New program in Civil Engineering at Eastern Michigan University to propel students into high-demand careers that can help rebuild state and country’s infrastructure

Graduates can look forward to excellent salaries and numerous job options as state and nation turn attention toward rebuilding the systems such as transit, roads and water

EMU students with surveying equipment

YPSILANTI – Students at Eastern Michigan University will have the opportunity to train for productive careers in civil engineering, in which they can make crucial contributions to the health of Michigan’s and the country’s infrastructure, in a new program approved by the Board of Regents Feb. 13.

The Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering will emphasize concepts in structural engineering, transportation, water resources, environmental engineering, and construction engineering. 

‘This program is a critical addition to our academic offerings, and continues our strong growth in engineering and other programs,” said Mohamad Qatu, dean of the EMU College of Engineering and Technology. “The health of our infrastructure, that is, bridges, drinking water, rail, roads, transit and waste water treatment, is a critical component in the welfare of our society and within the U.S. economy and the State of Michigan.”

Filling a deep need in state, country

The new program will help fill a glaring need in Michigan and the country in terms of rebuilding crucial infrastructure. The most recent American Society of Civil Engineers report on the infrastructure rated Michigan as D+.

The report said an investment of $3.6 trillion in the U.S. is needed to fix infrastructure issues. Michigan, meanwhile, needs $31 billion of investments in various systems, including schools ($9 billion), wastewater systems ($4 billion), drinking water infrastructure ($14 billion), and transportation systems ($4 billion), according to the report.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest projections of national employment projected an 8 percent growth in Civil Engineering employment from 2014-2024 time.

The new program offers students the distinct advantage of EMU’s General Education program, which helps prepare them to participate in the global community. Students in the B.S. in Civil Engineering program will learn in and beyond the classroom, and graduates will be ready to solve future engineering problems locally and globally.

Students will take courses that involve civil engineering materials, soil mechanics, fluid mechanics, construction, transportation engineering, and concrete and steel design.

The curriculum will culminate with a capstone design project experience, requiring students to draw from their knowledge in mathematics and engineering science in solving engineering design problems supplied by external customers.

New program maintains significant growth in the CET

The addition of civil engineering continues the rapid growth of the CET, which in recent years has launched programs in mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering, along with advanced laboratories in cyber security, vehicle security and virtual reality.  

Students graduating with a bachelor’s of science in engineering are enjoying an employment rate of nearly 100 percent, with starting salaries ranging from $60,000 to $75,000, and climbing to $100,000 within five to 10 years.

The program will be housed in Sill Hall, home of the CET, which is undergoing a $40 million renovation and expansion of the building. The project will provide renovated lab space for research and student projects, along with lecture halls, collaborative learning spaces and administrative offices.

The previous 92,635 square feet at Sill Hall is being renovated along with expanding the building space by an additional 16,000 square feet. Phase I, including design lab space, a virtual reality lab and mechanical engineering lab space for car design, opened this past fall, with the overall project set to be completed before fall 2020.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

February 13, 2020

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom