Maine College of Engineering and Computing celebrating one year of success

The Maine College of Engineering and Computing (MCEC), an innovative institution under the UMS TRANSFORMS Initiative, celebrated its first year of successful operation on April 1. MCEC, established through a generous $75 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation, has emerged as a beacon of modern education, addressing the evolving needs of Maine’s workforce and economy.

“We are advancing cutting-edge engineering and computing innovation and technology,” said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, University of Maine President and University of Maine System Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation. “The Maine College of Engineering and Computing is poised to support the demand for thousands of new engineering and computing graduates who will continue to push the boundaries of research and innovation in the state of Maine and beyond.”

MCEC provides a statewide hub for engineering and computing disciplines across the state. Building on a close partnership with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UMaine and the Department of Engineering at USM, MCEC has seen a growth in total enrollment of 3% between Fall 2022 and Fall 2023, and a growth in master’s and doctoral enrollment of nearly 10%. At UMaine, the enrollment in mechanical engineering is the largest among the majors across the University of Maine System. The Data Science and Engineering program (MS), which includes courses from UMaine, USM, and University of Maine at Augusta, has grown nearly 300% in only 2 years. The Surveying Engineering Technology Program is among the top 2 in the nation. New academic programs were established, such as the Industrial Engineering program at USM (BS), the concentration in Offshore Wind (an undergraduate concentration in Mechanical Engineering), and the graduate program in Surveying Engineering Technology at UMaine, broadening the opportunities for workforce development.

“We have made tremendous progress in fostering collaboration across our universities and programs,” said Jacqueline Edmondson, University of Southern Maine President.  “I am proud of the efforts of our faculty and I fully expect we will see even more innovation in the years ahead as these relationships develop further, the programs grow and more opportunities arise.”

Leading the college is Giovanna Guidoboni, dean of MCEC, with colleagues who are collaborating on steering the college towards excellence in education and innovation. By bringing together the fields of computing and engineering, the college is providing a holistic approach to preparing students for the demands of today’s job market.

“It’s amazing what we have achieved in just one year. We have launched new programs and concentrations that broaden learning opportunities across the System,” said Guidoboni. “We have developed innovative programs to reach younger students in area K-12 schools, helping them to explore opportunities at MCEC.  We have also forged important partnerships with industry leaders that can have positive impacts on communities around our state and beyond.  I am very proud to be part of the Maine College of Engineering and Computing.”

Recognizing the critical importance of a skilled workforce in driving Maine’s economy forward, the Maine College of Engineering and Computing equips students with the knowledge, skills and mindset needed to thrive in an ever-changing world. Through a blend of rigorous academics, hands-on learning experiences and a focus on lifelong learning, the college is empowering students to become catalysts for innovation and progress.

In its first year, the college has made great strides as a statewide integrated solution for delivering the technical workforce and innovation critical to moving Maine’s economy forward. 

“MCEC exemplifies the adage that together we get further. Through MCEC, students, educators and researchers across Maine will have new opportunities and the ability to thrive,” said Jeremy Qualls, dean of the College of Science, Technology and Health at the University of Southern Maine. “USM’s engineering programs and the new Michael E. Dubyak Center for Digital Science and Innovation look forward to being active partners in this new collaborative community.”

The establishment of a system-wide UMS Council, and the collaboration between UMaine and USM, are doors for new educational opportunities in emerging fields such as AI, renewable energy, advanced materials, biomedical and industrial engineering.

Through articulation agreements with community colleges, MCEC is expanding access to engineering and computing education, creating seamless pathways for students to pursue their academic and career goals.

The MCEC’s commitment to merging the engineering and computing disciplines is evidenced by an array of interdisciplinary student projects started in its first year. 

“MCEC has already begun to fulfill its potential,” said Emily Haddad, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Maine. “By bringing together expertise from across the University of Maine System, we are creating more opportunities for learning and research.” 

By fostering collaboration among students, faculty and industry partners, the college is not only preparing students for successful careers but also contributing to the advancement of the state’s economy.

Contact: Chris Karlen,