DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Beginning next fall, UNT will offer bachelor's and master's degrees in Mechanical and Energy Engineering.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recently approved the programs for the fall 2007 semester.
"The program will be the first of its kind offered in the United States and one of only a handful offered worldwide," says Dr. Stathis Michaelides, chair of the Mechanical and Energy Engineering Department. "It's a groundbreaking event for us that other universities may seek to imitate."
Michaelides, an internationally renowned scholar with research interests in energy related subjects and mechanical engineering, joined UNT in April 2006 to help recruit an excellent faculty; set up undergraduate and research laboratories; and launch the new Department.
Michaelides says the program is specifically focused on the production of energy. "Now, we are getting most of our energy from hydrocarbons and coal, but in the future alternative sources such as solar and wind energy will gain in prominence," he says. "The essence of our program is how we can produce new, more efficient energy systems, while minimizing the environmental impact of those systems."
So far, the demand for the program has been overwhelming. Even before the program reached departmental status and without advertising, it has attracted between 25 and 30 undergraduate students. In five years, Michaelides predicts the program will have 500 students and graduate an average of 100 students a year.
"We want to create a department that is interdisciplinary, innovative and outstanding, and one that is oriented to experiential learning. In five years time we aim to have the programs in place to be conducting dynamic research that will enhance the reputation of the University of North Texas," Michaelides says.
Dr. Oscar Garcia, founding dean of the College of Engineering, says, "The addition of distinctive mechanical and energy engineering undergraduate and graduate programs, in addition to the existing programs at the UNT College of Engineering, establishes our college's strong identity in the regional and national marketplaces. We are offering timely education in areas of great future and current importance to students and researchers alike."
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Contact: Rafael McDonnell 940-565-4835