Fayette launches four-year Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology degree

The EMET program is now enrolling students for the fall 2018 semester
Abstract art fixtures add inspiration to the halls of the Eberly Building.

Abstract art fixtures add inspiration to the halls.

Credit: Penn State

LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus has been approved to offer a four-year bachelor of science degree in electro-mechanical engineering technology (EMET) and will begin enrollment for the fall 2018 semester. With the addition of EMET, Penn State Fayette now offers 11 baccalaureate degrees.

The EMET program accommodates a growing demand for engineers in the rapidly developing fields of industrial automation and robotics. EMET professionals combine the fundamental principles of both electrical and mechanical engineering to design, develop, manufacture and test computer-controlled mechanical systems.

Coursework is designed to equip students with the interdisciplinary skills necessary to meet the complexity of modern industrial systems. The program culminates in a collaborative capstone project in which students work to design a product or process that integrates electrical and mechanical components with elements of computer control.

“This is the first baccalaureate degree in engineering and technology offered at the Fayette campus,” said Nathaniel Bohna, associate teaching professor of engineering. Bohna, who was instrumental in the proposal process, will serve as program coordinator. “There has been tremendous demand from our students and local industry. This addition is an exciting step forward for the campus."

Once fully geared up, four full-time faculty members will teach in the program, including Bohna. Core courses will be held in the recently renovated Engineering and Arts Suite on the third floor of the Eberly Building. The 9,000-square-foot suite is equipped with four traditional classrooms, one computer lab outfitted with 24 receding monitors for multi-use workspaces, two electrical engineering technology labs built to simulate industrial environments, and a 3D printing lab.

“As we do our work with local industry leaders, we constantly hear that the number-one challenge is finding quality employees,” said Bob Shark, executive director of the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council. “With the approval of the EMET program, Penn State Fayette will be at the forefront to deliver those high-quality engineers to fill that critical need in the local economy.”

According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for EMET graduates is more than $62,000, and industry growth is projected to increase by 3 percent in southwest Pennsylvania by 2024. The program has received support from regional industrial companies, including Boeing and Johnson-Matthey.

“Local businesses will benefit from the more capable workforce this program will create,” said Doug White, senior manager of engineering at Advanced Acoustic Concepts. The company, a local developer of sophisticated sonar processing systems used by the U.S. Navy, will contribute students to the inaugural cohort. “I am proud to have been a part of the achievement, and many of our associates are eager to enroll and continue their education," he said.

Upon graduating the first student, Penn State Fayette will apply for program accreditation by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-TAC).

According to Charles Patrick, chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Fayette, “Employers can trust that graduates of ABET-accredited programs are prepared to enter the workforce because this accreditation is the trusted standard for employers worldwide. Today’s industries need people who can work on systems, machines and products that have both electrical and mechanical elements, the primary aim of this program."

For more information on the EMET program, visit fayette.psu.edu/emet or call the Admissions Office at 724-430-4130 to schedule a visit.