Many students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are interested in hands-on experience working with cutting-edge technology. Then again, like practically every student, they are also concerned with simply getting a job after graduation.
With Morehead State University’s Department of Applied Engineering and Technology (AET), students will get the opportunity to gain valuable experience in an exciting field that will also give graduates several promising career options.
The primary purpose of the programs in Applied Engineering and Technology is to prepare advanced engineering, technology and engineering management graduates to go on to obtain jobs that will have a positive economic impact within the region.
Dr. Ahmad Zargari, department chair and professor of applied engineering and technology, said the programs in the department have numerous benefits.
The engineering technology programs are not only accredited by the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE), but the department’s advisory board is composed of managers in engineering technology companies from cities like Louisville, Cincinnati and Dayton, who meet once a semester to review the program’s curriculum to make sure it’s keeping pace with today’s market.
“They tell us what it is we need to change so they will hire our graduates,” Zargari said. “The employers actually come to campus and have a say in our curriculum.”
In addition to working in state-of-the-art laboratories with distinguished faculty who are experts in their field, the job opportunities available upon graduation to AET students is another appealing aspect of the program. More than 80 percent of recent AET graduates have full-time employment in their field of study, with more than 70 percent receiving those jobs immediately following graduation.
“The job market is in dire need of graduates of applied engineering programs,” Zargari said. “All of the engineering-related programs can prepare students for jobs that are high pay, high-tech and available.”
AET students can earn associate, baccalaureate and graduate degrees in a variety of areas of study. Programs include engineering management, industrial education or a program like engineering technology, which allows for an emphasis in either construction management and civil engineering technology, design and manufacturing engineering technology or electronics and computer engineering technology.
One of AET’s newest degree offerings is a Bachelor of Science in Technology Management (BSTM). This completer program can be earned totally online and specifically targets Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) associate degree graduates and other graduates from in-state and out-of-state community and technical colleges with a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) background.
“This is a unique program in the state that allows graduates of KCTCS to complete a technical degree program online,” Zargari said.
As the AET program looks to the future, it’s become abundantly clear that an emphasis needs to be placed on sustainability. Dr. Hans Chapman, assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Applied Engineering and Technology, said the University has made significant strides in that regard in recent years. Both lecture courses and labs have been developed with a sustainability focus and several recent senior capstone projects have involved the design or redesign of University facilities in ways to improve water conservation, reduce carbon emissions and utilize alternative energy sources.
“Every system in engineering and technology needs to be sustainable. The paradigm is shifting there. We need to catch up,” Chapman said. “We’re doing our part to make sure our students are going to be ready.”
For more information on the Department of Applied Engineering and Technology, call 606-783-2418 or visit www.moreheadstate.edu/aet