The College of Charleston has launched its newest major, electrical engineering.
“We set up the program to support companies in the region, including Bosch, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Volvo, Boeing and Cummins,” said Sebastian van Delden, dean of the CofC School of Sciences and Mathematics, in a statement. “Our electrical engineering program focuses on autonomous electric vehicles — a market projected to grow from $50 to $500 billion in this decade.”
Faculty at the college will work alongside industry professionals to design and teach courses that will prepare its students for work in a range of disciplines, including but not limited to self-driving vehicles.
Former visiting instructor of computer science, Kebin Xu, will serve as one of the program’s electrical engineering instructors. She is currently teaching a course on engineering programming and preparing a new one on computer organization and assembly language programming.
“Both courses are very important for engineering majors,” Xu said in a statement. “They need project skills and domain knowledge to succeed. During their time at the college, they will have a strong mix of hands-on laboratory and theoretical courses.”
Xu, a native of China, obtained her bachelor’s degree in electronics from Minzu University, a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Beijing Polytechnic University and a doctorate in electrical engineering from the Beijing Institute of Technology.
“With the hiring of our second rock star engineering faculty member, Dr. Kebin Xu, engineering at the College of Charleston is firing on all cylinders, and we are just getting warmed up,” van Delden said. “The program immediately enrolled a dozen freshmen on the first day of the fall 2021 semester. This immediate enrollment speaks volumes about the student demand for this program since it wasn’t officially approved until July 2021, long after inbound students had applied and were accepted to CofC.”
Upon graduation, electrical engineering students will have the technical and creative skills necessary to help develop the next generation of cars and other autonomous technologies, explained Funke Oladimeji, director of CofC’s engineering program. Furthermore, scholarship support from partners like Boeing and Bosch will help grant students even more opportunities in the workforce.
“In addition to a traditional electrical engineering curriculum, students will have to take courses in automation, navigation, programmable logic controllers and control systems,” said Oladimeji in a statement.
That well-rounded background will go a long way to shape the Lowcountry’s future generation of industry leaders and innovators.