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Four earn online Aquatic Engineering degree from Keiser University

It is now possible to obtain an online university degree in Aquatic Engineering.  In its eighth year, the two-year online degree program covers subjects such as water hydraulics, electrical systems, chemistry, structure design and facility management. 

The scope and success of the program is due in large part to the efforts of Keiser Professor and Department Chair, Connie Centrella. 

“The degree raises the level of professionalism for our industry,” Centrella said.

This summer, the university conferred the Associate of Science in Aquatic Engineering Degree on four graduates:  Wendy Purser, Martha Galan, Terence Lei and Cynthia Burdett. 

The students arrived at the program with widely different levels of prior experience in the industry as well as different goals and expectations that they hoped to attain from the program.

Purser is the owner of Hampstead Pool, Spa and Patio in North Carolina.  She enrolled in the program to achieve her lifelong goal of a degree.  Like many pool professionals, she entered the industry while still in high school.  Purser believes that she has learned a great deal about pools and other subjects that directly affect her career.

“What I find so valuable is that the knowledge I am gaining is not manufacturer-based but real scientific facts,” she said. “It has opened my scope of understanding pool related issues such as aquatic facility management, design, equipment and chemical theory.”

Galan enrolled in the program to help facilitate her plan to one day own a contemporary swimming pool design and construction business.  She enjoyed the program for the schedule flexibility as well as the instruction.

“The professor was very friendly, extremely knowledgeable and field experienced in the area of study,” she said.

To achieve her ultimate goal, Galan will continue her studies at the University of Central Florida in construction engineering.

Lei took his courses from his home Singapore.  He was encouraged to enroll at Keiser by his supervisor at Weei Ta Engineering, a company that specializes in all aspects of water treatment and features, where Terence worked as a project engineer. 

“The program opens the door to a great many opportunities — to meet industry professionals from all over the world, seeking to expand and grow, to share not only knowledge, but professional networks,” he said.

Burdett has worked as an aquatic engineer for 14 years.  She entered the program to learn more about aquatic management and believes that she succeeded. 

She was subsequently hired by D2 Marine Solutions only 2 months following her graduation. 

Burdett now performs water quality management on cruise ships, currently focusing on the Princess Cruise line, while travelling around the world.

“My added degree definitely helped in acquiring the position,” she said.

Centrella has a Master’s of Business Administration and serves as professor and chair for the online Aquatic Engineering Degree Program at the Keiser University eCampus.  She is a five-time recipient of the Evelyn C. Keiser Teaching Excellence Award “Instructor of Distinction.”  She is also a well-known industry veteran with more than 40 years’ experience in the pool and spa industry. 

The program is fueled by Centrella’s passion for teaching as well as her firm belief that “higher education is the wave we all need to ride to fill the pool of educated talent if we intend to grow our industry.”

Keiser University, based out of Fort Lauderdale, with 14 campuses throughout Florida, is an accredited university that awards degrees at the associate baccalaureate, masters and doctoral levels.

Offered exclusively online, the Aquatic Engineering Degree is a 60-semester hour program whose completion results in an Associate of Science Degree.

The program encourages students to broaden their knowledge of all aspects of swimming pool and spa operation and management. 

Because it is offered online, the program is available to the national and international community of pool and spa professionals, as well as those seeking employment in the industry.  The online format also enables schedule flexibility and increases access to those currently employed.

For more information about the Aquatic Engineering Degree at Keiser University, visit, and click on online education, or call 866-534-7371, or email    

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