Two engineering departments become one school



    On September 1, 1998, the College of Engineering lost two departments and gained a new school.

    The Department of Technology, Education and Construction Management and the Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Technology converged into one and became, simply, the School of Technology.

    Thomas L. Erekson, the director of the School of Technology, said he sees the creation of the school as highly beneficial.

    “Having the School of Technology will not only increase visibility, it will also strengthen opportunities for secure employment and careers,” Erekson said.

    The majors available through the School of Technology include construction management, electronics engineering technology, facilities management, manufacturing engineering technology and technology teacher education. Additionally, the school is in the process of transferring the industrial design major from another college into the School of Technology.

    “We have put the petition for industrial design to join the school, and we are hoping it will be final next week,” Erekson said. “I’m 99.9 percent sure it’s a done deal.”

    Although the School of Technology is only four months old, both faculty and students are busy with activities and plans.

    Plans are in a conceptual stage for what Erekson termed the “design studio of the future.” The studio would have high-end 3-D computer graphics capability and a virtual reality cave and wall, allowing students to put specifications in a computer database then look at the product they have created in 3-D form and make necessary modifications before producing it.

    The school is talking to financial supporters and looking at other university operations with similar design studios.

    “If things go right, it may be up in a year. If not, a couple of years. It’s all in the beginning stages,” Erekson said.

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