Datacenter Systems Engineering Symposium


The SMU Lyle School of Engineering has announced it will offer courses for a Master of Science in Datacenter Systems Engineering beginning Fall 2014. With the development of this new graduate degree, SMU-Lyle is positioned to be the educational leader in this rapidly evolving multidisciplinary field. Currently 70% of individuals actively working in the datacenter industry hold a bachelor’s degree or higher; however, none features a specialization track in facilities infrastructure, data engineering and analytics, or computer infrastructure network requiring virtualization, security, and cloud computing capabilities. The broad spectrum covered by this program will pave the way for professionals to further their career and to make a difference in this increasingly complex industry.


Synergizing its program launch with recommendations from a dynamic Board of Advisors , SMU-Lyle hosted a Datacenter Systems Engineering Symposium on May 5, 2014 and invited industry leaders to participate in a panel discussion on “Opportunities for Datacenters: Data Management, Facilities and Reliability, Security, Energy and Workforce Requirements.” Jim Sargent, executive director of AMS Services at Hewlett Packard and chair of the Datacenter Systems Engineering (DSE) Advisory Board at SMU moderated the discussion. Panelists included Chris Crosby, chief executive officer of Compass Datacenters and vice chair of the DSE Advisory Board; Peter Gross, vice president for mission critical systems at Bloom Energy; Ron Mann, senior director pf datacenter infrastructure at Hewlett Packard; Michael Manos, chief technology officer at First Data; and Eric Wells, vice president of technology at Fidelity Investments.


Attendees engaged the panelists with many questions about industry’s needs, praising SMU-Lyle for leading the way to prepare competent data systems engineering professionals. Michael Manos believes that this program is building the foundation for what the industry will become in the future, commenting that “SMU-Lyle graduates of this program have an opportunity to be conduits of communication for the datacenter industry.”


Chris Crosby noted that “business needs and civil engineering are horribly neglected in datacenter systems engineering; but with this program, SMU and the Lyle School have both components available to students, putting SMU ahead of the curve. DFW is a hub for the datacenter industry and SMU-Lyle is uniquely positioned to lead the way in training students for the industry.”


The symposium offered attendees an inside look at the program which will launch in the fall and discussed ways in which the curriculum will work to fill a critical gap in educating the future leaders desperately needed as this field continues growing. More information about SMU’s Master of Science in Datacenter Systems Engineering is available at or by contacting the Lyle Graduate Programs Office at 214-768-2002.


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