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The Max For The Minimum: Offering An Industrial Engineering Specialty With Less Than One Faculty Member

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1151.1 - 8.1151.6



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Edward Wheeler

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Session 2793

The Max for the Minimum: Offering an Industrial Engineering Specialty With Less Than One Faculty Member

Edward Wheeler

Department of Engineering College of Engineering and Natural Science University of Tennessee at Martin


The University of Tennessee at Martin (UT Martin) offers the Bachelor of Science in Engineering with specialties in civil, electrical, industrial, and mechanical engineering. The degree program was instituted in 1996 after a great deal of work by both the faculty and the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) on behalf of the then School of Engineering Technology and Engineering. The original curriculum did not require a student to declare a specialty area. A nine-semester-hour set of upper division engineering electives and an additional six semester hours of technical electives were taken with the advice and consent of the School Degrees Committee. With the urging of the IAB and strong support of the faculty and administration of UT Martin, the specialty areas were added in 1999. Each area now consists of 24 hours of upper division coursework.

A majority (65-70%) of the students choose the civil or mechanical specialty area as entering freshmen. An overwhelming majority has gravitated to these two specialties by graduation (85- 90%). This leaves limited resources for the hiring of faculty and teaching of required classes for those interested in the industrial specialty.

The UT Martin Department of Engineering has continued to offer the industrial specialty to serve the desires of enrolling students and needs of regional industry. A curriculum using courses offered by a combination of departments and a senior design/research course has produced graduates that have been enthusiastically accepted by regional employers.

The purpose of this paper is to explain how The University of Tennessee at Martin has developed and maintained a successful industrial engineering specialty with limited resources.

Introduction and History

The history of engineering and engineering technology on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus extends back to the 1930’s when the school was a junior college. The University was known as The University of Tennessee Junior College, and the engineering program consisted of the first two years towards a baccalaureate degree in the student’s chosen field of engineering. The University became a four-year college in 1951. Most degree programs were transformed

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Wheeler, E. (2003, June), The Max For The Minimum: Offering An Industrial Engineering Specialty With Less Than One Faculty Member Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12552

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