Florida Institute of Technology
|Motto||Ad Astra Per Scientiam
"To the stars through science."
|Established||September 22, 1958|
|President||T. Dwayne McCay|
|Location||Melbourne, Florida, U.S.
130 acres (.53 km²)
|Colors||Crimson and Gray
|Mascot||Pete the Panther|
|NCAA Division II
The Florida Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Florida Tech and FIT) is a private doctoral/research university in Melbourne, Florida. Florida Tech has seven main academic divisions with emphases on science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and aviation. The university's 130-acre primary residential campus is located near the Melbourne International Airport and the Florida Tech Research Park. It is about 50 miles (80 km) from the Kennedy Space Center and 75 miles (121 km) from Orlando.
The university was founded in at the dawn of the Space Race in 1958 as Brevard Engineering College to support NASA and has been known by its present name since 1966. Florida Tech is the only independent, technological university in the Southeast and considered one of the Top Tier 1 schools for Aueronautics, Astronomy, Engineering, and Sciences.  In 2013, Florida Tech had an on-campus student body of 4,633, almost equally divided between graduate- and undergraduate-level students with the majority of them focusing their studies on engineering and the sciences.
- 1 History
- 2 Campus
- 3 Academics
- 4 Athletics
- 5 Student life
- 6 Administration
- 7 Notable people
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Florida Institute of Technology was founded as Brevard Engineering College to Support NASA by Dr. Jerome P. Keuper in 1958. Classes were originally held at the Melbourne Municipal Airport in buildings formerly used by the Naval Air Station Melbourne. They were also one of the first known colleges to have a Rocket propulsion class.  In 1961, the university moved its location to Melbourne, Florida. During the 1960s additional classroom and laboratory buildings, a library, the Denius Student Center, Hedgecock Gymnasium, Gleason Auditorium and several dormitories were constructed. The university was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1964 and officially changed its name to Florida Institute of Technology in 1966. Also in 1966, Dr. Jack Morelock founded the Department of Oceanography. In 1967 The School of Aueronautics was created. Defense scientist and NASA would meet with students recruiting for the space program. In 1969 the Panther Battalion Army ROTC program was formed.
The Evans Library was completed in the early 1984. The following year the original library was renovated and dedicated as the Jerome P. Keuper Administration Building. In 1988, the Homer R. Denius Student Center was renovated, the student plaza completed, and the applied research laboratory building acquired. The Claude Pepper Institute for Aging and Therapeutic Research and Skurla Hall, home of the School of Aeronautics, opened in 1990. In 1997, the university received a $50 million grant from the F. W. Olin Foundation. An engineering building and life sciences building were opened in 1999 in result of the grant.
Seven new residence halls were completed in 2003. Each resident hall was named after one of the seven fallen astronauts of the Shuttle Columbia disaster and dedicated to their memory.In 2004, Florida Tech obtained National Science Foundation (NSF) funding to build a 32-inch telescope atop the newly completed F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center. However, Melbourne Beach resident Jim Ortega, who had retired from the University of Virginia to Florida in 1998, stepped forward with the additional funds needed to secure a 32-inch telescope. Naming the Telescope after him the Ortega Telescope. In 2005, the F. W. Olin Physical Sciences Center opened. Construction on the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at Melbourne International Airport began in 2008. The following year, the College of Business became the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, and the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at the Melbourne International Airport, the Scott Center for Autism Treatment, the Harris Center for Science and Engineering and the Harris Institute for Information Assurance were opened. November 20, 2015, marked the unveiling of the Harris Student Design Center, a 11,500 square foot building on the south side of campus. This facility provides space for students completing design projects. In 2016, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID) and the Larsen Motorsports High Performance Vehicles & Research Development Center opened at the Research and Development Center on Palm Bay Road.
The university established its football program in 2010. The Panther Aquatic Center was opened a year later. In 2011, the university partnered with the Brevard Art Museum and established it as the Foosaner Art Museum.
Jensen Beach Campus
Florida Institute of Technology's Jensen Beach Campus, also known as School of Marine and Environmental Technology or (SOMET), was a specialized branch campus located on the former campus of Saint Joseph College of Florida on the Indian River Lagoon in Jensen Beach, Florida, approximately 50 miles south of the university's main campus. The campus attracted oceanography, underwater technology and other assorted marine biology students. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had more officers that are graduates of FIT in Jensen Beach than from any other campus or college in the country. The SOMET was transferred to the main campus and became the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences (DMES). The campus closed after the transition in 1986. In 2016, DMES was renamed Department of Ocean Engineering and Sciences (DOES) to communicate the department's focus.
