UAF Engineering Building Opens

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) – Eight years after construction began, the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ engineering building officially opened.

Last month, UA President Jim Johnsen and other university officials did the honors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $115 million building.

The building nearly doubles the space available for the campus’s engineering students, who are part of one of the university’s longest-running departments. About 1,000 students will use the building each year.

State budget issues halted construction for a year before Johnsen requested a bond package to finish the project.

Openness was a driving factor in the building’s design.

“Most of the high bay facilities at other universities would be encased in concrete walls. Ours is encased in glass,” said Douglas Goering, Dean of the College of Engineering and Mines. “So people can see what engineers do and experience and become engaged with what engineers do.”

Source: UAF Engineering building opens after year-long construction delay – KTUU

College of Engineering Adds K-12 Coordinator

UAA’s College of Engineering has hired its first ever K-12 Coordinator, Vicki Nechodomu. She’ll serve as the chief liaison between the engineering college and K-12 educators in surrounding school districts, including those with more rural constituents.

Her job is to spend time with teachers to learn what their needs are and how the university can help, said Fred Barlow, UAA’s dean of the College of Engineering

“We want to be a part of the solution,” Barlow said. “Sometimes what happens is K-12 and higher education end up pointing fingers at each other. We want to set that aside. We want to work together so that the quality of student outcomes increases. Vicki is part of our commitment.”

Read the full article here.

Source: College of Engineering adds K-12 Coordinator – The Cordova Times

Workforce Wednesday: Careers in Fabrication

Careers in fabrication involve taking raw materials and making something useful out of them. One example is making control systems for the oil and gas industry. Alaskans who are interested can also expect a decent salary.

Lynn Johnson, a director with Dowland Bach, says entry level welders start out at around $44,000 a year and can make up to $101,000. General fabricators make about the same, and engineers start at $70,000 and can make up to $162,000 a year.

Johnson said the type of person he looks for has to have a general aptitude for mechanical work and an excellent work ethic. He added that kind of person should also expect to go home at the end of the day proud that they built something with their hands. Johnson mentioned in the past 40 years he’s been proud to see the various things his company has built around Anchorage.

Martha Peck, with Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium, says Alaskans can get training in-state. The Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center (NACTEC) in Nome is a good place to start. Another is getting an apprenticeship with the Sheet Metal Workers Local 23 Union.

For a list of companies hiring or more information, you can head to APICC.org.

Watch the Workforce Wednesday video segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Careers in fabrication » KTVA 11

Nonprofit Spotlight: Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program | Excellence in Philanthropy


For many Native American students, college seems as far off as the moon. But as Buzz Aldrin said in an appearance at the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program, “Once you set your mind to get something done, seemingly anything is possible.”

ANSEP has been boosting students to university and beyond since 1995, with a plan that begins in middle school and extends into career placement after graduation. This series of intensive academic supports centered at the University of Alaska Anchorage inspires students to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

As of 2016, roughly 2,000 students have taken part in the program, which has over 100 partners in the form of philanthropic organizations, corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies. It helps Natives prepare for careers within the oil and gas industry, biology, conservation, and other technical fields. The Urban Institute has categorized ANSEP as one of the most successful STEM programs in the country, propelling 85 percent of graduates to STEM careers.

Read the full article here.

Source: Nonprofit Spotlight: Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program | Excellence in Philanthropy | The Philanthropy Roundtable

Workforce Wednesday: Engineering in Alaska

Alaska is home to dozens of engineering specialties, ranging from civil to mechanical, aerospace to ship building. If there’s a big infrastructure project, chances are there was an engineer involved.

Engineers also make a broad salary, averaging anywhere from $46 to $73 per hour, according to Cassie Ostrander, a spokesperson for the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium (APICC). She and Kristina Storlie joined the Daybreak crew to discuss engineering jobs in Alaska.

Storlie used to work in the food service industry. Now, as a mechanical engineer, Storlie spends her day behind a desk or out in the field, so “every single day is completely different!” Storlie works under a professional engineer, and says she’s done everything from working on a hospital facility to the rocket launch facility on Kodiak Island.

People looking for that career change can enroll in the University of Alaska Anchorage’s or University of Alaska Fairbanks’ engineering programs, or drop in at an engineering firm and leave their resume. Ostrander said that ASRC Energy Services and CH2M both have open positions. She added that some firms will create a position for a person if they have the right skill set.

For more information, visit APICC’s website or watch the video segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Engineering in Alaska | KTVA 11