Drury to launch Department of Engineering in fall 2024

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Drury University is preparing to launch its new Department of Engineering in the fall of 2024, which will offer bachelor’s degrees in both electrical and mechanical engineering.

Students will engage in design, application and the study of electronics, electromagnetism and electrical systems. Electrical engineers will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a variety of fields, such as cell phones, MRI scanners, communications satellites, microcontrollers for cars and robotic devices, aerospace controls, pacemakers and robotics. 

The mechanical engineering program will see a deeper focus on analyzing, designing and producing mechanical and thermal systems. Mechanical engineers will apply their knowledge in robotics, wind turbines, vehicles, rocket ships, rollercoasters and many more fields.

Engineering department chair Dr. Robert (Bob) Throne was hired in July. He was with the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he was an educator for 21 years and was the department head of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He also spent 11 years at the University of Nebraska. 

Drury Executive Vice President and Provost Beth Harville said in a press release that Dr. Throne is a student-focused teacher who is dedicated to creating a relevant, modern and hands-on engineering program.

“His experience as an educational leader is evident in the engineering courses and projects he has developed for Drury’s engineering programs,” said Harville.

Electrical and mechanical engineers will collaborate in an interdisciplinary setting to solve complex problems together. Both programs look to build on Drury’s commitment to serve the area by creating future industry leaders.

“Our first year is common between mechanical and electrical engineering,” Throne told The Heartlander. “Students don’t have to choose between the two majors their first year when they walk in the door. That is important.”

Drury also has hired Throne’s wife, Dr. Lorraine Olson. Olson is an accomplished mechanical engineer who taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Nebraska for 16 years. She also taught at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for 21 years and was the department head of Mechanical Engineering. 

Drury’s engineering programs are unique, and combine high-quality curricula with the university’s Fusion program. Drury Fusion is a program that offers 16 different certificates, but students must complete four to five classes in order to receive a certificate. The certificates were put into place to help students achieve interdisciplinary depth on single topics or themes. 

Students will graduate with at least three credentials after receiving 129 credit hours. The three credentials include a major, minor and Fusion certificate. Engineering students will learn about management skills, business planning, patents and grant writing during a series of short courses.

Applications are readily available for the fall 2024 courses. To apply, visit the website

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