Olsson Associates

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Colorado School of Mines approves new engineering degree; Olsson contributes to recommendation

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mike Yost, PE, LEED AP, Municipal Services

Mike Yost, PE, LEED APThe Colorado School of Mines (CSM) recently approved a new Bachelor of Science degree program in civil engineering and will seek Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology accreditation next fall. This is an exciting decision, and I am pleased to be on the Constituent Advisory Committee (CAC) to help CSM as it expands the curriculum for this new program to provide the best education for CSM’s engineering students.

In my personal experience as an employer, our Golden office has been expanding, and we have appreciated the smart, hard-working engineers we have hired from CSM. The new undergraduate degree specific to civil engineering will provide even more practical civil engineering experience to CSM students. For example, I believe engineering students will greatly benefit from increasing the practical knowledge they will now receive in water resources and water and wastewater treatment.

Transportation knowledge is relevant to many of our Olsson projects involving roads, bridges, airports, and railroads. Additional transportation engineering instruction as part of the new degree will mean that CSM students will be able to contribute quickly in a professional environment. In addition, adding in practical water resources experience, such as general concepts for designing water and wastewater treatment facilities, fits the kinds of engineering needs that Olsson and other engineering firms have right now.

Both student and business forces justified the move to offer the new degree. Not only has the civil engineering specialty become the fourth largest undergraduate program on CSM's campus, civil engineering is one of the largest employers among the engineering professions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2010 listed civil engineering in the top three areas of growth among engineering specialties.

The CAC is made up of 10 engineering professionals who provide advice to the department head and vice chair for undergraduate affairs. The goal is to improve the education and experience of engineering students at CSM. CSM is a prestigious institution, and I am honored to be part of helping our next generation of engineering students successfully enter the work world as civil engineers.

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