Many prospective students and their parents ask this question. There is no single reason to pick SVSU. Our program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org , which certifies that our students receive an education that meets national standards. All of our classes are taught by doctorate holding faculty who are experts in their field. The top priority of this faculty is teaching undergraduates, not research. Typical mechanical engineering classes are between 10-25 students, which allows professors and students to interact one on one and develop a true relationship. Our curriculum has a strong hands-on approach that helps students not only learn engineering theory, but gain experience in applying these concepts. Students have to opportunity to network with a wide variety of companies and industries.
The SVSU Mechanical Engineering program does not appear on any national ranking report due to its size, not the quality of instruction. We measure our competitiveness verses other engineering programs in several ways. Our primary means of evaluating our students performance comes from interviews and surveys of employers. We are frequently told that our students tend to rise fast within their respective companies, our students can start day one designing components and do not require two years of retraining, and we are often asked by employers how to hire more of our students. Another measure is the number of students with job offeres prior to graduation. In 2010, about 90% of all our graduating seniors had job offers prior to graduation.
Our concentration on hands-on education results in very experienced students. Many engineering courses have a laboratory associated with them. These labs are taught by the same doctoral holding faculty who teach lectures. Our labs contain state of the art equipment for students to learn on. ME students also gain experience designing, building, and testing devices throughout their career at SVSU. This builds the foundation for senior design projects and their future career. SVSU ME students also learn modern manufacturing techniques in metalcasting, machining, welding, and rapid prototyping/manufacturing.
A hallmark of SVSU engineering is our senior design projects. These projects are completed during the senior year, and take two semesters to complete. Students work with an outside company like Walboro , S.C. Johnson , Duro-Last , or Polaris to design a new product, custom testing apparatus, or improve manufacturing processes. SVSU ME students have designed a thermal cycling chamber for testing roofing materials, a new snow mobile chassis that is in production, developed a feeding machine for disabled children, and a gearbox for a racing application, to name a few examples. Because of these projects, students learn the necessary skills of project management, design, and communication, which are in demand by the world's top employers. More importantly, students finish their education learning the real world aspects of engineering a product from client demands to finished product. It is that experience that makes the SVSU difference and why we have more senior design projects than we can currently assign to students.