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Oregon Tech poised to chart new future in engineering innovation with Legislature’s approval of new $42 million Center for Excellence in Engineering and Technology

Jul 07, 2017
Klamath Falls facility will address teaching and learning needs of 21st century engineers, tech professionals

The Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) learned today that the Legislature approved $40 million in state bonding authority for its Center for Excellence in Engineering and Technology (CEET) on its Klamath Falls campus, which will be matched by $2 million in university investment and donations. The CEET had been included in the Governor’s and the Co-chair’s budget as a top priority on the higher education project list. The Governor is expected to sign the higher education capital construction bill (SB 5505) which will include the bonding authority for the CEET.

Dr. Nagi Naganathan, president of Oregon Tech said, “CEET is not just a new building; it is an innovation eco-system that will allow Oregon Tech to chart a new trajectory in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This is a game changer for the state, for Oregon Tech’s students and faculty, and for our industry partners as well. We are grateful to our Legislature and the Governor for investing in the future of Oregon’s workforce. Oregon’s economy, particularly its rural areas, calls for the education and training of student entrepreneurs who learn in real-world laboratories and classrooms, creating an innovation culture that has a direct and positive return for all Oregonians.”

For Klamath Falls and the surrounding region, Oregon Tech’s Center for Excellence in Engineering and Technology represents an important component of strengthening its economy: more industries and companies moving to the region, more college-educated professionals coming and staying, and a growing tax base that will bolster the city and the county for real, permanent growth and stability. “Construction of the building and cutting-edge opportunities for engineering and technology students will be powerful catalysts for economic development in Klamath Falls and throughout Oregon,” added Dr. Naganathan.

Dr. Steve Sliwa, vice chair of Oregon Tech’s Board of Trustees said, “Oregon Tech's high ROI engineering and technology programs and quality graduates fuel Oregon's target industries, including advanced manufacturing, large scale construction and transportation, renewable energy, high tech, and many others. The CEET will increase Oregon Tech’s capacity in Engineering and Technology programs by one-third, helping Oregon meet current and future companies’ workforce needs, and reducing the need for imported talent in the Pacific Northwest.”

Construction of the Center for Excellence in Engineering and Technology (CEET) will complete Oregon Tech’s Engineering Complex on its Klamath Falls campus. Designed as an integrated facility with the existing Cornett Hall, this new building will allow for the consolidation and expansions of the critical functions of the College of Engineering, Technology and Management. The CEET project builds on Phase 1 of the effort, which was approved for bonding authority by the Legislature in 2015, and began with redesign and modernization of Cornett Hall, built in 1964, the current Engineering building.

The combined project (CEET + Cornett remodel) will be home to the expanded interdisciplinary space, including the departments of: Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering (MMET), Civil Engineering (CE), Electrical Engineering & Renewable Energy (EERE), Computer Systems Engineering Technology (CSET), Geomatics, Management, Information Technology, and the Oregon Renewable Energy Center (OREC). The CEET will provide an innovative model of learning that creates an interactive workspace of offices, classrooms and labs. The center of the plan is organized around a sub-dividable “maker space” that brings students, faculty, and the business and industry community together in multidisciplinary spaces that ignite innovation and collaboration, preparing students for professional practice.

Oregon Tech is nationally ranked as #35 “best engineering programs” (up from #45 last year, US News & World Report), and is ranked #1 Best West Regional university. Graduates of Oregon Tech have a 95% success rate of gaining employment or seeking a graduate degree with six months of graduating; and with average annual starting salaries of $56,000, ranked by several sources as the highest average starting salaries of any graduates in Oregon.


About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the premier public polytechnic institution in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in engineering, health technologies, business, technology, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through applied and relevant learning and professional practice. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls, an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville, an Online Campus, and offers degrees at Boeing Seattle and at other sites. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology. 

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