Bachelor's Degree Program Earns Accreditation


The bachelor’s degree program in mechanical engineering has earned accreditation from ABET, the recognized accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

"ABET accreditation is particularly important for mechanical engineering, where licensure as a professional engineer is often a legal requirement to practice engineering, and where graduation from an ABET-accredited engineering program is a requirement for licensure," said President David E. Daniel. "The ABET process ensures that students not only possess the technical knowledge necessary for engineering practice, but that they also understand the design process and are well versed on professional ethics. As a licensed professional engineer myself, I especially appreciate the significance of this achievement for our Mechanical Engineering Department. I offer my sincere congratulations to our students, faculty, and academic leaders on this achievement."

Accreditation is a significant marker of the program’s evolution. The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science began the mechanical engineering bachelor of science degree program in 2008 and the first undergraduate students earned degrees in May 2012. That graduation drove the final phase of the accreditation process, which involved evaluation of the program on educational objectives and student outcomes, curricula, faculty, facilities and institutional support, among other areas. The accreditation process also means that program leaders will continue to assess its success and implement changes based on those results.

"Building a quality program in mechanical engineering is an important imperative in our strategic vision and one of my highest priorities since becoming dean,” said Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Jonsson School since 2008 and holder of the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering and the Excellence in Education Chair. “ABET accreditation signifies that, as expected, our team of foresighted Jonsson School leadership, industrial advisors, dedicated faculty and exceptional students have achieved that goal and will continue to seek the utmost standards in education."

The first students in the undergraduate degree program graduated in May 2012. Their graduation drove the final phase of the accreditation process.

Employers and graduate schools seek engineering graduates from ABET-accredited programs, said Dr. Mario A. Rotea, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

"ABET accreditation is a certificate of program quality and relevancy, acknowledgement of what we already know - that our degree program is one of excellence,” said Dr. Rotea, holder of the Erik Jonsson Chair. “This certificate demonstrates that our program prepares students to continue their pursuit of excellence, whether in the global workforce or through the pursuit of advanced degrees."

More than 450 students are enrolled in the undergraduate program, which is taught by faculty members with relevant industry experience and innovative research programs. The undergraduate program also has significant industry participation in terms of capstone design projects and internships.

The ABET accreditation of the bachelor of science degree program in mechanical engineering extends retroactively to Oct. 1, 2011, so all alumni receive the benefit of this accreditation.

ABET is a not-for-profit organization, owned and operated by its more than 30 professional and technical member societies. An internationally respected organization with more than 2,000 volunteers, ABET has set the educational standards in its fields for nearly 80 years.