Message From the Dean: How We Engineer Change

At the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, we know the power engineering has to change lives. And that transformational power comes in many forms.

First, there is the impact that engineers have on the world around them. Engineers are born problem solvers. We fix things. We take things apart to better understand them, and then we build new things that work better than the original. Take a look around you. Everything that goes into your being able to read this message was developed, and will continue to be improved upon, by engineers. There are few callings that can lay claim to having as much impact on society as ours.

But at UCLA, we also recognize the ability that engineering, the profession, has to change an individual’s life. Some come to engineering because it “runs in the family” – mom or dad may have been an engineer, and being around a research lab and discussing technology is second nature. Others are among the first members of their families to attend college, perhaps a little intimidated but ready for the challenge. And of course there are all sorts in between. No matter what leads you to it though, the decision to become an engineer sets in motion a series of events that can lead to a life that few other careers can match for personal reward.

Our goal at the UCLA Samueli School is to enable as much of this positive change as possible – the impact engineers can have on society and the impact engineering can have on the individual.

That’s why we’ve launched our Engineer Change initiative. We are focused on setting new standards of excellence in each of four areas:

Research that targets today’s greatest societal challenges

Education that empowers students to become future change agents

Access for the many to succeed in engineering careers

Entrepreneurship that helps bring great ideas to market

Collectively, these four core elements comprise a student’s relationship with the school, and the school’s relationship with the community. And while our commitment to our stakeholders lies squarely in these four areas, our true objective lies beyond the lab and the text book. Ultimately, our success will be measured by the impact our work has on those around us. The more lives we’ve been able to touch, the more we’ll know we’ve been able to engineer change.


Jayathi Murthy
Ronald and Valerie Sugar Dean