To members of the Manhattan College community,
We write in response to the Quadrangle article written by Rose Brennan and Stephen Zubrycky that was published in the April 24th issue.
This response is to articulate to the Manhattan College community that the current state of the Department of Chemical Engineering is one with a culture of engineering education excellence for its students and no longer the divisive, angst-filled state that the article suggests. First, the present accreditation status of the program is the same as the other programs in the school, i.e., all the undergraduate engineering programs are accredited and all will undergo general comprehensive reviews by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET in the 2020-21 academic year. Second, the department, after national searches, has hired three experienced full-time tenure-track faculty (i.e., Drs. Varanasi, Carbonaro, and Amin) who are committed to serving the students of the department and fulfilling the mission of the department and the mission of the College. Additionally, the department is in the process of hiring another full-time tenure-track faculty to start in fall 2018. The department has received significant support from the upper administration of the College to improve our infrastructure, more specifically the research and teaching laboratories. The department faculty members have revamped the undergraduate curriculum to include content, such as process safety, that is contemporary and valued by the industry. In addition, the department enjoys outstanding support and guidance from its external Board of Advisors. For these reasons, we are confident that the Department of Chemical Engineering will continue to produce high-quality chemical engineering graduates in the years to come.
As the bar chart in the article showed, job prospects for chemical engineering students have been consistent over the period from 2012 to 2016. In fact, for the Class of 2016 students, “Still Seeking/Not Pursuing” employment or graduate school opportunities nine months after graduation was at 9%, which is consistent with the entire School of Engineering at 10%. Informal polling of the current chemical engineering seniors indicates a positive job outlook with the majority gaining employment in their field or seeking opportunities for graduate school.
The department is vibrant, revitalized, and healthy. It has a one-of-a-kind cosmetic engineering program that has attracted much attention, and performed service projects, such as the outreach in Puerto Rico, that truly embody the Lasallian heritage. We and the other faculty members in the chemical engineering department are sincerely proud of the students we graduate and look forward to educating and enriching the lives of those who wish to become chemical engineers. In closing, we care very deeply about the well-being and success of our students, and are excited for the future of the department.
Dr. Sasidhar Varanasi – Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department
Dr. Richard Carbonaro, P.E. – Director of the Chemical Engineering Graduate Program
Dr. J. Patrick Abulencia – Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering