By Rich Barlow
Interdisciplinary research helped the College of Engineering to secure ample outside funding and a personal best in the latest US News rankings. Photo by Cydney Scott.
The College of Engineering has earned its highest-ever ranking from US News & World Report, placing 35th among its peer American schools in the magazine’s latest rankings. It’s a two-slot advance from last year and a long jump from a decade ago, when the school placed 52nd, says Kenneth Lutchen, dean of ENG.
Additionally, ENG’s biomedical engineering instruction ranked ninth among such programs nationally. The ratings of 194 engineering schools considered peer assessments, student selectivity, student-faculty ratios, the number of doctoral degrees granted, and research funding, among other factors.
Lutchen attributes his school’s success to several strengths, starting with a commitment to interdisciplinary research across both the college and the University, “recruiting complementary faculty in areas such as photonics, information and cyber-physical systems, the intersection of engineering and biology, advanced materials, and nanotechnology.” That approach, he says, has garnered “tremendous extramural funding success among our faculty.”
Second, in recent years, ENG boosted research and educational partnerships with industry, using assessments of the school’s programs by these partners to improve them. Meanwhile, Lutchen says, the ENG faculty has matched prowess at securing funding with “scholarship in their field, and in how that scholarship eventually impacts societal challenges.”
Over the past decade, ENG’s rankings have marked “the largest single improvement of any engineering school in the country” among those that made the top 52 in 2006, he notes. Every one of its degree programs now scores in the top 20 in its discipline among private universities, he says, adding that that has real-world effects, helping “attract ever-higher quality in our faculty and our PhD students.”
A version of this story originally appeared on BU Today.