After speaking to David Hahn, you’ll be convinced that everyone should become an engineer.
“Engineers are tackling all of the significant challenges in modern society,” said the Craig M. Berge Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Arizona. “And that is food and water, energy, healthcare and security. We do it all. Whatever you’re passionate about, we can lead you that to a career as an engineer.”
Hahn, who holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University, boasts more than two decades of experience in higher education and with national agencies and laboratories, and he is a champion of diversity in engineering.
The 58-year-old came to UArizona 2½ years ago after a 20-year career at the University of Florida, where he served as chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering. While he was there, the university built a 4,000-square-foot student design center, his department grew to the largest on campus in terms of student enrollment and the female students registered in mechanical and aerospace engineering increased to 20%.
Hahn appears to be creating an equally impressive footprint in Tucson. In just over two years at UArizona, he has seen an influx of applicants to the College of Engineering.
“To date, our applications are the highest that they’ve ever been,” said Hahn of the prospective students for Fall 2022. “We are leading the university in the year-over-year increase in number of applications.”
“An engineering degree from UA provides enormous opportunities to make the world a better place,” he said. “You get to have an exciting job and earn a great income. A great misconception is that engineers just sit there and do equations all day. Sure, we do math and use math as a tool, but you’re just as likely to be out in the world testing new technologies. We apply theoretical learning to solve real-world problems.”
UArizona is poised to offer an influx of quality engineering graduates to the area, which will mesh with the regional economic recovery plan, the Pivot Playbook. The playbook is a formal action plan driven by Sun Corridor Inc. to ensure that the community emerges from the pandemic able to seize on crucial opportunities. Those initiatives include providing a high-quality pool of talent, innovative workforce training and cost-effective real estate offerings.
“The University of Arizona is a gem – they’re a top-tier research institution and one of Raytheon’s key partners for decades,” said Roy Donelson, VP and COO of Raytheon Middle East North Africa Group.
“Working with the UA gives us a better perspective on the region and our nation,” Donelson said. “We’re able to learn and understand what students are thinking about. So many millennials are entering the workforce now and we’re working to increase those numbers overall, but also the number of women and other diversity groups in the workforce. Our partnership with UA is helping us do just that.”