November 12, 2004 —
The USC Viterbi School of Engineering Distance Education Network (DEN) has added
six new Master of Science degrees this year bringing to 24 the number of programs
available entirely online. DEN now offers more engineering degree programs online
than any other leading research university.
“DEN has experienced exponential growth,” said Kelly Goulis, DEN’s executive
director. “In the past two years, DEN has doubled its degree offerings. As technology
advances in new fields, we continue to provide professional engineers the skill
sets they need to further their career and education.”
Added this year are two M.S. degree programs in Petroleum Engineering, which
involves the technology of economically developing subterranean reservoirs of
oil, gas, steam and hot water. One of the petroleum degrees is in Smart Oilfield
Technologies, a unique program based upon the petroleum industry’s request to
train staff on the operation of smart oilfields.
According to Iraj Ershaghi, director of the Petroleum Engineering Program, “simple,
traditional drill-and-pump methods leave as much as 80 percent of the oil in a
reservoir in the ground. The modern methods we will teach can recover 60 percent
of the in-place hydrocarbons, or even more.”
Other new programs are in Medical Device and Diagnostic Engineering; Biomedical
Engineering (Medical Imaging and Imaging Informatics); Computer-Aided Engineering
and System Safety and Security. This last degree emerged from the new Dept. of
Homeland Security Center of Excellence at USC. It is designed to develop leaders
in industry and government who will be trained to develop and evaluate systems
that protect against natural disasters, accidents, and attacks by terrorists or
“One of the particular emphases of the center will be attacks on infrastructure,
because of their potential not only for loss of life but impact on the economy,”
said Randolph Hall, center co-director, senior associate dean for research and
professor of industrial and systems engineering in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
DEN is also offering an academic certificate in SAP, one of the world’s leading
client/server enterprise application software packages. The objective of the
certification program is to give undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity
to gain knowledge of the SAP R/3 system, currently used in over 19,000 companies
worldwide. SAP is the world’s largest inter-enterprise software company, and
the world’s third-largest overall independent software supplier next to Microsoft
“As technology continues to evolve, knowledge of this widely used system will
enhance careers and education of our students,” said Goulis.
Curriculum for the new program comes from state-of-the-art courses in the School’s
Information Technology Program as well as SAP and is designed to provide professional
engineers and human resources, finance and other business executives with education
in the theory and practice of information technology.