication, they also incorporate marketing, public relations, technical communications, and management resulting in teams being made up of engineering, business, science, and liberal arts students. The Coulter School also provides opportunities for research experience for undergraduates (REU). These programs offer opportunities for students to amass the necessary "real-world" experiences and professional skills through several engineering design projects and research experiences.

In spring 2002, Clarkson announced that the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation had made a $30 million commitment to the University in support of ongoing excellence in its engineering and science programs. This gift reinforces and broadens Clarkson’s most successful learning and research activities in support of the theme “Technology Serving Humanity.”

Clarkson’s School of Engineering has been named the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering in recognition of the Foundation’s generous gift and the late Wallace Coulter’s dedication to the University as a trustee. Wallace H. Coulter was a renowned inventor and entrepreneur. He became acquainted with Clarkson through his collaboration with colloid scientists on the faculty. In 1979 he received an honorary doctorate, and he served as a trustee of the University from 1983 to 1989. Through the years he maintained close connections with Clarkson, supporting research projects and establishing an endowed scholarship.

The grant funds five key areas: team project-based learning activities; endowed chairs and endowed fellowships; a new program in rehabilitation engineering; upgrades to laboratory facilities; and scholarships for both minority students and women from developing countries pursing a degree in engineering. Growth in these evolving areas will complement and reinforce the programs and curricula described in this catalog.

The Coulter School of Engineering comprises the Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular, Civil and Environmental, Electrical and Computer, and Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering.

The eight-semester undergraduate degree granted in engineering is the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), with specialization in one of the seven EAC/ABET-accredited curricula — aeronautical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical, or software and a new program in environmental engineering. See Clarkson's home page at

A candidate for the bachelor’s degree must not only pass all prescribed courses in one of the eight-semester engineering curricula, but must also meet all of the other graduation requirements and Clarkson Common Experience requirements.

The first two semesters are identical in the undergraduate engineering curricula. Therefore, students may defer the selection of a major field of study until the sophomore year. Beginning with the junior year, a significant amount of specialized material is incorporated into each curriculum. In the senior year, coursework is concentrated in the student’s chosen field. Courses in humanities and social sciences are taken throughout the four-year program as part of the Clarkson Common Experience.

The Common First-Year Curriculum in Engineering
First Semester   Second Semester
Course Title Cr. Hrs.   Course Title Cr. Hrs.
CM131 Chemistry I
  CM132 Chemistry II
PH131   Physics I
  PH132  Physics II
MA131 Calculus I
  MA132 Calculus II 
UNIV190 Clarkson Seminar
    KA Elective*
FY100 First-Year Seminar 

Introduction to Engineering
Use of the Computer





*Knowledge Area or University Course Electives
There are a total of five courses which must be taken to cover six knowledge areas. At least one of these courses must be a university course. University courses are interdisciplinary courses that cover two or more knowledge areas. One of the knowledge area electives must be an economics course, EC350 is required for most degrees.
*Information Technology component
Students in the Class of 2010 and later - see Academic Requirements for details of the Clarkson Common Experience including the First-Year Seminar, Knowledge Area (KA) courses, University Courses (UC), and related requirements.

Minors and Professional Concentrations
Clarkson’s engineering curricula contain a number of elective courses. Furthermore, many students have room for additional courses through advanced placement, overloading, and by taking courses in the summer. Therefore, engineering students, in consultation with their advisors, have an opportunity to formulate academic programs that reflect individual interests, career goals, and areas of professional specialization. See Professional Concentrations in Engineering and Minors and Concentrations.

Engineering Studies
Some students entering the School of Engineering are not sure which academic discipline to pursue. These students may choose the Engineering Studies Program. A Director of Engineering Studies and support faculty serve as advisors to these students and assist them in selecting curricula. For additional information, consult with the associate dean of Engineering for Academic Programs at 315-268-6446.  The Engineering Studies classification provides students with an opportunity to learn more about various programs within the School of Engineering prior to selecting a specific program.  Undergraduates may choose between; Aeronautical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Software Engineering.

Combined B.S. Engineering /MBA or ME/MBA Programs
By proper selection of electives, in five years a Clarkson student can receive a B.S. in engineering and a master’s degree in either engineering or business administration. This may require course overloads in some semesters and/or attendance at summer school. Interested students should consult the School of Business.

Pre-Medicine, Pre-Dentistry, and Pre-Veterinary Programs
Students may earn a degree in any major program and also prepare for careers in health sciences. Students interested in preparing for professional schools in dentistry, medicine or veterinary science should contact the Pre-Medical Sciences Advisory Committee in the Dean’s Office in the School of Arts & Sciences at 315-268-6544.

