SRU earns State System approval for pair of engineering degrees


Cad drawing on a computer

Oct. 19, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - And then there were four. Slippery Rock University has received approval from Daniel Greenstein, chancellor of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, to begin offering bachelor's degrees in mechanical and civil engineering effective fall 2019. The approval doubles the number of engineering degrees the University offers.

SRU currently offers two bachelor's level engineering programs, one in petroleum & natural gas and one in industrial and systems engineering; as well as a cooperative pre-engineering program with students transferring to other institutions to complete their last two years.

The bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering will be primarily concerned with the design, testing and manufacturing of various devices, tools, engines, machines, electromechanical units and systems. The curriculum will require students to apply principles of engineering, basic science and mathematics; to model, analyze, design, and realize physical systems, components or processes; and to work professionally in either thermal or mechanical systems while requiring topics in each area. Students will be trained in problem-solving skills, math skills, creative design, leadership skills and communication skills. A senior year capstone design course will integrate all aspects of learning in team-based design projects assisted by professional engineers in the field.

"The program will have three focused areas of mechanical engineering, specifically mechanical design, manufacturing and mechatronics," said Athula Herat, associate professor of physics and engineering. "The curriculum is designed to provide students with knowledge and professional skills, thereby enabling potential graduates to successfully practice engineering as mechanical engineers for a wide variety of careers in various industries."

Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 data, mechanical engineering offers the second largest number of jobs in all engineering occupations. The Bureau projects that jobs for mechanical engineers will increase by 9 percent by 2026, indicating strong existing and continued demand for graduates.

"Mechanical engineers are typically employed in private sectors ranging from manufacturing, automotive industry, power and energy industry, HVAC, medical and electronic sectors, and design and consulting firms," said Herat. "Mechanical engineers are playing an increasingly important role in keeping the 21st century life of the public and maintaining the competitiveness of our nation in the global economy in the age of automation."

The bachelor's degree in civil engineering will produce students who can:

• Develop expertise in fundamental theory, analysis and civil engineering design through the role of effective project managers or technical team leaders, to serve the needs of society and the profession.
• Provide leadership in developing comprehensive solutions to complex engineering problems from concept to completion within health and safety constraints.
• Grow professionally and ethically throughout their careers through professional licensure, certifications, continuing professional education, and lifelong learning.

Effectively communicate complex engineering concepts and solutions to diverse audiences.

"Civil engineering coursework is primarily concerned with the design, building and maintenance of construction projects and systems including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges and systems for water supply and sewage treatment," said Steven Wei, professor of physics and engineering."

The program will have three focused areas of civil engineering, specifically structural engineering, environmental engineering and transportation engineering.

"The program is a natural addition to the suite of engineering programs SRU already houses, which would result in synergy among programs and potential cost savings in curriculums, faculty and facilities," said Wei.

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