Robert Morris Engineering

As problem-solvers who use science and mathematics to find solutions to practically every challenge, engineers have become the backbone of industry.

Rock-solid engineering propels Pittsburgh area companies’ growth and innovation, creating a seemingly insatiable demand for highly skilled engineers.

Robert Morris University (RMU) is answering this demand with its School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science (SEMS).

According to SEMS Dean Maria Kalevitch, Ph.D., it has become the second-biggest and fastest-growing school within RMU, now boasting more than 1,000 students.

“Our students enjoy small class sizes and personal attention to make RMU a great place to learn,” said Kalevitch. “We are nimble and flexible and can react to what the marketplace needs.”

She noted that SEMS has an approximate 92 percent job placement with 85 percent of graduates staying in the region.

“Our students are hands-on problem-solvers. Employers know that the university is a great strategic partner in helping them recruit talented engineers and help them develop excellent management and leadership skills,” said RMU President Chris Howard, D.Phil.

Robert Morris University's School of Engineering
Robert Morris University’s School of Engineering graduates top-notch engineers ready to work in industry.

Kalevitch said SEMS offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees showcasing the best of RMU’s practical, real-world philosophy of engaged and applied learning. Problem-solving in the 21st century involves more than just a mastery of engineering principles. With an added focus on communication and business skills, Kalevitch said RMU gives graduates an advantage in the job market as today’s engineering projects involve teams of people with diverse educational backgrounds.

“Employers seek talented problem-solvers able to contribute to improving designs, processes and products,” she said. And Kalevitch should know, as she and SEMS work very closely with local technology and manufacturing companies.

RMU has relationships with leading companies such as PPG Industries, Westinghouse, American Home Improvement Products, Cutler Hammer, PGT Trucking, Bayer, J&L Specialty Steel and Mobay, among others, to design engineering programs that provide its students with workplace-ready skills.

Kalevitch noted that these skills also include oral and written communication, project management, teamwork, interpersonal skills, business knowledge, problem solving, critical thinking, global perspective and internship/co-op experience.

“For many years we have been working with RMU SEMS as an excellent source of ‘ready-to-work’ students for our Epiphany summer intern programs, as well as our full-time hiring needs,” said Mike Broeker, President and COO of Epiphany Water Solutions. “We have found the RMU SEMS students to have consistently strong written and verbal communication skills as well as hands on engineering experience that allows them to quickly be productive for us supporting the design, build, operations and maintenance of our varied water treatment systems.”

“Our students are hands-on problem-solvers. Employers know that the university is a great strategic partner in helping them recruit talented engineers and help them develop excellent management and leadership skills,” said RMU President Chris Howard, D.Phil.

RMU offers several degree options for students interested in a career in engineering, including: General Engineering with Biomedical, Industrial, Mechanical, and Software Engineering tracks, and Manufacturing Engineering. RMU also offers a master’s degree in Engineering Management.

Seeing the ever-growing demand for engineers and related STEM talent, RMU created its SEMS K-12 Outreach program.

“At RMU we strive to change the lives of our students and inspire them to go forth and make a difference in the world around them,” said Kalevitch. “For over a decade now SEMS students and faculty have been actively involved with school-age students, sharing their knowledge and exposing them to the many exciting STEM career options.”

SEMS hosts various annual STEM events for students K-12 (including those for women and minorities) who receive instruction from faculty experts in STEM disciplines, have access to our state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories, and get hands-on experience with technologies like 3D printing and robotics. In addition, SEMS-Outreach goes out into the community, bringing materials and experts on-site to local schools and other locations.

“It’s just another way SEMS is doing its part to help build our region’s next generation of engineers and scientists,” said Kalevitch.

“The Pittsburgh region is on the rise, but we face a critical workforce shortage in several important sectors. SEMS is just one example of RMU’s commitment to helping to overcome this challenge,” said Howard.

By Jonathan Kersting, VP Communications & Media, Pittsburgh Technology Council