Pre-Physical Therapy Leading into the Professional Physical Therapy Graduate Program
Students interested in preparing for entrance into Clarkson’s Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program should call the Associate Dean for Health Sciences at 315-268-3786.

Pre-law advising is available for engineering students to help them develop academic programs that will serve as a strong foundation for future legal studies. A list of pre-law advisors is available through the Director of Undergraduate Programs in the School of Business. The advisors provide counseling and information about law schools and careers in law. To foster a sense of professionalism and a better understanding of careers in law, interested students are encouraged to participate in Clarkson’s Pre-Law Society. 

Honors Program
Clarkson offers a four-year undergraduate University Honors Program for exceptionally talented students in any major. For more information, call the director at 315-268-2290.

Engineering Student Organizations and Design Competitions
In addition to the University organizations, Clarkson has student-led chapters of the following professional organizations:

  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • Association of General Contractors
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • Society of Automotive Engineers
  • New York Water Environment Association
  • Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Each department has an honorary society, and there is an all-engineering honorary society. Students can participate in national competitions, often for course credit through the Multidisciplinary Project (MP) or Multidisciplinary Team (MT) course system, via the following: 

  • Concrete Canoe
  • Construction Management
  • Design, Build, Fly
  • Engineers Without Borders
  • Environmental Remediation
  • FIRST Robotics; Formula SAE
  • Mini-Baja; Destination Imagination
  • Steel Bridge
  • Snowmobile Challenge
  • Timber Bridge
  • and other design teams, all part of the SPEED program.

Transfer Programs
Both 2+2 and 3+2 transfer programs are available at Clarkson.

Graduate Programs
Clarkson offers master of science, master of engineering and doctoral degrees through the departments of chemical & biomolecular engineering, civil & environmental engineering, electrical & computer engineering, and mechanical & aeronautical engineering. Several interdisciplinary graduate programs are also available in engineering science, engineering and global operations management, environmental science & engineering and information technology. The graduate program is designed to prepare students for careers in research, development, design and education.

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Ruth Baltus — Chair; Professors S.V. Babu, Ruth Baltus, Philip K. Hopke, John B. McLaughlin, Don H. Rasmussen, R. Shankar Subramanian, Ian I. Suni, Ross Taylor, William R. Wilcox; Associate Professors Sandra L. Harris, Roshan Jachuck, Richard J. McCluskey; Assistant Professor Sitaraman Krishnan

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Hung Tao Shen — Chair; Professors Norbert L. Ackermann, Anthony G. Collins, John P. Dempsey, Thomas M. Holsen, Feng-Bor Lin, Levon Minnetyan, Susan E. Powers, Hayley H. Shen, Hung Tao Shen, Poojitha D. Yapa, Thomas C. Young, Amy K. Zander; Associate Professors  Andrea R. Ferro, Stefan J. Grimberg, Kerop V. Janoyan; Assistant Professors Yongming Liu, Narayanan Neithalath, Sulapha Peethamparan, Tong Qiu, Shane Rogers; Adjunct Associate Professors Spencer F. Thew, Brooks Washburn; Adjunct Instructor Randy Pray

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Thomas H. Ortmeyer — Chair; Professors Cetin Cetinkaya, Paul B. McGrath, Thomas H. Ortmeyer, Pragasen Pillay, Vladimir Privman, Charles Robinson, Robert J. Schilling, Yuzhuo Li; Distinguished Service Professor Susan E. Conry; Associate Professors James J. Carroll, Ming-Cheng Cheng, Abul N. Khondker, Jack Koplowitz, Jeanna Mathews, Robert A. Meyer, Edward Sazonov, Stephanie Schuckers, James A. Svoboda; Assistant Professors Daqing Hou, Jeremiah Remus; Distinguished Research Professor Liya L. Regel; Instructor Timothy Fanelli

Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
Daryush K. Aidun — Chair; Professors Goodarz Ahmadi, Daryush K. Aidun, Cetin Cetinkaya, Sung P. Lin, John C. Moosbrugger, Kenneth Willmert; Associate Professors Frederick M. Carlson, Suresh Dhaniyala, Brian Helenbrook, Kathleen Issen, Ratneshwar Jha, James H. Kane, Ronald S. LaFleur, Piergiovanni Marzocca, David J. Morrison, Daniel T. Valentine, Kenneth D. Visser, Steven W. Yurgartis; Assistant Professors Ajitt, Achuthan, Doug Bohl, Weiqiang Ding, Kevin Fit, Laurel Kuxhaus

ChemE Lab