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Mechanical Engineering Becomes Bethel’s Fourth Engineering Program

Launching in fall 2019, Bethel’s newest standalone engineering program builds on the university’s excellent track record in the sciences, allowing students to prepare for a growing, hands-on field more quickly than ever before.

By Monique Kleinhuizen ’08, GS’16, new media strategist

May 01, 2019 | 10:30 a.m.

Mechanical engineering students at Bethel University

Engineering students work with faculty at Bethel University

The dual-degree engineering program has been a popular option within Bethel’s nationally-recognized physics and engineering program—launching Royals into successful roles in mechanical engineering for decades—but the pathway took five-plus years and a transfer to complete.

Beginning in fall 2019, that journey will become significantly cheaper and quicker, when a new, standalone Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mechanical Engineering program launches. Continuing a season of unprecedented growth in the sciences and technology, the program becomes Bethel’s fourth engineering program launched in less than three years. It joins Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Software Engineering as standalone programs designed to be completed in as few as four years. Students can still choose to pursue a dual-degree path, with popular specialties including aeronautical, biomedical, bioproducts, chemical, civil, environmental, and materials engineering.

Mechanical Engineering students will prepare for a broad and rapidly-growing field without leaving Bethel’s faith-focused learning environment—and while enjoying small class sizes and highly personalized attention from faculty during their entire undergraduate career. As a result, graduates will embody Bethel’s mission of Christ-centered excellence, impacting a plethora of industries with an ethical approach to creating new design solutions.

“Engineering trains students to solve problems, some of which are well-defined, and others open-ended. The general education component of a Bethel engineer's education will create problem-solvers who are better able to think critically about solutions from a wide variety of perspectives."

— Associate Professor of Engineering Karen Rogers

Rogers has a mechanical engineering background and joined Bethel’s faculty in 2017. She’s helped develop specific new courses like Engineering Materials and Lab, Computer Aided Design and Engineering, Design of Mechanical Components and Systems, Mechanical Systems and Measurements, and Fundamentals of Design and Manufacturing—defining the concrete skillsets students will need to develop, while also infusing a distinctly Christian worldview into the courses. “As we consider our responsibilities as Christ-followers who are concerned about the world God has given us, the people we design for, and the legacy we leave for future generations, we are in a great position to create products from an ethical perspective,” Rogers says. 

Like Bethel’s other engineering programs, mechanical engineering coursework culminates in the Engineering Design Seminar and Project, bringing together students with different specialties to complete a project for an external industry partner. Students meet a real client’s design specifications—navigating spatial and budget challenges along the way—and learn to collaborate with others from a variety of fields and at all levels of an organization.

“Adding Mechanical Engineering allows Bethel to offer a complete and diverse set of opportunities to Christian students who desire the broader-based background of the liberal arts; a plethora of hands-on, laboratory experiences with faculty mentorship; and a foundation for a constantly changing technological world."

— Professor and Chair of Physics and Engineering Brian Beecken
Students work in the Fluids Lab at Bethel University.

Students work in the Fluids Lab at Bethel University.

Study Mechanical Engineering at Bethel 

New students may declare a major in Mechanical Engineering beginning in fall 2019. Current students who are interested in switching majors, declaring a double major—or finishing the B.S. program in-house instead of through the current dual-degree track—should discuss their options with their academic advisors.

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