Jul 15, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Engineering

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Dr. Kurt G. Paterson, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6241
Location: Health & Human Services Building, Room 3234
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/engineering


B. Striebig

Associate Professors

S. Harper, S. Holland, S. Morton,
R. Nagel, A. Ogundipe, K. Paterson,
O. Pierrakos, R. Prins, H. Watson

Assistant Professors

E. Barrella, K. Gipson, J. Henriques,
H. McLeod, J. Nagel

Mission Statement

Through an engineering curriculum grounded in effective instructional practices, we nurture an engaged educational community of conscientious and adaptable learners who develop solutions for the betterment of society.


The JMU Engineering program provides an eight-semester project-driven platform for students to contribute engineering work for sustainable societies. We seek engineers who are eager to:

  • understand the needs of people and communities, effectively communicate with project partners, and provide leadership for diverse teams,
  • make beneficial solutions for society and the planet using innovation, design thinking, engineering analyses, and an understanding of complexities involved in real projects.
  • function effectively in the work environment with integrity and professionalism, and
  • demonstrate a commitment to professional development through self-motivated learning, career advancement, or advanced studies.

The Bachelor of Science in Engineering is a single cross disciplinary engineering degree that integrates many traditional engineering disciplines with course work in business, project management, engineering, design and liberal arts. The foci of the program are sustainability, engineering design and project delivery.

Engineering for a sustainable world is, in short, a body of knowledge and set of holistic analytical design skills that contribute to the development of products, processes, services and infrastructure that simultaneously protect the environment, conserve resources and meet human needs at an acceptable financial cost. By reframing traditional engineering practice, sustainability provides a way of moving toward the development of sustainable societies, where human quality of life is advanced with a minimum impact on finite resources and the environment. Traditional approaches to engineering, such as mechanical, electrical or chemical are not offered in this program.

Rather, this modern, project-based, engineering curriculum spans many areas of engineering to create adaptable engineers with practical know-how.

The curriculum is ABET accredited and prepares students for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) pre-licensure examination. Graduates will be prepared to succeed in the engineering workforce or in advanced engineering degree programs by accumulating a professional portfolio of engineering project experiences throughout the curriculum.

Career Opportunities

Upon graduation, alumni will be prepared for a wide range of opportunities in the engineering workforce or in graduate school. Typical fields of engineering that students will be prepared to enter include sustainable design, process design, product design, process engineering, project management and systems engineering. Other industry options include product service system design, technical sales, management training and technical marketing.

A wide range of graduate school options include master’s and doctoral programs in civil engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering and systems engineering. Other post-graduation options include business school, law school, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, military service, entrepreneurship (starting a small business), applied science fields, international experiences, medical school and careers in politics/public policy.

Some examples of the industries that hire engineers include, among others, design and build companies, aeronautic firms, automobile manufacturers, colleges and universities, computer service and software firms, consulting firms, energy systems firms, federal contractors, federal, state and local governments (e.g., NASA, EPA, NIST, DOD, DOE), non-profit agencies, manufacturing firms, inspection agencies, mining and petroleum firms, pharmaceutical and medical research companies, research and development laboratories, telecommunication companies, and waste management and recycling firms.

Admission to the Major

The B.S. in engineering admits a limited number of students each year. To be eligible to apply for admission, students must have completed the following:

All courses (or approved equivalents) required for the engineering major with a grade of “C” or higher:

Any of the preceding courses may only be repeated once to be considered for admission.

No more than 85 students (including transfer students with qualifying transcripts) will be admitted to the major at the junior-level. If more than 85 students meet the above standards, enrollment will be limited to the top 85 students. For on-campus students, the admission criterion will be grade point average (GPA) in the five ENGR courses (ENGR 112 , ENGR 212 , ENGR 221 , ENGR 231 , ENGR 232 ). In the event of a tie, GPA in the lowerdivision MATH, CHEM and PHYS courses required for the engineering major (listed in #1) will be used as a tie-breaker. The student coordinator will work with the engineering Academic Unit Head to assess the relative merit of transfer students. Students who are not among the top 85 in their cohort may elect to wait one year and be considered with the next cohort, if they so choose, though the same selection criteria applies.

Progressing in the Major

Once admitted to the engineering program, students must maintain an in-major and cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Once admitted, any course required as part of the engineering major may only be repeated once.


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