The university's 130-acre main campus is located in Melbourne, Florida, on what is known as the Space Coast region along the Atlantic Ocean. The university offers many student services including tutoring, health services, health insurance, and campus safety. Florida Tech has six residence halls and three apartment style accommodations for on-campus living.
Florida Tech offers specialized graduate degree programs through sites in Huntsville, Alabama, Fort Eustis, Virginia, Fort Lee, Virginia, Alexandria, Virginia, Quantico, Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia, Dover, New Jersey, Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, Lexington Park, Maryland, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Kennedy Space Center, Rockledge, Florida, Melbourne, Florida and Orlando, Florida.
In fall 2016, Florida Tech enrolled 5,028 students at the main campus; 1,423 at off-campus locations; and 2,774 online for a total of 9,225 students. The male to female ratio in the student body was 71:29. 66% of all students came from the United States, 33% of students were from Florida and 34% of all students came from other countries. In 2016, the average combined verbal and math SAT score of incoming freshmen at the undergraduate level of Florida Tech was 1190.
|College of Engineering||55.34%|
|College of Science||15.07%|
|College of Aeronautics||8.42%|
|College of Business||10.28%|
|College of Psychology and Liberal Arts||9.68%|
|No College Designated||1.22%|
The university offers degrees in a wide variety of science and engineering disciplines and is one of the few universities to offer aviation degrees. Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The Engineering programs are also accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The Computer Science program is accredited by the Computer Science Accreditation Commission of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board. Florida Tech's chemistry program is accredited by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society. Aeronautical Science and Aviation Management programs are accredited by the Council on Aviation Accreditation. The Clinical Psychology PsyD program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and the graduate Behavior Analysis programs by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). School of Human-Centered Design Innovation and Art, was established in August 2015 largely due to the success of the Human-Centered Design research institute. As did the institute’s transversal interdisciplinary culture the school provides students with system architecture skills in any discipline and topic with an emphasis on human-systems integration in life-critical environments. In 2016, FIT added the School of Computing to focus of programs in computer information systems, computer science, cybersecurity, data sciences, and software engineering. The university is divided into seven academic units: College of Aeronautics, College of Engineering, Nathan Bisk College of Business, College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, College of Science, School of Human Centered Design Innovation and Art, and the School of Computing.
|U.S. News & World Report||171|
Times Higher Education ranks Florida Tech as one of the top 800 universities in the world and 219th in the U.S. U.S. News & World Report classifies Florida Tech a tier-one national university, ranking it 171st among national universities.
PayScale rates Florida Tech highly in return on investment (ROI), ranking it first in Florida and 53rd in the U.S., with a 20-year net return of $620,000 on average. In 2012, Bloomberg rated Florida Tech as the best Florida college in ROI, using their own methodology and data from PayScale. The Brookings Institution ranked Florida Tech first in Florida and 94th nationally for alumni earnings in 2015, also using data from PayScale. CollegeNET and PayScale ranked Florida Tech 450th out of 918 colleges for enabling social mobility in 2016.
In 2017, Niche ranked FIT 168th out of 1,647 colleges after surveying students and recent alumni about their experiences on and off campus. The university received A's in the areas of academics, value, professors, diversity, and safety.
Barron's ranks Florida Tech a "best buy" in college education. Florida Tech is also listed as a top technical institution in the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Florida Tech was named by Times Higher Education as one of the top universities in the United States for graduate employability in 2016.
In 2015, Florida Tech was awarded $14.3 million in external research funding. From 2009 to 2012, the number of Florida Tech faculty who serve as principal investigators increased by 100% including four recipients of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Awards. During this time period, five new interdisciplinary research institutes were initiated that are the focal point for Florida Tech undergraduate and graduate research. These new research university institutes include the Indian River Lagoon Research Institute, Human-Centered Design Institute, Institute for Energy Systems, Institute for Marine Research, Institute for Materials Science & Nanotechnology and Institute for Research on Global Climate Change. Other research facilities include the Harris Institute for Assured Information, Institute for Computing and Information Systems, National Center for Hydrogen Research, Institute for Biological and Biomedical Sciences and the National Center for Small Business Information.
