St. Mary’s University has established an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering program, which received Southern Association of Colleges and Schools approval this month.
St. Mary’s and UTSA are the only institutions in San Antonio to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. What makes the St. Mary’s offering unique is its Catholic, liberal arts emphasis that educates the whole person.
“I am pleased to see Mechanical Engineering, one of the oldest and most fundamental of engineering disciplines, come to St. Mary’s,” said Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology. “This program will allow us to serve the needs of a broad range of constituencies including the energy, biomedical manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, semiconductor and HVAC sectors that are critical to our region and the nation.”
Jobs for mechanical engineers are expected to increase 9 percent from 2010-2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a jump of 62 percent in biomedical engineering jobs.
Other signature features of the program are a required internship, a senior design project sponsored by industry, and preparation for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam – the first step toward becoming a licensed engineer. Unlike many other institutions, St. Mary’s houses its engineering disciplines in one synergistic department, allowing students and faculty to work together in multidisciplinary teams.
In designing the program, the School of Science, Engineering and Technology consulted with organizations including CPS Energy, Southwest Research Institute, Caterpillar, the National Renewable Energy Lab and the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment to learn what knowledge and skills they expect their employees to possess.
St. Mary’s also offers Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Software Engineering, Engineering Management and Engineering Science programs.
The Mechanical Engineering program is important to achieve the vision for the School of Science, Engineering and Technology and to foster excellence in STEM education – a vital part of the Gateway Strategic Plan, which calls for the University’s increased role as a partner in the region’s bright future, Erevelles said.