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New Mechanical Engineering Program Approved

October 25, 2018

Angelo State University’s new Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.) degree program received final approval today (Oct. 25) from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in Austin.

ASU Hunter Strain Engineering Labs FacilityASU Hunter Strain Engineering Labs FacilityWith final approval now in hand, ASU’s David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering will officially open the B.S.M.E. program for the fall 2019 semester. Two mechanical engineering faculty members have already been hired, and about 30 freshman and sophomore engineering students have already indicated interest in the new program. The first graduating class of mechanical engineers is expected following the spring 2019 semester.

Dr. William KitchDr. William Kitch“This is a major milestone in our goal of making ASU a premier destination for undergraduate engineering in Texas,” said Dr. William Kitch, chair of the Engineering Department. “We lose engineering students each year because they transfer to other universities with mechanical engineering programs. There are also many more students interested in mechanical engineering who we haven’t been able to recruit. This new program will allow us to better retain our current students and recruit even more students into ASU’s growing engineering program.”

The process for implementing the B.S.M.E. program began in September 2017 when ASU was awarded a five-year, $2.75 million grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions program to support the start-up process. Grant funds have already been utilized to develop the curriculum and hire new mechanical engineering faculty.

Dr. Brian J. MayDr. Brian J. May“We began the process of becoming an engineering school back in 2014,” said ASU President Brian J. May, “and approval of the mechanical engineering program is another significant milestone in that process. Our civil engineering program is already successful beyond our expectations, and we are hoping for similar outstanding results for mechanical engineering. This is truly an exciting day for the entire Ram Family.”

ASU followed a similar formula for implementing its civil engineering program in 2014 when it was awarded a $2.87 million Department of Education grant to support the start-up process. Since the first civil engineering students were admitted in the fall of 2015, the program has grown to include more than 130 students and 13 full-time faculty and staff.

The Hunter Strain Engineering Labs facility, which was funded by a $4.5 million anonymous gift, opened in August 2017 – and ASU’s first civil engineering graduates will receive their diplomas in December.