EL PASO, TEXAS — With a new year and the start of a new semester under way, a generous gift is paving the way for a new program at The University of Texas at El Paso that will be a model for how engineering is taught around the country.

The new Leadership Engineering Program includes a broad-based curriculum of engineering design, project management, and innovation, along with an emphasis on business, communication, ethics, and social science. It is expected to launch by the fall of 2012 and represents a new paradigm for engineering education.

“The U.S. is at a tipping point regarding its global competitiveness in technological innovation, and to a very large extent, humanity is critically dependent on technological innovation for its own sustainability of lifestyle and, even, survival, in the current century,” said Richard Schoephoerster,
Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering.

“What some people are calling renaissance engineers, we call them leadership engineers. The overarching goal is graduation of a new pedigree of qualified engineers with the professional skills, business acumen, and strategic foresight, in addition to engineering prowess, to meet the needs of industry in the 21st century.”

The program was made possible by the efforts of UTEP alumni Bob Malone, president and CEO of First National Bank of Sonora, Texas, and former chairman and president of British Petroleum (BP) America, and his wife, Diane Malone, along with Halliburton, a leading provider of products and services to the energy industry. Their combined gift of $2 million will fund development of the program and scholarships for engineering students.

The new program will educate engineers through a “liberal-technical” approach, featuring a new curriculum designed to capture the interest and imagination of talented, young leaders looking to turn their ideas into a reality.