SRQ Magazine, April 9, 2016
The announcement that the University of Florida will establish its first Engineering Innovation Station in Sarasota is thrilling news. The Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice region does not have, and badly needs, an engineering presence. We have CEOs of global companies who make their homes here, but who cannot move their operations here because we cannot supply the engineering talent. We have some very fine local high schools and universities. Some of the colleges offer rigorous science courses, but no local institution offers a credible first year engineering design course, let alone some of the more advanced engineering courses. Students interested in engineering must leave the area, and they often do not return. The new engineering presence can only help with pipeline issues from the local high schools, with hack-a-thons and design competitions, and with entrepreneurship curricula. The articulation program with State College of Florida will give local students a route into engineering, and New College and others are eager to explore dual degree programs with UF engineering. All of this will help local start-ups.