In the college of engineering, the faculty performs research as part of numerous departmental laboratories and research groups. These include Robotics and Spatial Systems; Laser, Optics, and Instrumentation Laboratory; Wind and Hurricane Impact Research Laboratory; Wireless Center of Excellence; Information Characterization and Exploitation Laboratory; BioComplex Laboratory; Computer Vision Group; Laboratory for Learning Research; Software Evolution Laboratory; Center for Software Testing Research; and others.
Faculty and students in the Physics/Space Science department conduct research in Astronomy and Astrophysics, High Energy Physics (experimental particle physics), Lightning, Solid State and Condensed Matter Physics, and Space and Magnetospheric Physics.
Florida Tech's athletic teams are known as the Panthers. The school fields 22 sports, 11 each for men and women, at the NCAA Division II level and is a member of the Sunshine State Conference. The sports include: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's crew, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's golf, men's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming & diving, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track & field, and women's volleyball. The university added the men's and women's track & field team to the athletics program in spring 2011. The men's and women's swimming & diving teams were added in fall 2011 and men's lacrosse in Spring 2012. In 2010, the university announced plans to create a football program that held its inaugural season in 2013, and went on to win its first game, its first homecoming game and its first bowl game. The football team plays in the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference as an affiliate member. In 2015, Florida Tech Track joined the Peach Belt Conference as associate members.
Florida Tech won the NCAA Division II National Championship in Men's soccer in 1988 and 1991.
Florida Tech's Daniela Iacobelli won the National NCAA Division II Woman's Golf Championship in 2007.
Florida Tech has six traditional residence halls, an eight-building Southgate Apartments complex, the seven-building Columbia Village suites and the three-building Harris Village suites.
Florida Tech runs apartment-style housing options located near campus at Mary Star of the Sea - Newman Hall and Panther Bay Apartments.
Florida Institute of Technology has 132 active student organizations on campus. The university-sponsored student organizations, such as Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board, the Homecoming Committee, FITV (CCTV Channel 99 on campus), and The Crimson (student-run university newspaper) operate in primary university funding. Some organizations are run by membership dues, such as the many fraternities and sororities on campus, as well as certain professional organizations like American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), IEEE and AIAA. Other organizations are operated via Student Activities Funding Committee funding, overseen by the Student Government Association Treasurer. Organizations like Residence Hall Association, ACM, Anime Club, and others are operated by SAFC funding. Arts, media, and performance organizations include: Amateur Radio Club, Belletrist, College Players, Dance Association, Film Society, FITV, Florida Tech Pep Band, The Crimson and WFIT.
Students at Florida Tech have the opportunity to participate in a number of club and intramural sports in addition to the varsity athletics programs. The university offers intramural sports Flag Football, Ultimate Frisbee, martial arts, paintball, Disc Golf and Judo. Sport clubs include ice hockey, soccer, table tennis, Collegiate wrestling and baseball. The Florida Tech ice hockey program is a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, playing at that organization's Division 3 level. The Florida Tech ice hockey program is a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, playing at that organization's Division 3 level.
Florida Tech has a number of Greek life opportunities for students. The university's fraternities include Alpha Tau Omega, Lambda Chi Alpha, Chi Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Lambda Phi, Sigma Tau Gamma and Tau Kappa Epsilon. Its sororities include Alpha Phi, Gamma Phi Beta and Phi Sigma Sigma. Florida Tech also has a chapter of Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity. Squamish, a co-ed fraternal organization, also exists on campus, although it is not Greek life affiliated.
The university offers a number of national and international Honor Societies including the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, Chi Epsilon a Civil Engineering Students honor society, Delta Mu Delta business honor society, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society for freshman class academic achievement, Phi Kappa Phi general academic honor society, Psi Chi honor society of psychology, Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society and Upsilon Pi Epsilon computing and information systems honor society.
The university publishes the Florida Tech Crimson, student published newspaper and the International Journal of Aviation Sciences, an on-line publication launched in 2016 by the College of Aeronautics.
Events and conferences
- The Bisk College of Business hosts the annual Business Ethics Conference with presenters from academia and business.
- The Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network Innovative Challenges offers a weekly engineering design competition.
On 1 July 2016, T. Dwayne McCay assumed role as President.
- Anthony J. Catanese, 2002-2016
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- John E. Miller, 1986-1987
- Jerome P. Keuper, 1958-1986
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