NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET) is pleased to announce the start of a formal partnership with the Department of Electrical Power Systems at Collins Aerospace in Rockford. The new initiative, supported by a $50,000 donation from Collins, will help grow college programs focused on diversity, equality, and inclusion.
“At NIU, we are committed to creating a culture of discovery and innovation,” said Donald Peterson, Ph.D. Dean of CEET. “Creating a welcoming environment for all of our students is essential to achieving the college’s mission. We are pleased to have Collins Aerospace partner with us to advance diversity and equity, our inclusion programs and provide new opportunities for our students.”
The new initiative will increase the level of engagement between the company and students through
Expand resources and career networking opportunities between Collins and NIU. The agreement will provide funding for NIU chapters in the National Society of Black Engineers, the Hispanic Society of Professional Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers.
“As a NIU graduate, I am proud to be part of the Collins Aerospace – NIU partnership,” said Christian Griffiths, 94th Executive Director of Engineering – Electrical Power Systems for Collins Aerospace. “This will provide strategic benefits for both organizations going forward.”
CEET saw an increase in the proportion of Hispanic students from 17% in 2019 to 21% in 2020. Meanwhile, the number of Asian students increased from 5% to 7% and the number of female engineering students increased from 14% to 16.9% in that time as well .
According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), diversity in the fields of engineering, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, in general, provides organizations with many benefits including greater innovation, a broader talent pool, increased customer satisfaction, and is simply more ethical. Furthermore, ASME believes that companies that invest in diversity initiatives benefit from increased profitability and better long-term performance.
In addition to the college’s diversity, Collins has a history of recruiting students from NIU because its engineering program focuses on hands-on learning, and the college’s main campus at DeKalb is located in close proximity to Collins Electric Power Systems in Rockford.
“The best compliment I can give to the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at NIU is that the education I received there prepared me for what engineers do in the real world and instilled in me the concept of lifelong learning,” said Adrian Vandergrift, 99 Associate Director of Electrical Engineering for Inc. Collins Aerospace. “Learning does not end when you graduate. It is just the beginning. NIU does a great job of balancing the theoretical and practical aspects of engineering. Both are important, and if the balance is off, the graduate’s ability to work as a practicing engineer will be affected.”
Ranked among the best undergraduate engineering programs by the US World and News Report, the college is divided into three facilities totaling nearly 150,000 square feet including 35 state-of-the-art laboratories that provide hands-on learning experiences for students from year-to-year to graduation. The school. CEET was founded in 1985 and offers bachelor’s degree programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the Association for Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) in electrical engineering, engineering technology, industrial engineering, systems engineering, and mechanical engineering. . Additionally, the college offers bachelor’s degrees in biomedical engineering and mechatronics engineering, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering, engineering technology, industrial and systems engineering, and mechanical engineering.
For more information about CEET and its certificate programs, visit niu.edu/ceet.