Engineering unit changes name to School of Engineering Design and Innovation

The new name streamlines and clarifies focus, says school head David Mazyck

November 15, 2022

By Ashley WennersHerron

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State College of Engineering’s School of Engineering Design and Innovation has updated its name, from the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs, as part of its strategic plan. The name was approved on Nov. 14 and it will go into effect immediately. 

“The School of Engineering Design and Innovation better reflects the nature of our school as it has evolved over the last 20 years,” said David Mazyck, head of the school and professor of engineering design. “By changing the school's name, we are emphasizing the importance of design and innovation to produce holistic engineers.”  

The school is similar to a traditional academic department, Mazyck said, but it serves the entire college, cutting across conventional disciplines. About 85% of all first-year engineering students take the cornerstone engineering design course through the school, and many undergraduate and graduate students participate in engineering design and innovation programs across the commonwealth. The school, currently located in Hammond Building, will move to a new dedicated space in the Engineering Design and Innovation Building, formerly West 2 Building, in 2023.

Undergraduate offerings include certificates or minors in several areas, including engineering design, engineering entrepreneurship, engineering leadership development and humanitarian engineering and social entrepreneurship. The school also oversees the Engineering Technology and Commonwealth Engineering programs, comprising several associate and bachelor’s degrees offered at Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses. 

Graduate students may also pursue a Master of Science or Master of Engineering in engineering design or a Master of Engineering through such programs as Law, Policy, and Engineering or Engineering Leadership & Innovation Management. Building on the school’s online graduate certificates and minors, Penn State recently approved a new online Doctorate of Engineering in engineering program that the school facilitates through World Campus. The first students started this semester. 

According to Mazyck, the name change will neither alter the curriculum nor impact other academic units associated with the school. 

“If anything, the new name will strengthen the relationships between different programs, locations and campuses by improving awareness and understanding of how our research and teaching activities contribute to engineering design and innovation,” Mazyck said. 

Justin Schwartz, interim executive vice president and provost who served as the Harold and Inge Marcus Dean in the College of Engineering during the renaming planning, said that the new name clarifies the goals and the expertise of the school and its members. 

“The School for Engineering Design and Innovation has grown significantly over the last two decades, enhancing and expanding their educational programming, research and impact,” Schwartz said. “The streamlined name builds brand recognition to help current and potential constituents identify and remember the school as a leader in the fields of engineering design and innovation.” 


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College of Engineering Media Relations

“By changing the school's name, we are emphasizing the importance of design and innovation to produce holistic engineers.” — David Mayzck