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Bagley College launches first-of-its-kind initiative for students

October 29, 2013


L-R: Matthew Blair, a junior undergraduate student, and Bahareh Kokabian, a civil engineering graduate student, work on research with algae and biofuels in the civil and environmental engineering lab. They are also now members of the American Society of Civil Engineering thanks to the new BCoE student initiative.

Students in Mississippi State’s Bagley College of Engineering will benefit from a new initiative meant to spur involvement in engineering technical societies.

Launched this fall, the membership program allows students to join their fields’ leading technical society at no personal costs. It is available for all full-time, on-campus undergraduate and graduate students.

More than 83 percent of eligible students joined organizations during the initial three week sign-up period, which quadrupled the percentage of members the college reported last year.

Dean Achille Messac said this program is the first of its kind among engineering colleges in the country. He expects that it will help students become more engaged in the engineering industry and explore the possibilities of research in their fields.

Messac said this initiative is the first of several programs that will be launched by the college to encourage and reward excellence among students, faculty and staff.

“This program will expose students to the inner workings of their profession at a very early stage,” Messac said. “It will make them more knowledgeable about the job opportunities in their area, what resources are available, and what trends are affecting their field.”

He added, “Being aware of these things and active in the societies will give our students a tremendous advantage over their peers who are not involved.”

The program is designed to ensure that these memberships are not simply resume-filler for participants. Students are asked to enroll as part of classes in their majors. Throughout the semester, they will use the resources their memberships provide to complete class assignments, such as technology reviews. Further initiatives will provide students with opportunities to attend society meetings and conferences, and submit research articles for publication.

Each year, students will be able to renew their memberships through the program, as long as they maintain their status as a full-time student.

Memberships are available in:

–American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

–American Institute of Chemical Engineers

–American Physical Society

–American Society of Civil Engineering

–American Society of Mechanical Engineers

–Association for Computing Machinery

–Institute of Biological Engineering

–Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

–Institute of Industrial Engineers.

The Bagley College of Engineering enrolls more than 3,300 undergraduate and graduate students. It is composed of eight academic departments, which administer 10 bachelor’s and 12 master’s degree programs, as well as six doctoral programs, including a doctorate of engineering that offers seven concentrations.

For more information about the college, visit