Engineering Minor Introduced at University Campus

October 29, 2010

Engineering MinorSaint Leo University undergraduates pursuing any academic major may now choose to incorporate into their studies an 18-credit minor in engineering. Students outside the minor also have the option of selecting individual courses from the engineering-minor sequence as electives to strengthen their technical and critical-thinking skills.

The development of this minor is part of the university’s interest in creating more opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (often collectively called STEM), explained Professor Siamack Bondari, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Mathematics and Science. Intensified STEM education at all levels of schooling is seen as a national priority by industrial and political leaders alike.

At Saint Leo, the new minor will make the university’s current programs in science, math, and business even more robust, said Assistant Professor Leo Ondrovic, Ph.D., who earned his doctorate in engineering science. “Engineers adapt technology for use by people,” Ondrovic explained, adding, “It’s making the jump from basic science to applied science.”

For instance, biology graduates with a minor in engineering may well find career opportunities available to them in technical sales of medical devices and equipment, Ondrovic said. The minor will also make math and science graduates stronger candidates for graduate school, Bondari and Ondrovic said. The minor would also be useful for officer candidates in the U.S. Air Force, Army, or Navy, Ondrovic added.

Among Saint Leo’s current majors at University Campus, the minor will pair easily with biology, mathematics, environmental science, medical technology (all in the School of Arts and Sciences), and computer information systems and marketing (offered through the School of Business).

The subject matter in Computer Aided Design and Graphics (EGN 220), one of the courses in the sequence, may have the broadest appeal to a variety of majors. The course will help students create and interpret blueprints, engineering drawings, and three-dimensional diagrams.

The other courses required for the minor are:

  • Circuit Theory and Analysis (EGN 320), which covers electrical circuits and electronics;
  • Mechanics of Materials (EGN 330), which will teach students how to assess the ways different materials behave under stresses and strains;
  • New Product Development (EGN 340), an overview of reliability, maintenance, quality-assurance, and safety issues;
  • Engineering Mechanics (EGN 350), which explores the physics of energy, momentum, force, friction and inertia; and
  • Decision Support Systems (COM 315), an established business and computer systems course that teaches students how to use statistics and data analysis in decision making.

The first course in the sequence to be available will be Decision Support Systems (COM 315), in the spring 2011 semester. Mechanics of Materials (EGN 330) will be introduced in the fall 2011 semester. Interested students might use the spring semester to complete math and science prerequisites, all of which are listed in the undergraduate academic catalog, or to discuss the minor in more detail with their academic advisors. Students or advisors with questions may contact Assistant Professor Ondrovic at leo.ondrovic@saintleo.edu or at (352) 588-7408.