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Manufacturing and Aeronautical Engineering Technology Department changes focus, name to serve more students


January 12, 2003

Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus's Department of Manufacturing and Aeronautical Engineering Technology has added a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and changed its name to Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology.

The Arizona Board of Regents approved the changes at its September meeting, allowing the College of Technology and Innovation to offer the new degree that retains an aeronautical concentration while adding a concentration in automation.

Dean Albert McHenry stated, "this adjustment in the program offerings and name change will significantly improve our opportunity to serve a larger number of students whose career interests lie in the mechanical design and production process planning and control areas."

The former Aeronautical Engineering Technology degree will no longer be offered to newly admitted students. Current students in the Aeronautical Engineering Technology program can complete their existing degree or switch to the new degree program, where the aeronautical area of study will continue to be available through the aeronautical concentration of the mechanical engineering technology degree.

Scott Danielson, chairman of the department, said the changes give students better career opportunities upon graduation. A degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology opens doors to broader career opportunities than does an Aeronautical Engineering Technology degree, Danielson said.

"Mechanical is a more generic degree in the engineering and engineering technology fields. Students can pick mechanical and go in a lot of different career directions. But for those students interested in aeronautical engineering, we still offer all the aero-specific content of the old aeronautical engineering technology degree."

Danielson said the department's industry advisory board helped the department make the switch by suggesting and validating the change.

A new automation concentration focuses on assembly and process automation, Danielson said. Graduates would work for companies that design and build automation equipment.

For example, the automation concentration students could plan, design and build material handling systems and work stations to support the manufacture of semiconductor wafers, chips and boards.

To date, the degree change requires the addition of one new course, Automation Systems Integration, to support the automation concentration.

Changes do not affect the Manufacturing Engineering Technology or master's of science degree programs offered by the department.