The four-year Lamar State College of Technology was formed by the Texas Legislature on September 1, 1951 to emphasize engineering, technology, and science to serve the large industrial petrochemical concentration that had formed in the Sabine area of the Texas Gulf Coast. The local petrochemical industry had largely developed because of the Texas oil boom precipitated in 1901 by the Lucas Gusher discovery in the south Beaumont Spindletop salt dome formation. The Port of Beaumont facilitated growth beyond the initial oil boom by providing local industries access to inexpensive shipping for oil, gas, petrochemicals and industrial products.

Lamar University Electrical Engineering Department (LUEE) began graduating students with the BSEE in 1953, two years after Lamar State College of Technology became a four-year university. The school was renamed to Lamar University in 1971. A Master of Engineering Science (with thesis) degree was first offered in 1962 and a Master of Engineering (non-thesis) was approved in 1968. In 1973 the College of Engineering awarded the first Doctor of Engineering degree. The Engineers Council for Professional Development granted accreditation for the BSEE at Lamar on November 8, 1958 and the department has retained accreditation since then.

Mission and Strategic Plan

Lamar University strives to be a national leader in access to quality educational opportunities, community engagement and economic impact. Within this context, the vision of the Phillip M. Drayer Department of Electrical Engineering is to create, re-create, and sustain a collegial environment that develops students into independent thinking engineers, enables faculty and students to discover new and important knowledge, and adapts to the rapid changes and needs of society and engineering. The mission of the Phillip M. Drayer Department of Electrical Engineering is to provide students with high quality, accessible undergraduate and graduate electrical engineering education; to engage and empower students with skills and knowledge to thrive in professional careers; and to serve society through economic and technological development of Southeast Texas and beyond.

The Electrical Engineering Program educational objectives are to produce exceptional graduates who within a few years after graduation: (1) advance professionally with increasing leadership and responsibility beyond entry level in an industry relevant to electrical engineering, (2) contribute to organizational objectives with significant societal benefits in an ethically responsible manner, and (3) engage in life-long learning trough professional activities, training and networking, the pursuit of higher educational degrees, and individual professional development.

The objectives of the Electrical Engineering program are for graduates to have: (1) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics, (2) an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors, (3) an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences, (4) an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts, (5) an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives, (6) an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions, and (7) an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

For achieving these goals, we focus on six foundations: (1) having up-to-date curriculum that satisfies the market needs in terms of courses and course contents by seeking feedback from the industry and research laboratories, (2) developing new emphases, programs, and/or professional certificates to satisfy the needs of the market and increase enrollment in the department, (3) using advanced pedagogical methods that adopt project-based learning and use in-class hands-on and active learning activities with virtual lab devices. (4) ensuring high quality teaching by recruiting and retaining faculty who are research active in their fields and have relevant industrial experience, and engaging them in technical and didactical workshops to enhance their teaching and technical skills, (5) making sure labs and classroom have the most possible advanced equipment that supports teaching excellence purpose, and (6) enhancing graduate programs and research infrastructure and activities by increasing the number of funded research projects.

DEI Statement

The Phillip M. Drayer Department of Electrical Engineering is part of Lamar University which is committed to the fulfillment of its overarching mission of providing excellent and holistic education to its diverse students and transforming them into responsible and ethical global citizens. In its strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Lamar University strives to create a campus climate that welcomes people from all backgrounds — race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, gender expression, ability, socioeconomic status, cultural orientation, national origin and age. Guided by its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, Lamar University seeks to advance and incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion into every aspect of its operation, including but not limited to student life, curriculum, teaching, research, admission, employment, events, alumni engagement, community outreach and all other areas of university endeavor. We believe the success in executing the goals of this plan depends upon the robust exchange of ideas – an exchange that flourishes best when the rich diversity of human knowledge, perspectives and experiences is heard. To further demonstrate Lamar University’s unwavering commitment, a presidential task force on Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion has been established. The task force is charged with the primary responsibility of developing a comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan for the University. The diversity strategic plan will serve as the institutional “blueprint” for fully integrating diversity, equity and inclusion into the life of Lamar University. When completed, it is anticipated the diversity plan will contain metrics, strategies, tactics and accountability.