WMU News

Engineering programs called tops in nation

Dec. 1, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's graduate and undergraduate programs in engineering management have been singled out as being among the nation's best by the American Society for Engineering Management.

WMU's graduate program in engineering management is ranked as one of the top three in the nation, while its undergraduate program in engineering management technology enjoys a top-five designation. Announcements of the placings were made at ASEM's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in late October.

"Dr. David Lyth and Dr. Larry Mallak lead our engineering management programs, and we are intensely proud of our engineering management students and alumni," says Dr. Paul Engelmann, chairperson of WMU's Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, where both programs are housed. "The alumni from these programs have consistently held key positions throughout a variety of industries. Their contributions are important to the health and well-being of Michigan and our nation."

Each year since 1991, ASEM has named programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels as tops in the nation. The top program at each level wins the Founders Award for Academic Excellence for Leadership in Engineering and Technical Management, and ASEM lists the other top contenders for the prize.

This year, graduate level honors went to the University of Alabama-Huntsville, with WMU and Old Dominion University as the top contenders. At the undergraduate level, the University of the Pacific took top honors, while WMU, the U.S. Military Academy, the University of Missouri-Rolla and Stevens Institute of Technology were top contenders.

"Our students are pretty excited about this," says Mallak, a professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering and one of the program's faculty advisors. "They know we have a top-notch program here and they're glad that it's being publicly recognized."

The top-program selections are based on academic reputation and a body of material submitted on behalf of each program. ASEM examines faculty statistics, enrollment figures, student involvement in the programs and alumni letters of support.

Letters of support from WMU alumni were particularly strong, says Mallak.

"I would not have obtained my current position without this degree," wrote one alumnus. "That is not an exaggeration. It is a simple fact."

Another wrote that his undergraduate degree in engineering management technology "has translated to success in my career..."

Engineering management is a discipline that integrates technical engineering and project systems management skills to prepare students to lead people, projects and teams. In addition to traditional engineering course work, students focus on business, economics, systems management and supervision. At WMU, approximately 100 students are enrolled in the programs.

"Mixing engineering and management has helped our alumni focus on managing systems and projects with a technological perspective," says Lyth, a professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering who advises the program along with Mallak. "It's a program that has served our alumni and their employers well. Graduates are well compensated, quickly placed and enjoy the work they do."

For more information about WMU's engineering management degree programs, contact Dr. Larry Mallak at (269) 276-3369 or Dr. David Lyth at (269) 276-3368.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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