YPSILANTI – Students at Eastern Michigan University will be able to earn a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering beginning next fall under a new academic program approved by the Board of Regents today.
The new B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, to be housed in the EMU College of Technology, will prepare students for productive and fulfilling careers as licensed professional engineers, with an emphasis on design and materials.
Graduates will pursue careers in engineering design, analysis, development, research and the production of a variety of products. They will work in myriad industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical devices, defense and robotics.
Program to develop today’s soft skills
Importantly, the program will also prepare graduates for today’s professional engineering environment by developing desired soft skills such as collaboration and internal and external communication, taking criticism, flexibility and working under pressure.
The new program helps fulfill a continuing need for mechanical engineers locally and nationally. Michigan has the most mechanical jobs of any state in the U.S, according to Pure Michigan Talent Connect and State Department of Labor statistics.
There are more than 238,000 mechanical engineers employed in the United States, with a 9 percent growth forecast for the profession from 2010 to 2020, according to the US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, noting that the total of engineers is projected to reach 264,600 within the next three years.
Responding to the state and student demand
"This program is a direct response to employers and state needs, as well as student requests,” said Mohamad Qatu, dean of the College of Technology. “This program enhances the readiness of the College of Technology in responding to community needs, and will attract high-caliber students. It will bring more employment opportunities to our graduates and research opportunities to campus.”
After completing general math and science requirements, students will take courses that involve engineering materials, solid mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer and manufacturing processes to evaluate and synthesize thermal systems.
Students will also study engineering design theories and acquire a variety of design experience, along with conducting lab experiments and using computer-aided engineering tools.
Solving tomorrow’s problems
The new program will culminate with a capstone design project requiring students to solve problems supplied by real-world customers.
The new program is in addition to the well-established Mechanical Engineering Technology major at Eastern. That program focuses on application and implantation, while mechanical engineering programs focus more on theory and conceptual design.
“Broadly speaking, the technical integration of modern society and our economy continues to rapidly accelerate, which reinforces the importance of a STEM-based education and engineering research,” Qatu said. “Students who complete this program will be prepared to solve tomorrow’s engineering problems.”
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.