Gordon in the News: last updated 01/12/2009

New Engineering Lab In Ken Olsen Science Center Opens for Spring Semester

January 8, 2009
Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications
WENHAM, MA - The Ken Olsen Science Center's new state-of-the-art engineering lab has been completed in time for the start of the 2009 spring semester. The Robert W. Bowden Engineering Lab--named for the '66 alum and CEO of Case Systems Inc.--provides hands-on experiences critical for the undergraduate engineering education. Three lab courses specifically created for Gordon's unique 3-2 engineering program will be taught in the new facility.

"The latest laboratory instruction technology and the most recent results from the field of engineering education research were incorporated into the design of this facility. This is definitely not a converted physics lab or a repurposed classroom," said David Soong-hua Lee, associate professor of physics, department chair and 3-2 engineering program coordinator. "In fact, it not only serves and prepares young engineers for the 21st century, but it will accomplish the equally important task of helping liberal arts students gain an appreciation and understanding for the technological forces that are so influential in this world."

The 3-2 engineering program allows students to attend Gordon for the first three years before transferring to an engineering institution for the final two years. Upon completion of the full program, students receive a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Gordon College and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the engineering school. While Gordon's department of physics prepares students to appreciate the complexity and beauty of the physical universe and to be effective stewards of creation, its 3-2 engineering program also uniquely prepares students for transferring to an engineering program while receiving the distinctive liberal arts experience that Gordon offers.

In addition to the opening of the Robert W. Bowden Engineering Lab, an official agreement with the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) has also been formalized for students who choose to transfer from Gordon to USC. Though students may transfer to any accredited engineering institution to complete the 3-2 program, the agreement with USC specifies the transfer credits in both directions to ensure that students complete both degrees within the five-year time frame. Gordon's program prepares them well for the rigors of even the most demanding engineering curriculum.  

"Not only must the engineer of this century be educated in the liberal arts, but the definition of a liberal arts education must be expanded to include exposure to and appreciation of the technological sphere," Lee said. "This lab and our new partnership with USC help us do that. We're excited and humbled by the commitment and excitement that this program has generated. The flexibility and capabilities built into the space will serve our program well for years to come."

For more information, contact the Gordon College Office of College Communications at 978.867.4752.


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The College offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.



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