LU Engineering connects industry and educator for a problem-solving future

On Friday March 11, LU College of Engineering hosted an industry and school workshop for Southeast Texas.

LU College of Engineering invited members of local industries and educators from local school districts to come together and discuss ways to increase the number of skilled engineering students that the future will demand. Industry and School COE

“With the number of high school graduates choosing to attend colleges and universities declining, and an even smaller number of those are choosing engineering as a degree path, [this] industry is feeling the impact,” said Dr. Brian Craig, Dean of the College of Engineering at Lamar University. “To help curb this trend, the Lamar University College of Engineering worked with the LUCOE Advisory Council to organize the first workshop to address this need. The workshop was led by a moderator and included representatives from the local Independent School Districts, our local industry and the LUCOE. This workshop is planned to be the first workshop of many.”

Representatives from ExxonMobil, DOW Chemical Company, Indorama Ventures, Cheniere Energy Inc., TPC Group, Bridge City Independent School District, Port Arthur Independent School District, and Port Neches-Groves Independent School District attended the 4-hour event. Guests divided into breakout groups and discussed current challenges each is experiencing in educating and recruiting students into the STEM field.

“The attendees worked in interdisciplinary teams to identify to discuss the challenges we face, the curriculum needs in both the K-12 and college environments, how to engage parents, the current teacher shortage, and many other topics. We began to learn the needs and challenges from the perspective of industry, primary/secondary education, and higher education,” Craig said.  “It was a real eye opener, but we share the common goal of increasing the quantity and quality of engineering graduates. At the end of the day, we must get students interested in engineering at an early age, find innovative ways to keep them interested in engineering, and provide the support and assistance they need to ensure their success throughout their engineering studies.”

Ann Colwell, ExxonMobil Beaumont Light Atmospheric Distillation Expansion project executive, said, “Engineering creates rewarding career paths that span the globe with virtually limitless opportunities. We’re excited to collaborate with Lamar University to help students gain deeper insight into potential careers and real-world application of the engineering principles necessary to address societal challenges.”

The job growth in the engineering field is expected to expand exponentially over the next few decades. LU College of Engineering is committed to providing quality trained engineers to help meet that need. By collaborating with other stakeholders, we hope to determine the best course forward to identify and educate the next generation of engineers that will build a better tomorrow.

To learn more about the College of Engineering, visit