Board of Regents approve new civil engineering program at Texas State

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
May 24, 2018

SAN MARCOS – The Texas State University System Board of Regents has authorized Texas State University to offer a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree program, the first in Texas with a holistic emphasis on technology-enhanced infrastructure (TEI).

The board approved the new degree during its quarterly meeting May 24 in Round Rock. Texas State will begin offering the civil engineering program through the Ingram School of Engineering in the fall of 2019, pending final approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

"The profession of civil engineering is on the cusp of fundamental change," said John Schemmel, the Bruce and Gloria Ingram Endowed Chair in Engineering at Texas State. "Technology is making it possible to monitor the performance of buildings, roadways, treatment plants, and bridges with the goals of safe use, retained value and predictive maintenance."
The TEI emphasis will further enhance Texas State's contributions at the heart of the I-35 innovation corridor. Texas State's interdisciplinary approach to civil engineering will draw upon existing programs in computer science, electrical engineering, biology, mathematics and geography. Graduates of the program will have a strong foundation in traditional civil engineering topics combined with a unique education in the emerging field of smart infrastructure technologies. Texas State's program will focus on all technologies, smart or otherwise, which enhance the public safety, economic value and longevity of municipal and private infrastructure assets. Graduates will be prepared to work with monitoring sensors, communication systems, predictive analytics tools and infrastructure management technologies.

"We must educate the next generation of civil engineers to address these needs," Schemmel said. "Being fortunate to start with a blank canvas, the proposed civil engineering program at Texas State will be forward-thinking with respect to the needs of the profession and general public."

Nationally, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2016-2026, employment in civil engineering will grow nationally by more than 32,000 positions, an increase of more than 10 percent. In-state, the Texas Workforce Commission predicts an increase in demand for civil engineers of nearly 24 percent for 2014-2024. That translates into more than 6,000 positions, and an annual shortfall of 750 civil engineers given the current production of existing engineering programs in Texas. Population growth in Texas brings with it a need for civil engineers to design and maintain an expanding modern infrastructure. Texas State's civil engineering degree program will be an important factor in fulfilling that demand and contributing to the economic need of the state.

The Texas State University System Board of Regents is the governing body for Texas’ oldest university system, which comprises seven institutions: Lamar University; Sam Houston State University; Texas State University; Sul Ross State University; Lamar Institute of Technology; Lamar State College-Orange; and Lamar State College-Port Arthur.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,694 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 184,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world. Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.