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Creating a New Four-Year Degree in Engineering Technology

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Issues Affecting Engineering Program Development

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.392.1 - 22.392.11



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Paper Authors


Jimmy Bill Linn East Carolina University

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Electrical Engineer for the US Navy for 23 yrs. - 1973 to 1996
Instructor for Ivy Tech Community College for 8 yrs. - 1997 to 2005Teaching Instructor for East Carolina University for 6 yrs. - 2005 to present.
Education: BSEE and BSMA - Rose Hulman Institute of Technology - 1973
MSEE - Purdue University - 2002

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Merwan B. Mehta East Carolina University

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Merwan Mehta, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at East Carolina University in the Technology Systems Department in Greenville, NC. Prior to joining academics in 2004, he has over twenty years of experience in business and industry working as an industrial/methods engineer, machine tool design engineer, manufacturing engineer, technical partner, project director, vice-president, and consultant. His present research interests are enhancing manufacturing and business processes through lean principles and theory of constraints, and the pursuit of quality and variation control through six-sigma.

Merwan has conducted two-day post conference value stream mapping workshops for the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) for their Lean/Operational Excellence Conference since 2001 at various companies all over the U.S. He is an ASQ Certified Six-Sigma Black Belt and a SME Certified Manufacturing Engineer.

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Janet Hooper Sanders East Carolina University

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Janet H. Sanders, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Technology at East Carolina University where her research focus is quality, statistics, Lean Six Sigma, and virtual reality technology. She earned a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering and an M.S. in Industrial Management from Clemson University and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina A & T State University. She has over 20 years of manufacturing experience in various industries. Janet’s certifications include ASQ certified Quality Auditor, Quality Engineer, and Six Sigma Black Belt. She is also a consultant and trainer for Problem Solving, Root Cause Analysis, and Lean Six Sigma.

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Creating a New 4-year Degree in Engineering Technology Engineering Technology DivisionAbstract:This paper will discuss the need for a new 4-year degree in Engineering Technology (ET).The following trends at the student, university, and global levels suggest that such adegree will be well received and is needed at US universities. 1) US universities are closing down manufacturing and industrial engineering departments. The alternative would be to have a degree program in ET that has a wider appeal for all kinds of businesses that need people to operate technologically oriented processes. 2) There has been a general drop in the ability of US kids to excel in higher math skills. Less than 5% of engineers who learn higher order math, practice what they learned. Most are assisting in the management of processes that are already in place or designed by others. Hence, creating a degree in ET with some exposure to calculus might attract a wider base of students in the program. Most US students who do not absolutely shine in mathematics tend to shy away from engineering programs. 3) Globalization and inflation a. In the past two decades there has been a substantial increase in wages and benefits in developing countries like China, Mexico, Brazil and India. b. Most manufacturing companies are in the process of optimizing their supply chains utilizing a mixture of foreign suppliers and indigenous assemblers for their products. c. The cost of shipping, inventory, communications, and quality for off-shore suppliers is constantly on the rise. There is a possibility that if these trends continue, many companies are likely to reconsider manufacturing their products in the US, increasing the demand for people who understand technology to be able to run automated processes like ET majors.In this paper, how the body of knowledge for an ET program based on the above will bediscussed. An outline of a curriculum will be presented along with the laboratory andhands-on practicum, internships and coops that might be needed to strengthen theprogram.

Linn, J. B., & Mehta, M. B., & Sanders, J. H. (2011, June), Creating a New Four-Year Degree in Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17673

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