"As a Missouri-based corporation with century-old roots in this state, we are committed to strengthening educational opportunities for Missouri's residents," says Rainwater. "Our goal is to help create a well-educated, experienced class of young professionals who can replace the soon- to-be retired Baby Boom population of highly experienced experts. We support education through a number of programs, and today we are adding to that support with significant funding to enhance the excellent programs of the College of Engineering at Missouri's flagship public campus."
Ameren's contribution will finance equipment for the MU College of Engineering's electrical and computer engineering "capstone" laboratory. Senior engineering students work in teams for nine months on their final "capstone" projects, which involve solving challenging problems and demonstrating their results. This funding will give students and faculty access to specialized and expensive equipment\-like a more powerful spectrum analyzer and hardware and software required for building printed circuit boards. University officials say students need this equipment to build "real- world" projects on a professional level.
"The right equipment and environment are critical in supporting engineering students in building more marketable, professional-caliber products for their capstone projects," says James E. Thompson, dean of the College.
The contribution will be distributed in $200,000 grants over a five-year period. The corporation is among the College's top corporate donors. Since 1982, Ameren has been a strong research partner of the College with research grants totaling more than $1.6 million. Other contributions include gifts for scholarships and teacher workshops. All come from shareholder funds.
With assets of $18 billion, Ameren, through its subsidiaries, serves 2.3 million electric customers and 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000 square- mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
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