The Ohio Northern University T.J. Smull College of Engineering received two awards at the recent Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) national conference in Jacksonville, Fla.

The College of Engineering earned the 2016 KEEN Outstanding Institution Award, and ONU College of Engineering Dean Eric Baumgartner received the 2016 Outstanding Dean Award. KEEN is a network of 29 institutions that is focused on cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset among engineering students.

“We hope that others will be inspired by the entrepreneurial culture created at ONU that prepares engineering graduates for fulfilling lives and productive careers,” Thor S. Misko, program director and team leader of the Kern Family Foundation’s Entrepreneurial Engineering Program, said in announcing the College of Engineering’s award. “ONU continues to lead KEEN in many ways by contributing to the shared mission of transforming the U.S. workforce by instilling the entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students.”

In announcing Baumgartner’s award, Thor said, “We want to acknowledge your exceptional leadership, both at Ohio Northern and with KEEN. We hope that others will be inspired by your successes and your commitment to building a strong network dedicated to instilling the entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students.”

The ONU College of Engineering continues to distinguish itself as one of the finest engineering programs in the nation. In its 2017 Best Colleges rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks the College of Engineering 31st nationally among programs that offer the bachelor’s or master’s as the highest degree. This is the ninth time in the last 10 years that ONU’s College of Engineering has been ranked as a top-50 program. Its graduates are highly regarded, as evidenced by the 97 percent placement rate of its most recent graduating class.

“I am very pleased that the ONU College of Engineering and Dean Eric Baumgartner were chosen for these honors,” ONU President Daniel DiBiasio said. “Eric has provided outstanding leadership to the college, which is well-regarded and well-positioned for continued success. The mission of the College of Engineering aligns perfectly with the KEEN program by encouraging students to think with an entrepreneurial mindset and to solve problems from a variety of perspectives.”

Dean Baumgartner said, “The College of Engineering strives to offer students an especially meaningful educational experience that prepares them to succeed in their careers and create value for the companies and organizations they work for after graduating from ONU. A distinguishing feature of our program is its interdisciplinary focus that teaches our students to think broadly. We stress a well-rounded educational experience in which they develop the strong business, communication and teamwork skills that engineers need to advance in their professional pursuits.”