The Faculty of Engineering at Stellenbosch University (SU) will introduce a new BEng degree in Data Engineering from February 2020.
This degree will be a new specialisation stream in the faculty’s existing undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
The purpose of this new specialisation in Data Engineering is to prepare the university’s students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where the world of work has fundamentally changed and there is a deluge of data that needs to be structured, modelled and analysed to enable data-led organisations to discover underlying knowledge and make well-informed decisions, the faculty said in a statement.
Prospective students interested in pursuing a career in data engineering are encouraged to apply on the university’s website, before June 30 to be considered for admission into the BEng (Electrical and Electronic) Data Engineering specialisation in 2020.
Late applications will be considered, but their admission will be subject to the availability of places.
This initiative supports the soon to be established School for Data Science and Computational Thinking at SU.
“The school will work across all our faculties in an interdisciplinary way and will span the entire academic project, from under- and postgraduate training to research and specialist consultation,” SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers said.
“The Faculty of Engineering will play a key role in the new school because it has always been future focused with cutting-edge research,” he added.
From the first year of study, the Data Engineering specialisation is built on the solid foundation of mathematics, statistics, computer science and artificial intelligence.
The specialisation also introduces new undergraduate modules in Data Engineering that cover topics such as Big Data Platforms, Probabilistic Graphical Models for Machine Learning and Fundamentals of Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
Students will develop the engineering skills to create mathematical, physical and statistical models of real-world systems, including data systems.
Upon obtaining the qualification, SU’s new data engineers will be able to integrate these knowledge areas to critically analyse complex systems to engineer innovative solutions to real-world problems to effect fundamental societal impact.
This will be demonstrated by students successfully completing a capstone project related to data engineering in their final year of study.
The introduction of the new specialisation adds to the engineering faculty’s introduction of data science into all its existing BEng programmes, whereby all BEng graduates will be exposed to the development of data analytics and expert systems.
The existing programmes and specialisations will have a limited exposure, but the new specialisation in data engineering will go in depth into the mathematical and statistical fundamentals of data science.