Master’s Program Drawing Military and Industry Professionals

It’s not unusual for working engineers to enroll in master’s programs to update or broaden their knowledge. But a master’s program in the Rutgers’ School of Engineering seems to be drawing more than the usual number of students who are sponsored by their employers.

This past year, 11 people from the Canadian Forces, Greece’s Hellenic Air Force, and Schlumberger, a worldwide oilfield services firm headquartered in Paris, chose to pursue graduate work in Rutgers’ Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE).

Professor Susan Albin believes that attracting these students is evidence that her department has built a top-notch program in quality and reliability engineering – the theory and practice of consistently manufacturing products to specification, and then ensuring that those products perform as expected over their lifetime.

“We’re not a large department, but we have extraordinary strength in this area, with a track record in education and research. Even compared to large departments, we are strong,” Albin said.

Ken Clasper was one of five students that Schlumberger (pronounced shlum-ber-ZHAY) sent to Rutgers for the 18-month program. The 37-year-old Toronto native studied engineering physics at Canada’s Queens University before heading to the oil fields of northern Alberta in 1998. Later he worked at drilling sites in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and North Africa.

Clasper, whose job involves deploying instruments into freshly drilled wells to measure geological conditions, recalls a time when his company brought in outside quality consultants who didn’t know about the oil and gas industry. He tactfully characterized those efforts as “less than fruitful.”

“The five of us are trying to subvert that dynamic,” said Clasper, “Rutgers is giving us the expertise to understand quality principles and figure out which programs can apply to our industry.”

Not bad for a university that had no such expertise a little more than two decades ago.For More on this Story

Credit to Rutgers Focus By Carl Blesch