Manufacturing doctoral program gets green light
Posted: 02/04/2004
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The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has given The University of Texas-Pan American the approval to plan for eight new degrees, including a much coveted doctoral program in manufacturing engineering.

"This advanced degree program will provide our students and community with great opportunities," said UTPA President Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez. "This University is now poised to develop cutting edge technology research in manufacturing."

The approval is a significant achievement because the Rio Grande Valley is home to 700 manufacturing industries along the McAllen/Reynosa and Brownsville/Matamoros border areas.

Dr. Michael P. Eastman, Dean for the College of Science and Engineering
"One of the goals of this (manufacturing) program is to make the U.S., and especially the Texas, manufacturing industry more competitive in selling cost effective, high quality products worldwide," said Dr. Michael P. Eastman, Dean for the College of Science and Engineering. "Our program will provide an engineering education in a multicultural environment and that training gives our students an edge in international and global markets."

Currently, UTPA boasts the only ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited manufacturing engineering bachelor's program in the State of Texas and is one of only 24 universities offering bachelor's degrees in manufacturing engineering in the country. Now with approval to plan for a doctoral program, UTPA will soon join a short and select list of universities offering Ph.D. programs in manufacturing.

Of the total new degree programs approved by THECB, half are in the College of Science and Engineering. After the program plans, budgets and procedures are approved, students will be able to apply for a bachelor's program in civil engineering or computer engineering in addition to a master's program in engineering management.

"We are broadening our programs in response to student demand and employer demand," Eastman said. "We are well positioned to implement these programs in the very near future."

The four other programs approved are master's level programs in creative writing, international studies, physician assistant studies and chemistry.