The state will soon have more doctoral graduates from Louisiana Tech to help boost economic development.

The university has been approved to establish two cyberspace tracks for two Ph.D. programs: the Ph.D. in engineering and the Ph.D. in computational analysis and modeling. Also, a new doctorate program in industrial and organizational psychology has been added.

‘This fits in well with our economic development plans,’ said Tech President Dan Reneau. ‘I think this is a wonderful addition for the direction our university is moving. It enhances our doctoral and research capabilities and will provide opportunities for very bright students and future career successes.’

President Dan Reneau

Dr. Stan Napper, dean of the College of Engineering and Science, said this is just one way Tech is demonstrating its willingness to meet the needs of the state.

‘Cyberspace affects the whole state, particularly northwest Louisiana, and Tech is meeting the need in that area,’ Napper said. ‘These new tracks help us support our Cyber Innovation Center as well as the Cyberspace Command (at Barksdale Air Force Base).’

Students are already interested in the two tracks, Napper said.

Dr. Stan Napper

‘We have Ph.D. students doing research and taking courses already related to cyberspace,’ he said, adding that the tracks would assist in the graduates’ job search, particularly for those who want to work for the military or a defense contractor. ‘Cyberspace includes computer security and network security, but it goes beyond that – engineering technology, electromagnetic capabilities and hardware are associated with fighting in cyberspace.’

Napper also said this brings the total number of tracks for COES doctoral degrees to four with the other three being micromanufacturing and nanosystems engineering, trenchless technology, and engineering physics.

‘This allows us to have Ph.D. tracks associated with all of our major research centers in the College of Engineering and Science,’ Napper said.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Kenneth Rea said the tracks and the new industrial and organizational psychology degree are consistent with Tech’s reclassification by the Southern Regional Education Board as a Doctoral II research university in December 2006.

‘The cyberspace tracks fit so well with what we’re doing here,’ Rea said. ‘The tracks and new Ph.D. program reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the university.’

Dr. Kenneth Rea

A review team came to Tech earlier in the year and fully supported the university’s proposal to create the industrial and organizational psychology Ph.D. program. The committee — which included Dr. Harold Goldberg of City University of New York, Bernard Baruch College; Dr. Roya Ayman, University of Iowa; and Dr. William Sauser, Auburn University — reported that there is a ‘strong need for such a program in the state given the trends in the world of business toward a focus on strategic human resources