Letter from the Dean

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I believe that excellence produces excellence. To me, this is not a catchy phrase; this is our commitment to ensuring that Oakland University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS) students receive a high-quality education and diverse opportunities to achieve excellence as professionals and as individuals.

Excellence has many faces. The most visible one is reflected in the prestigious ranking that our programs receive nationwide. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Education, 2020 rankings from GradReports show that OU’s mechanical engineering (ME) master’s graduates earn the third-highest median annual salary in the country among recent master’s graduates in the field. ME bachelor’s graduates are eighth on this list, while electrical engineering undergraduate degree holders rank 10th. In 2019, OU’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology was named among the 25 best programs of its kind in the nation by two separate organizations, Value Colleges and Bachelors Degree Center.

Excellence is also captured by our students’ immediate professional success. The SECS Post Graduation Success report for the 2018-2019 class shows that 93 percent of our students complete at least one internship before graduation and 96 percent are employed in their field of study or are pursuing further education. 

More often than not, however, excellence is not quantifiable. Its path can be seen in the trajectory of our students’ lives and mindsets. Many of our minority students encounter excellence for the first time when they attend SECS outreach programs in middle or high school. As OU students, they absorb excellence brought to the classroom by our faculty through research, innovative teaching methods, and out-of-the-classroom explorations. As they engage with our unique labs and, later on, complete internships, they find their calling and, eventually, embark on the journey of discovering excellence within themselves.

In this issue of Oakland Engineer, I invite you to get acquainted with some of our faculty and students who demonstrate excellence in their everyday work. From developing new methods to detect fake multimedia, to uncovering the impact of new technologies on human behaviors, to conducting research that can affect production of environmentally-clean electric vehicles or aid our country's military operations — they transform our classrooms into places of high-quality learning.

If we aspire to excellence in everything we do, I believe that its contagious influence will stay with our students throughout their entire lives.

Louay M. Chamra, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Engineering and Computer Science

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