Engineering Our Future

Dean Rod C. AlfernessThe College of Engineering at University of California Santa Barbara recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It has grown from a small beachside program into a leading global voice in defining engineering research and education.

As the College moves forward in the 21st century to further define what it means to be one of the best engineering programs in the country, we are counting on our alumni and friends to help provide the resources we need to succeed.

The College faces strong competition in this continuing quest for academic excellence and recognition. But in partnership with you, we are committed to engineering our future with our eye on the following goals: 

Recruiting the Best

The recruitment and retention of some of the brightest and most innovative engineering faculty, graduate and undergraduate students in the world is one of our highest priorities. In a world that has become increasingly small and competitive, the creation of knowledge remains a valuable asset– and academic talent, an indispensable generator of new knowledge that has positive impact on society. 

Having the Right Equipment Tools

Providing our current and prospective faculty, graduate and undergraduate students with the equipment and tools they need to succeed is essential. These tools take many forms, such as fellowships, research funds, equipment and supplies, undergrad teaching labs and endowed/named chairs. 


The College is committed to developing solutions to society’s most pressing challenges. In fact, our engineering program is ranked the #1 public university in the world for engineering research citation impact (Leiden, 2015-2019). Our Materials graduate program is ranked #1 in the nation among public universities (US News, 2016, and NRC), and our chemical engineering program is consistently ranked in the top five. All of our graduate research programs were ranked in the top 10 for their disciplines in the National Research Council’s ranking of graduate programs in 2010. The College is home to the west coast hub of AIM Photonics, a national photonics technology manufacturing initiative, as well as one of the top NSF Materials Research Science & Engineering Centers in the country.

A Catalyst for Economic Growth

Innovation and entrepreneurship are abuzz at the College with numerous start-ups that have been propelled onto the national stage or corporate partnerships that have generated new funding for new research programs as well as technology transfer to companies who can bring new products to the marketplace. The possibilities at the College for economic growth inject a great sense of excitement and energy within the engineering program. This is a win-win for our students and for our regional, state and national economy: With the needed seed funding, new industries can be born, creating opportunities, jobs, and more!

Visit UCSB Giving to learn more about how you can help.

Rod Alferness
Richard A. Auhll Professor and Dean