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Science & Engineering Profile

The School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at Gonzaga University produces broadly educated and capable engineers and computer scientists ready to contribute innovative solutions for a better world.

Highly competent and motivated graduates

Gonzaga instills four attributes in its SEAS graduates. First, SEAS graduates are capable and well educated in the engineering and computer science fundamentals, as well as in the application of these fundamentals. Second, graduates are innovative. They harness creative and powerful skill sets to bring ideas through to application, matching solutions to identified need. Third, they’re driven by a desire to create value. They strive to understand a customer’s needs and design to meet those needs. Finally, through reflection on the Jesuit tradition, they are compelled to seek ways to improve the quality of life throughout the natural and built environments. Ultimately SEAS graduates are dedicated to a better world for all, moving society forward through a healthier, more sustainable and prosperous world.

Hands-on, integrated experiences
The SEAS programs at Gonzaga are dedicated to introducing innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset throughout the curriculum. Starting with a new, project-based freshman course, students are introduced to the integration of design, technical fundamentals, and creation of value as represented in solutions to complex problems. These concepts are presented through course work and laboratory experiences, as well as student participation in competitions and professional clubs/societies. In the realm of entrepreneurial mindset, Gonzaga partners with a group of engineering programs at other universities within the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) to collaboratively develop a curriculum that introduces students to the importance of participating in professional relationships to seek creative solutions that create value to society.

Senior capstone projects
The integrated undergraduate experience culminates in the SEAS senior capstone projects run through the Center for Engineering Design and Entrepreneurship. With more than 45 projects—each involving four to six students, a faculty advisor, and a project liaison (commonly from industry)—the Center focuses the senior capstone experience on nine-month-long projects that are identified and reviewed by internal and external partners. Some of the 2014–2015 projects included developing an open-source distributed certificate authority for approving digital signatures, designing a penstock bypass valve allowing repairs on Grand Coulee Dam, and developing a sampling protocol for storm water runoff from a prototype permeable pavement project.

Developing lifelong learners
Completed by all students at Gonzaga and revised as of fall 2016 to reflect a broader educational experience, the University core curriculum provides broad intellectual perspectives to all students through the exposure to subjects outside their chosen fields of study. The newly revised core curriculum culminates in an upper-division, interdisciplinary course focused on multidisciplinary, critical analysis of a global challenge such as climate change, water resources, or sustainable food production. Ultimately, the core challenges students to integrate their studies and actions into a philosophy of living that promotes a lifetime of learning and self-reflection.

In the heart of the Inland Northwest
The Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area provides numerous internships as well as outlets for cultural and artistic expression. A scenic 15-minute walk along a section of the 37-mile Centennial Trail on the shore of the Spokane River ushers students into the vibrant downtown, offering a variety of dining, entertainment, and shopping opportunities.

Students can also explore the snow-capped mountains, dozens of lakes, and scenic hiking trails all within a 50-mile radius of campus. The Inland Northwest is a recreational paradise for skiers, hikers, campers, mountain bikers, golfers, and other outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.



Baja Car Competition
Over the past few years, the SEAS at Gonzaga has established an active Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) club that has focused on designing, constructing, and racing a single-driver Baja car in the national competition. Involving students from all disciplines within SEAS and at all levels (freshmen through seniors), this club creates an environment whereby students integrate across the SEAS disciplines on a common project. This effort also allows students to fully engage in the school’s sophisticated machine shop and work closely with experienced machine shop staff. In the most recent competition in Oregon, the team performed exceptionally well, reaching into the late stages of the endurance test.

2014–2015 Senior Project Example
Penstock Bypass Valve
Grand Coulee Dam (in the State of Washington) has penstocks that provide water to the turbines that power the generators of the main dam. A coaster gate is dropped to seal off the penstock opening from Lake Roosevelt. There is a water supply bypass used for maintenance around each of the 18 coaster gates. The inlet to the bypass is located on the upstream face of the dam at significant depth below the surface of the lake. In order to perform required replacement of embedded bypass piping and valves that have been in service for more than 70 years, a seal is required on the inlet to the bypass.

For this project, the team (students, advisor, and liaison) investigated and designed a sealing system for the inlet to the bypass. The resulting design is considered safe and efficient. This design also met the client’s design requirements, including a desire to minimize required diving to install the device and consistency of the device with existing hardware at the dam.

Gonzaga at a Glance

Founded: 1887

Location: Spokane, Washington; population 211,000 (688,000 metropolitan area)

Affiliation: Independent; Jesuit, Catholic

Academic Information: 100% of classes taught by faculty; 11:1 student-faculty ratio; average class size of 21; 92% retention rate; 74% four-year graduation rate

Campus: 131 green acres along the beautiful Spokane River; less than a 15-minute walk to the upscale downtown district with shops, arts, entertainment, and fine dining

Student Body: 7,352 total
enrollment; 4,837 undergraduates; 54% women, 46% men

Academic Programs: More than 75 majors and areas of study; 22 master’s degrees; a Ph.D., a D.N.P., and a J.D. degree

Varsity Athletics (NCAA
Division I):
Men’s and women’s basketball, crew, cross-country/track, golf, soccer, and tennis; men’s baseball; women’s volleyball

2015–2016 Annual Expenses:

Tuition: $37,480; room and board: $10,835

Financial Aid: 99% of
Gonzaga’s students receive financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work opportunities.

Student Life: The Gonzaga Student Body Association sponsors more than 100 clubs and organizations, numerous dances, ski weekends, boat cruises, and much more. Rudolf Fitness Center offers racquetball, basketball, an indoor running track, a swimming pool, free weights, and cardio and strength-training machines.

School of Engineering and Applied Science at
a Glance

Bachelor of Science Degrees:

• Civil Engineering

• Computer Engineering

• Computer Science

• Electrical Engineering

• Engineering Management 

• Mechanical Engineering

Master of Engineering Degree:

• Transmission and Distribution Engineering

Awards and Rankings:

• GU’s School of Engineering and Applied Science has consistently ranked among the top 30 schools in the nation amongst engineering programs not offering a Ph.D. (U.S.News & World Report, 2015)

• SEAS graduates have been very successful in nationally competitive postgraduate fellowships, including both a Marshall Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship within the past three years. 

• GU ranks third in terms of regional universities in the western region of the United States.

• Programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) include Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Final ABET decisions are anticipated during August 2015 for the programs in Computer Science and Engineering Management.

• State-of-the-art laboratories within the 29,000-sq. ft. LEED gold-certified PACCAR Center for Applied Science include power-engineering and Smart Antennae Research laboratories.

• Gonzaga offers an engineering-specific study abroad program at its campus in Florence in addition to programs in 35+ different countries; more information is available at studyabroad.gonzaga.edu.