Program highlights from Dr. Ryan Haaland

Computer engineers create the future! By bridging engineering and computer science, computer engineers develop software that they integrate with complex devices like robots, remote sensors, self-driving vehicles, rovers, probes, drones, planes, spacecraft, and even the smartphone in your pocket.

To achieve this, computer engineers grow their skills in both coding software and designing electronic devices, combining the two to create new and unique instruments that interact with our world and expand our understanding of everything around us.

The FLC Difference

Launching in Fall 2017, Computer Engineering is a new major in an established department with proven ABET-accredited programs, caring faculty, and top-notch facilities – all in a close, personal, small-school setting.

With a hands-on emphasis, our students engage in all phases of computer engineering, from idea to reality. At Fort Lewis you won’t just study engineering – you’ll do it: Design. Build. Test.

And by graduation, you’ll have the technical skills, real-world experience, and global awareness to adapt to an ever-evolving industry and world.

“Our students create. From discovery to design. From physics to engineering. From software to hardware. They write code, they integrate with projects by other engineers and scientists, and they test their creations in a real-world setting.”

-- Dr. Don Rabern, Physics & Engineering professor


Design Groups

The hallmark of our Engineering programs is the design sequence. You’ll take a three-credit course devoted entirely to design in your sophomore and junior years, and a six-credit course sequence in your senior year, working in design groups of four to eight students.

These teams of engineers and scientists make actual physical design products, instead of doing only paper studies. The groups are multidisciplinary and use industry practices to mirror how professional engineering projects reach completion.

The design groups and the design projects change from term to term. For example, engineering design projects have included creating robotic underwater vehicles, autonomous watercraft, floating real-time ocean current monitors, and a solar tracker that works without motors.


The new Geosciences, Physics & Engineering Hall

The new Geosciences, Physics & Engineering Hall provides FLC’s undergraduate researchers top-quality electronics equipment, field tools, optical technologies, and specialized testing facilities. And the rooftop astronomical observatory has launched industry partnerships with the U.S. Air Force for tracking of space debris and satellites



At Fort Lewis College, you’ll work closely with caring expert faculty. Every course you take through the Computer Engineering program will be taught by a faculty member with a Ph.D. and, frequently, years of teaching and industrial experience. Ou professors have made a full-time commitment to teaching undergraduate students – that’s why one-on-one and small group attention lies at the heart of our program.

“You can go to one of the big schools, and you’ll sit in your introductory physics class with three hundred of your best friends. And when you’re done with the lecture, typically, you talk to the TA if you have questions. But at FLC, if you have a problem in my class, you come and see me, and by the end of the term I’ll know you. And instead of three hundred, you’ll have thirty or forty classmates. At Fort Lewis you couldn’t hide in the back even if you wanted to. There’s no hiding in the back here.”

-- Ryan Haaland, Department Chair & Professor of Physics and Engineering



Pick a problem that the planet faces. It’s hard to imagine any solution to that problem that doesn’t involve a scientist or an engineer. That’s why we ensure that our graduates will have both the engineering skills and the cultural and social contexts to tackle the problems they’re about to solve.

We believe it’s important that engineers, regardless of discipline, understand math, science, and engineering -- but we also know they need to have the ability to communicate, understand socio-economics and ethical issues, and have an appreciation for the arts and humanities.

Given that, students in Computer Engineering also complete courses that introduce and reinforce those topics -- preparing students with not only technical depth, but also with a sense of what it means to be a global citizen.

As a Computer Engineering student, you can choose to apply your studies while helping others by working on engineering-related projects in the developing world through the Village Aid Project, an all-volunteer program that brings students, faculty, and professionals together to improve the infrastructure in impoverished communities in Latin America and Asia.


Admission Requirements

In addition to our admission standards, you must be prepared to take Calculus I in order to begin the Computer Engineering course of study. If you need additional preparation in math or other topics, those courses are available at FLC.



National starting salary for computer engineers, $72,654. Source: www.payscale.comWe agree: Real-world experience during your time in the Computer Engineering program is essential to the growth and understanding of your skills. That’s why we will assist you in obtaining paid summer employment or internships with relevant employers, as well as summer research experiences here and at other universities.

Once you graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, you’ll be qualified to launch your career in industry or government, or for many related graduate programs.

Computers and the integrated software that go with them are used in a broad range of fields. Our graduates leave FLC with a solid foundational toolset that allows them to go in many different career directions, and the flexibility to move between fields during their careers.

Our Engineering graduates are working with these organizations:

  • Ball Aerospace
  • Bechtolt Engineering
  • CH2M Hill
  • Colorado State Patrol, Division of Accident Reconstruction
  • Forerunner Engineering
  • Goff Engineering
  • Harris Engineering
  • IBM Research Labs
  • Jacobs Engineering
  • Jesuit High School, Denver, CO
  • La Plata County, CO
  • Lockheed Skunkworks
  • Metro State College
  • MKS Instruments
  • New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants, Ltd.
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Oregon Department of Transportation & Geotechnical Engineering
  • Rainbow Research Optics
  • Raytheon Missile Systems
  • Reynolds & Associates
  • Russell Planning & Engineering
  • San Juan College
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Navy
  • WestWater Engineering
  • Wilkerson Corporation
  • W.L. Gore and Associates