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March 29, 2023

New Maine College of Engineering and Computing gets green light

University of Maine campus shot showing building and a flag File photo / University of Maine The New Maine College of Engineering and Computing will launch with around 2,350 students and 90 faculty at the University of Maine College of Engineering and USM's Department of Engineering.

A new Maine College of Engineering and Computing will be launched April 1 after getting the green light from the University of Maine System board of trustees on Monday.

The new institution, based at the University of Maine College of Engineering in Orono and the University of Southern Maine Department of Engineering in Gorham, aims to combine the strengths of both institutions to expand educational opportunities and help employers across the state meet future workforce needs. Around 2,250 students and 90 faculty will make up the new Maine College of Engineering and Computing.

Funding is made possible by a $150 million commitment from Harold Alfond Foundation, plus a $75 million challenge match. The Maine College of Engineering and Computing is a signature initiative of the Harold Alfond Foundation's $240 million investment to revitalize the University of Maine System.

“I congratulate the presidents and faculties of the University of Maine and USM as they undertake this innovative endeavor,” said University of Maine System Chancellor Dannell Malloy. “One of our top priorities is to support our universities as they work together in an effort to raise the number of graduating leaders in the engineering and computing fields. The generous Alfond Foundation commitment helps us realize this important goal.”

Giovanna Guidoboni, who previously served as associate dean for research and professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri, will lead the Maine College of Engineering and Computing as its inaugural dean.

She is a Fulbright Scholar and an elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. Her background is highly interdisciplinary, with a research focus on mathematical modeling and data science applied to engineering and life sciences.

Further details

By developing programs and attracting new faculty, the new college will support students from across the system that want to pursue an education in engineering and computing fields, particularly in emerging, interdisciplinary areas, including renewable energy, biofuels, robotics, advanced materials, biomedical innovations, industrial engineering and artificial intelligence.

"The Maine College of Engineering and Computing will be a critical state and regional catalyst for nationally and globally recognized innovation and research that can be integral to the student educational experience to meet workforce needs," said University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy, who is also the system’s vice chancellor for research and innovation. 

Additionally, the new college will help expand research and development for Maine-based industry by improving infrastructure for learning, including a new, state-of-the-art Green Engineering and Materials laboratory.

The new institution’s main goal is to provide nationally recognized preparation and skills for students throughout Maine and beyond.

USM President Jacqueline Edmondson predicts that the move “will benefit our students and faculty, as well as the greater good of our state and region as we seek to offer educational pathways that fill this critical workforce need.”

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