South Dakota Mines is merging the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering into one department.

The new Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) will keep all major courses of study intact and foster increased multidisciplinary collaboration between students and faculty researchers.

Jeff McGough, Ph.D., professor and current department head of computer science and engineering, will lead the new EECS department.

“We are very excited about the merger,” says McGough. “It will allow greater collaboration between faculty and students. We will have more opportunities for interdisciplinary projects and enhance our support for our students.”

Modern technology, whether it be artificial intelligence, machine learning, avionics, or designing a new smart electrical grid, requires multidisciplinary collaboration. Mines’ new EECS department will foster connections between faculty and students to best leverage both innovation and research funding.

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“Electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science as majors are a natural fit together here on campus and out in industry. Our students will be able to take advantage of a broad range of classes to tailor their degree to their interests and abilities, all while staying in one department,” says Tom Montoya, Ph.D., associate professor and current interim head of the Department of Electrical Engineering.

Mines’ world-class education in these fields of study will continue, and students in the new EECS department will see no change to their coursework in undergraduate and graduate programs, minors or specializations. The merger will make it easier for students to double major or pursue minors across the programs. Students will also find enhanced research and team-based problem-solving opportunities that more closely mirror the modern industry environment where multidisciplinary teams of engineers, scientists and professionals work toward the same goal.

“This merger brings two already strong academic departments together to make the programs even stronger, which will greatly benefit our students. It also increases efficiency and saves resources while maximizing our collaboration potential. I am excited to see the innovation and research opportunities that will emerge from this reorganization,” says Mines President Jim Rankin.

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