School of Engineering and Computational Sciences undergoes renovation
Liberty’s School of Engineering and Computational Sciences recently underwent a major transformation during the summer of 2014.
An expansion of the school’s facilities allowed for a number of new opportunities for students, including several larger, hands-on computer, mechanical, modeling and simulation, electrical, and nano-technology labs. The renovated School of Engineering facilities now span 49,000 square feet on the third floor of DeMoss Hall.
“When people come in the door, they can start envisioning stuff that can happen,” David Donahoo, Dean of the School of Engineering and Computational Sciences, said. “… You can impart a vision to (visitors) and say, ‘This is where we can go with this sort of stuff.’ Before, you couldn’t really impart that vision.”
The revamped facilities have allowed for more specialized courses to be offered. According to Donahoo, rather than basing curriculum on information found in popular textbooks, the school customizes textbooks to contain the information faculty feel is important. The specialized curriculum gives students freedom to practice practical skills in labs.
New thin-sheet and 3-D capabilities have also opened up other opportunities for students in the school. Using thin-sheet printing, students have been able to print electrical circuits on treated paper. Additionally, students and faculty are currently utilizing 3-D printing to develop fully operational hands for children who do not have hands. According to Donahoo, mechanical engineering, computer science and industrial engineering students will work on the technical aspects of making the hand functional. Liberty’s new College of Osteopathic Medicine will fit recipients with the hand, and students in the School of Communication & Creative Arts will personalize the hands with artwork.
The School of Engineering and Computational Sciences is home to a number of student clubs as well. In addition to a cyber defense club that has competed at the regional level, the school houses clubs specializing in robotics, U.S. Armed Forces communications and electronics, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. According to Donahoo, the mechanical engineering club will be taking on the challenge of building a human-powered vehicle.
With all the new opportunities available to incoming students as a result of the expansion, Donahoo said he believes enrollment will continue to rise.
“Students are very protective of their School of Engineering now,” Donahoo said. “They’re proud to bring the parents in. They’re proud of their space. … There’s a different dynamic in the entire school.”
For more information about Liberty’s School of Engineering and Computational Sciences, visit liberty.edu/academics/engineering&computationalsciences.