Sandra Soto-Cabán to Lead New Engineering Technology Degree
BS in Engineering Technology Launches Autumn 2023 at Ohio State Newark
Veteran educator and program developer Sandra Soto-Cabán, PhD, is leading a new degree program at The Ohio State University at Newark for students seeking in-demand careers in manufacturing. An associate professor of practice in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, she serves as program coordinator for the Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology at the Newark campus. This major is available only on Ohio State’s regional campuses and will be available at Ohio State Newark in autumn 2023.
Soto-Cabán accepted her current role for the challenge. “I’m always drawn to challenges,” she says.
“Starting a new engineering program is exciting and rewarding. You get to see students and their development from beginning to end. The professionals this new program will graduate are critical for this region’s economy. That’s what drives me to this kind of challenge and opportunity.”
She was recruited from Muskingum University, where she was on the founding faculty of the general engineering program and chaired the Physics and Engineering Department. She also taught a wide range of engineering courses for 14 years.
Soto-Cabán says she always wanted to be an engineer. “I decided to go into electrical engineering after watching my brother, an electronics technologist, working with circuits.” An interest in STEM seems to run in the family: her twin sons are both in computer science and her daughter is in medical school.
A native of Puerto Rico, Soto-Cabán received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPR-M). Her PhD, also in electrical engineering is from Michigan State University.
“Women engineers are common in Puerto Rico,” she says. “Mayagüez has a very rigorous five-year engineering school, and it is the one location in the Western world that attracts roughly the same female and male enrollments to any engineering field.
“I’m a strong advocate for women’s participation in STEM. I place value in developing socially engaged engineers. I want students to discover the real impact engineering has on people’s lives. That’s why I’m partnering with local industries and social organizations to develop projects that address the immediate needs of our local community.”
She says the goal of the engineering technology program at Ohio State Newark is to prepare students to excel as the manufacturing leaders of tomorrow. Graduates not only have competency in the use of engineering tools, such as CAD, GD&T and programming languages, but also have knowledge of business management, marketing, quality control product testing, and other aspects of running a business that makes them ready to take on leadership roles right away.
“Ohio State Newark offers students the best of two worlds: The quality of education and resources of a large research university in a small campus environment that allows a more personalized educational approach.”
With her extensive background, a love for education, and an eye toward practicality, Soto-Cabán will continue to help students attain their career goals far into the future.