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A Message from the Dean

ron-welchWelcome to The Citadel School of Engineering! We are extremely proud of the many accomplishments of our nationally recognized programs of study in civil and electrical engineering, especially those of our students. The civil engineering students were recognized in May 2012 for their outstanding efforts as the recipients of the Robert Ridgeway Award for the Most Outstanding Student Chapter. The chapter was selected from 281 chapters throughout the US and 8 countries representing over 25,000 students. Our electrical engineering students also garnered numerous student awards at each Regional IEEE conference they attend to include winning the ethics competition.

I would also like to recognize the highly qualified and student-focused faculty that primes these student chapter engines and cultivates the continued high level of performance seen through our student’s many additional accomplishments. The results are staggering, such as a high FE passing percentage, a high percentage of military contract students, and the simple fact that nearly every graduate has a job before graduation which is phenomenal based on today’s economy. The faculty are committed to our rigorous academic programs as they continue to maintain their respective ABET accreditations. They are passionately involved in developing principled engineering leaders for both the military and civilian workforce. For example, one initiative resulted in a National Science Foundation funded grant (Excellence in Civil Engineering Leadership for South Carolina) to provide scholarships to attend The Citadel and major in civil engineering for socioeconomically disadvantage, minority and female students from South Carolina. We awarded 9 scholarships in 2012-2013 and 14 scholarships in 2013-2014 (3 females, 6 minority males, and 5 social-economically challenged males).

All of the above mentioned activities by our students and faculty are just a few that have resulted in a ranking of 22nd among the nation's best undergraduate engineering programs at schools where highest degree is a bachelors or masters (we have been 17-26 over the last 5 years)! The students, faculty, and staff in the School of Engineering continue to grow in their education, scholarship, service and professional leadership within the local, regional and national communities. We congratulate all of our alumni, students, faculty and staff on their awards, honors, and accomplishments which clearly express their dedication and enthusiasm to excellence that springs from The Citadel School of Engineering.

The biggest news from this past year was the establishment of the new Department of Engineering Leadership and Program Management and state approval to start a Mechanical Engineering Program. The amazing growth in graduate student enrollments over the last 2 years has resulted in many new faculty hires and the official celebration of the newest engineering department, Engineering Leadership and Program Management, on 8 Feb 2013 (see newsletter for more details). The engineering graduate program supports a Master’s of Science in Project Management and Certificates in Project Management and Systems Engineering Management.

We are also extremely excited to report state approval on 3 October 2013 to begin a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering program as early as 2014. The Mechanical Engineering Program of Study will offer focused tracks (see ME program for more details) in Power and Energy, Manufacturing, Aeronautical Systems, Materials (Composites), and Mechatronics. Not only will we be offering a full ME engineering program for our cadet population, but we will also offer the last two years of the program as part of our full-time evening undergraduate engineering program in concert with Trident Technical College. The full-time evening Mechanical Engineering program will mirror current full-time evening 2+2 programs in Civil and Electrical Engineering.

Now I would like to say a few things about how engineers play a significant role in society, both nationally and, with recent advances in technology, internationally. Without engineers, the quality of our day-to-day lives, that we often times take for granted, would not be available. We would be without such things as electricity in our homes and work places, computers that allow us to work and play efficiently, cell phones that keep us better connected than any time in history, structures to shield us from the daily weather as well as protect us during earthquakes and hurricanes, transportation networks that efficiently transport us over rivers and through major cities, clean water with the twist of a handle, and quick removal and processing of wastewater. Some of you might have seen these previously mentioned items as personal needs, but they also play a significant role in the wealth of our local, regional, and national companies through their designs and the people they employ. Just consider the housing, automobile, computer, power, and transportation industries to see the large impact that engineers - Citadel engineers - have on our economy.

Engineering has had a proud record of significant contributions to The Citadel since its inception in 1842. The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department was established in 1912 and became accredited in 1936. Upon review of the history of The Citadel, civil and military engineering were a cornerstone course for all senior cadets in 1842. The student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) was established in 1937. The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was established in 1941 and became accredited in 1976. Its student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics (IEEE) was established in 1962.

This brings us quickly to where we are today. The School of Engineering has three major objectives:

  1. Provide a learning community around which students, alumni, and professionals can gather to discuss issues relative to the profession of engineering;
  2. Provide a voice for engineers and the profession to bring influence to the promotion of higher standards for learning and graduate preparation;
  3. Provide a center for professional development at both the post-graduate, graduate and undergraduate level. 

I invite you to learn more about us through the three department websites (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Engineering Leadership and Program Management) and newsletter to see in greater detail the exciting activities associated with The Citadel School of Engineering. If you are interested in attending The Citadel as a cadet, or entering our evening undergraduate programs, or becoming an evening graduate student in Project Management (with electives in Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Leadership, Systems Engineering Management, and Information Assurance and Security (Thru University of South Carolina) among other options), I would invite you to contact me, go to the Department websites and/or visit the Admissions department to gather more information. You can reach me at:

Ronald W. Welch, COL (Retired), PhD
Dean of Engineering and Louis S. LeTellier Chair
The Citadel
171 Moultrie Street
Charleston, SC 29409
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office phone: 843-953-6499

Or better yet, come by and pull up a chair and visit awhile, and see for yourself what the School of Engineering has to offer! Go Bulldogs!