Santa Clara University

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Dean's Message

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On the day construction began on our entry in the 2009 Solar Decathlon, Allison Kopf, project leader and sophomore computer engineering student, commented on the challenges the team had faced so far, saying, “we’re building confidence every day."

Allison’s comment is a testament to the value of project-based learning that is a hallmark of an SCU engineering education. The scope of this undertaking—designing and building a fully functional solar powered home—provides numerous opportunities for students to learn from peers in academia and industry professionals, and exemplifies the fact that challenges are often best overcome by collaborating with others.

In partnering with California College of the Arts, students from both schools have gotten a taste of real-world collaboration, experiencing the joys, sorrows, tribulations and triumphs that arise from such a relationship. Along the way, they have expanded their technical knowledge, improved their interpersonal skills, and have gained a confidence that no classroom experience could provide.

With Silicon Valley becoming a center of energy innovation, it is our job in the School of Engineering to see that our students are ready to step into this arena armed with the technical know-how, practical experience, and the confidence that spurs them to action. I want to thank the Solar Decathlon team for their dedication to this project and their determination to actively participate in changing the future of energy use.

Godfrey Mungal
Dean
School of Engineering