Engineering technology degree will fill needs for manufacturers, students
A new bachelor’s degree program will be offered at The Ohio State University at Lima that will meet the needs of the state’s manufacturing sector by preparing graduates with the skills needed to run the factories of tomorrow.
In partnership with the College of Engineering, the bachelor of science in engineering technology with a concentration in manufacturing will be offered beginning in autumn 2020 at the Lima, Marion and Mansfield campuses.
The degree program is designed to produce highly skilled college graduates with broad training in manufacturing engineering technology who are prepared for plant management roles. A resurgence of manufacturing, Ohio’s largest economic sector, has increased demand for college graduates with this combination of skills. Additional concentrations within the major may be added later.
Mark Haushalter, vice president for engineering and manufacturing at Robinson Fin Machines in Kenton and a board member at Ohio State Lima, knows the graduates of the program will be in demand.
“There’s a great need for engineers–to replace retiring baby-boomer engineers and to supply the ever-growing STEM field. It’s exciting to educate and train our engineers right here in a region where so many manufacturing facilities hire engineers,” Haushalter said. “Bringing a field of such breadth and depth–and great need–to Ohio State Lima will offer our students an affordable path to a very versatile and hirable degree program.”
Engineering faculty conducted extensive research of the Ohio manufacturing industry, visiting plants and seeking engineers’ input as they designed project-based coursework emphasizing hands-on skills and technological know-how in mechanical and electrical processes, industrial robotics, and project and change management.
The Ohio Manufacturing Institute at Ohio State also engaged industry focus groups across the state and analyzed federal data to determine the characteristics needed to become an engineering technologist in today’s manufacturing environment, said OMI Executive Director Kathryn Kelley.
“Our conversations with manufacturers and the Ohio Manufacturers Association gravitated to a consensus,” she said. “They want and need these graduates.”
The degree program will expose students to a variety of engineering technology fields and provide training in systems-based thinking and problem solving, proficiency in professional communication and business terminology, and continuous improvement.
Haushalter hopes that local manufacturers will make use of not just the opportunities to hire graduates, but also the chance to bring students in as undergraduate interns and to build a pipeline to a strong, stable workforce.
“Ideally, manufacturers would take advantage of the real-time supply of students interested in engineering by providing internships to students that would lead to full-time careers with manufacturers in the area,” Haushalter said. “Manufacturers in this area can offer amazing opportunities for our students right here at home.”
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Students interested in learning more about the bachelor of science in engineering technology can visit majors.osu.edu.