Marian University in Indianapolis says it is doing its part to help fill the engineering talent pipeline in Indiana. The university this month broke ground on the E.S. Witchger School of Engineering and earlier this year selected Dr. Binh Tran as the school’s founding dean. Marian President Dan Elsener says the launch of the school in the fall of 2022 will stimulate growth in central Indiana and beyond.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Elsener said a focus on engineering is a priority for the university’s board of trustees.
“If you understand the ecosystem in Indiana, we’re a manufacturing state, biomedical engineering state,” said Elsener. “We have a great medical school here in central Indiana. We see the need for diversity in the engineering field…and we found an outstanding national leader to lead the effort.”
The school will offer a variety of degree programs, including biomedical, chemical, civic, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering. Tran says the new opportunity at Marian and starting the engineering program from scratch will be a challenge, but is exciting.
“The vision that we have is that we’re going to start that is founded upon the Franciscan Catholic conscience and we’re going to build programs that serve the nation and serve the world and societal needs and that comes from everything from biomedical engineering in the health field all the way to chemical engineering and developing new vaccines and medicines to computer engineering and dealing with issues like cybersecurity,” Tran said.
Elsener says his goal is to continue Marian’s reputation of training professionals who stay in Indiana.
“There’s a lot of engineers trained in the state of Indiana; many of them leave here,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of great response from partner companies and donors. We have a very clear strategy to recruit and develop engineers starting with our work in K-12 schools, especially from diverse populations, get them here in Marian University, tie them to internships and companies, develop relationships, and you’ll see investment from other parts of the country and the world to come to Indiana. You’ll see better paying jobs and you’ll see some great advancements in all areas of life.”
Before joining Marian earlier this month, Tran served as associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.