WTAMU’s School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics to Expand in More Ways Than One


Jonathan Espinoza

Dr. Emily Hunt, School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics dean, addresses a gathered crowd.

Jonathan Espinoza, Co-Editor

The West Texas A&M University School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics is well on its way to becoming a much more sought after place of study after university officials on Monday made announcements regarding expansions to the school.

During a press conference on the west side of the Engineering and Computer Science building, Emily Hunt, dean of the School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, addressed the plans for expansion for both the first and second floor of the Engineering and Computer Science Building.

“Today we have a lot to celebrate,” Hunt said.  “The completion of the second floor will double our usable space.  It’ll provide us with three smart classrooms, four student design laboratories, and several faculty offices.  Right now our faculty are spread out on four different buildings on campus.”

The Phase II project of the Engineering and Computer Science Building will consist of a second floor expansion to compliment the renovations completed on the first floor in 2010.

The project is estimated to cost $6 million dollars and will include an addition to the north end of the building.  In addition to renovations of the brick and mortar, Hunt announced an expansion to the current offerings in the engineering department.

“We have received official approval from the state of Texas to offer a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering,” Hunt said.  “This has been a long process.  It has taken support from local industry; we have really worked together.  It hasn’t just been us writing proposals, its been all of us joining together to show the State that we have the need, we have growth here in the power industry and that we can produce electrical engineers at West Texas A&M University that will serve the panhandle region.”

With only three students in the mechanical engineering program in 2003, and now with numbers exceeding 400, growth of the engineering program, from mechanical to civil to environmental, only added to the need of a program catering to those interested in electrical engineering.  And that interest goes beyond the campus of West Texas A&M.

“We are real excited about this program,” said Ronnie Walker, Xcel Energy Regional Manager, Texas Panhandle Community and Development Group.  “It is going to be great for us.  We have hired WT engineers ever since the engineering program has begun and this is really exciting for us.  We’re looking forward to this and we are going to support it in a lot of ways.”

As the program expands under newly named WTAMU president, Dr. Walter V. Wendler, he summed up the importance of not only the expansions, but the university itself.

“I am proud of all of our programs on campus for emphasizing the idea that we are a regional university that responds to regional needs and to the opportunities that are unique to this region…and as important as this building is, it is not as important as the people.”