Boundless Solutions

Tulane is more invested and focused on engineering than ever before.

Engineering student Hillary Smith works on a project in Maker Space lab.
Biomedical engineering student Hillary Smith works on a final class project, building a circuit for a noise amplifier. She is In the Scot Ackerman MakerSpace on Engineering Road on the uptown campus.

True or False? Engineering studies and research at Tulane ended after Hurricane Katrina.

The answer is false. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Tulane is more invested and focused on engineering than ever before as we build a model program for the 21st and 22nd centuries. Such a program combines engineering with disciplines throughout the university, including architecture, the biosciences, medicine, environmental studies, computer science and more.

Name a challenge, a threat or an opportunity to improve life and it is likely a Tulane engineer is addressing it — and teaching the next generation to do the same. Engineering at Tulane is breathtaking in its scale. It seeks to improve health care through biomedical engineering. It makes discoveries on the smallest level through nanotechnology, and it focuses on the waters of the world through the Delta and River Urbanism platform, the Department of River-Coastal Science and Engineering, the ByWater Institute and others.

Name a challenge, a threat or an opportunity to improve life and it is likely a Tulane engineer is working to address it — and teaching the next generation to do the same.

Engineering’s footprint is also expanding at Tulane. On the uptown campus, construction of Steven and Jann Paul Hall, the new home for Science and Engineering, begins this fall. This state-of-the-art space will be a hub of innovation, typified by one of its main tenants, the Brain Institute, a transdisciplinary unit that coordinates the neuroscience-related endeavors of researchers throughout Tulane.

On our downtown campus, redevelopment of the Charity Hospital building, the Warwick Hotel and other properties will create a synergy between healthcare experts and engineers to improve patient diagnosis, treatment and therapy. A concentration of engineers so close to the city’s commercial core also increases the likelihood that Tulane breakthroughs will find a faster route to market. Walter Isaacson has observed that we are on the cusp of a biomedical engineering revolution. Tulane plans to be in the vanguard of this revolution, which will also serve as the catalyst for the economic revival of New Orleans and the surrounding region.

Like every discipline at Tulane, engineering reaches far beyond our campus. In fact, it has no borders. Just ask the members of Tulane’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders who are working on a project to bring clean water to Laquigo, an Ecuadorian village where residents get much of their water from ditches. The group recently completed the design of a 21-kilometer pipeline that will supply Laquigo with clean water. The chapter is also undertaking projects closer to home, including partnering with the city of New Orleans to design storm drain covers that are less likely to clog.

So, from the hills of Laquigo to the streets of New Orleans and all points between, engineering is still being taught, pursued and perfected. It is a Tulane discipline with a storied past and, by design, an even brighter future.

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