The College of Engineering Interview Transcript
COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
Welcome to Comcast local edition, I’m Tracy Young. (CNN Headline News)
Tracy Young: Annually US News and World Report publishes a university ranking, and this year Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Engineering ranked 14 in the nation. And joining us is the Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Ed Hohmann. Nice to have you with us doctor.
Dr. Hohmann: Hi there.
Tracy Young: Let’s talk a little about how important a contribution the College of Engineering, from you know…Cal Poly Pomona has made. I mean it’s pretty dramatic in our state.
Dr. Hohmann: Yes, it is. I think one in every 14 engineers in the state new graduates come from our institution and the CSU, as a whole, graduates about half of all the engineering graduates.
Tracy Young: So needless to say for those who are looking for a college education or a future one and want to go into engineering, your school is great.
Dr. Hohmann: It’s a good place.
Tracy Young: California State Universities also, from a financial prospective, are really a quality place to get an education.
Dr. Hohmann: It is. We’re a very cost effective provider and really give the students an education that will serve them a life time.
Tracy Young: One thing that’s important now for those who might be in an elementary school or junior high math, how important is it that a student comes to you with a quality math education?
Dr. Hohmann: It’s very important. They need to really work on their math the whole way and it gives them a good opportunity to exercise their math when they’re in engineering, but it’s best if they’ve really worked at it for all twelve years before they get to us.
Tracy Young: Are we graduating enough math and engineering kind of students that we’re going to need for future generations?
Dr. Hohmann: No, we are not. You know we’re having quite a few visa issues with people coming from out of the country and there are lots of opportunities… a good long lasting job.
Tracy Young: Your school is known for really being one that you learn by doing. How have you partnered with the business communities so that you know what future careers are going to be needed?
Dr. Hohmann: We have I think 13 different councils and there’s an overall college council made up of industry leaders, vice presidents, and presidents of companies that come. And we meet three times a year and look ahead to see what’s happening three to five years out and then we try and adjust. They also give us feed back on how our graduates do. So it gives us a chance to make any corrections that we might need to make.
Tracy Young: We hear a lot, and particularly here in the Inland Valley my goodness, you know, transportation. What can we say? Everybody is looking for the solution. How would an engineer contribute in the future to solving the transportation issue?
Dr. Hohmann: Yeah, I think the best way is when you think of engineers as technical problem solvers and so in transportation there are obviously different ways to do it. You can have rail. You can have the road transportation that we do. So a lot of Engineers are involved.
Tracy Young: I know. There’s a talk of the Tri Tunnel Express, which would require some engineers that really understand how to put that together.
Dr. Hohmann: That’s right. Everyone of them are pretty tricky and there are a variety of engineers. We have twelve different disciplines at Cal Poly Pomona. So there are a variety of areas you can work and make a contribution, and we didn’t even talk about air. So obviously we have an Aerospace Engineering Program and there are a lot of things happening in that area as well.
Tracy Young: Thank God we retained the LA Air Force Base.
Dr. Hohmann: That’s right, we did, Yes.
Tracy Young: What about on energy, all you have to do is go to a gas pump and winter is coming up. So what about the contribution to that department?
Dr. Hohmann: Well, I think that the recent hurricane shows that you don’t want to put all of your energy resources all along one coast or all of it off shore. So there’s going to be--there are major plans been announced and people are working on for significant engineering work on refineries and such in the U.S.
Tracy Young: It’s always important to look at today and do what we can. But looking to the future is really crucial, on Friday, October 28 at California State University, but in San Jose, up in northern California. You guys are going to get together and you really are going to be looking at the future. What’s the purpose for that event?
Dr. Hohmann: We are going to get the 13 engineering programs and chief supporters from industry to get together and look and see, projecting ahead and make sure we are working on the right things. Make sure we’re emphasizing the right things for the students coming in. That’s a very important issue to the CSU is the student preparedness, but then also that we’re producing graduates with the right kinds of skills. The ability to work in teams, people tend to think of Engineering as calculations and formulas. It’s mostly imagination coupled with calculations and formulas, but you have to work with teams of people.
Tracy Young: Right, What’s important? What do you want to leave people with today, if somebody maybe hadn’t thought about a career in education or maybe parents need to talk to their students about it.
Dr. Hohmann: Well, I think it’s a lot fun. There’s a lot of… most Engineers have a lot of passion for their area and they can have a really good chance to explore to see which area, as they go through school, which area suits them best where they have fun.
Tracy Young: I couldn’t have said it better. What a great thought, right. Dr. Ed. Hohmann is the Dean of Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona.
For Comcast local edition, I’m Tracy Young.
© 2004 CPP D,HR&ES
Last updated on: 6/5/2006