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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 better lives 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 2015–2016 projects included developing fire-resistant housing in the hopes of reducing wild fire damage, making combat shelters safer for our country’s service men and women, and developing a process for 3-D printing ankle foot orthosis for children.

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 allows students to fully engage in the school’s Manufacturing Technology Center and work closely with experienced faculty and staff. In the most recent competition in California, the team performed exceptionally well, finishing eighth in the extremely difficult Hill Climb Event.

2015–2016 Senior Project
Braille Refresh Reader
The idea for this project originated from what was observed as a void in disability access to technology, specifically for blind students. Current Braille displays are limited by mechanics and can only display a single line. As such, the team’s goal was to develop a multiple-line tactile Braille display. After detailed research encompassing many different ways to produce a Braille dot, they concluded that the most promising display would be created using electro-tactile haptic technology, which “mimics” the tactile feeling of Braille cells. They designed high-voltage electrodes that imitate the tactile feeling of real Braille dots when fingers run across it. Experimentation determined ideal electrode spacing and waveform shape in order to maximize the tactile sensation for the user. The system is controlled by a micro controller. In addition to increasing the accessibility of Braille materials, the team hopes the project can help generate interest in disability accommodations and prompt engineering development in Braille technology.

Gonzaga at a Glance

Founded: 1887

Location: Spokane, Washington; population 212,000 (671,000 metropolitan area)

Affiliation: Independent; Jesuit, Catholic

Academic Information: 100% of classes taught by faculty; 12:1 student-faculty ratio; average class size of 24; 95% retention rate; 78% four-year graduation rate

Campus: 152 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: 7,491 total
enrollment; 5,041 undergraduates; 54% women, 46% men

Academic Programs: More than 75 majors and areas of study; 22 master’s degrees; a PhD, a DNP, and a JD 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

2016–2017 Annual Expenses:
Tuition: $38,980; room and board: $11,258

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, numerous dances, and events. The John J. Hemmingson Center houses a movie theater, multiple dining options, student involvement offices, a reflection room, and numerous spaces to hang out. Rudolf Fitness Center offers a two-story workout facility, including a pool.

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 PhD (U.S. News & World Report, 2016).

• 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 fourth 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, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. 

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

• Gonzaga offers an engineering-specific study abroad program at its campus in Florence in addition to programs in 40+ different countries; more information is available at studyabroad.gonzaga.edu.