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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “U.S. engineering lags behind China, India”

    Raytheon Company and the UA College of Engineering, along with other engineering-based institutes across the country, have increased recruitment efforts geared toward students. According to Raytheon officials, China and India are graduating engineers at a higher rate than the U.S.

    Recruitment has become a major priority so the U.S. can stay at the forefront of engineering, said John Patterson, a Raytheon spokesman.

    Patterson said engineers are the “”heart and soul”” and the “”creative genius”” not only of Raytheon, but also of the country.

    Thomas Peterson, the dean of the College of Engineering, said the college is also focusing on recruitment to attract prospective students.

    Peterson noted that engineering’s effects are felt everywhere in our daily lives, from bridges to phones to iPods.

    “”It impacts our day-to-day life,”” he said.

    The U.S. is known to excel in the engineering field. However, countries such as China, India and Japan are building toward surpassing the U.S. – which is why local institutes are kicking up recruitment efforts.

    “”We want the best and the brightest,”” Patterson said.

    The UA and Raytheon support middle school students in building a solid foundation of math and science. The College of Engineering has many programs to recruit students into the college, but the college also works with Raytheon, Math Engineering Science Achievement and Texas Instruments to generate interest in students.

    The college has summer programs in which students visit the campus to get a firsthand look at engineering.

    One program draws seniors and juniors from high school to stay at the campus for a week as they learn how to work on two different 3-D computer programs, said Susie Bowers, assistant director of recruiting, outreach and engineering ambassadors for the College of Engineering.

    The College of Engineering’s ultimate goal is to increase the number of students who graduate, Peterson said.

    “”It’s not about how many students we are recruiting, but how many are graduating,”” Peterson said.

    In 2005, the college graduated 480 baccalaureate students, up from 400 graduates in 2003, Peterson said.

    Although Raytheon aims to get engineers from college, the company also targets middle school and high school students.

    A major aspect in recruiting for Raytheon is creating an interest in engineering at a younger age.

    The company has a Web site for students, parents and teachers, which includes prizes for completing short quizzes, video game scenarios and a “”Celebrities + Math”” section, in which athletes and celebrities state how math is used in their area of expertise.

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