3-D Printing is Focus of New Graduate Certificate

Last Updated on July 05, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Originally published July 05, 2017

By UC Staff

UTEP Communications

UTEP’s Department of Mechanical Engineering is now offering a graduate certificate in 3-D engineering and additive manufacturing. The program, starting in fall 2017, supplements existing graduate degrees or can be a standalone certificate for a professional engineer wishing to expand his or her résumé.

W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation
The W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation has more than 50 additive manufacturing machines for plastic, metal and electronic fabrication.

“Additive manufacturing (3-D printing technology) is being used throughout industry at an accelerating pace,” said Ryan Wicker, Ph.D., director and founder of UTEP’s W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation and professor of mechanical engineering. “As many universities acquire 3-D printers and expose these technologies to students, a growing number of university graduates are entering the workforce with some level of 3-D printing knowledge. However, to take full advantage of the opportunities available to design new, innovative products using 3-D printing, specific engineering knowledge and skills are required in the workforce to make this happen, not only for university graduates but current engineering professionals as well.  The new certificate was created to satisfy these needs.” 

Ahsan Choudhuri, Ph.D., chair of UTEP’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, said the new addition aligns skills with workforce needs in the industry.

“Technology is evolving so quickly, and this is the future of manufacturing,” Choudhuri said. “What UTEP is offering is national leadership in this by providing bold educational opportunities.”

The program requires a 12-month completion period and is a 15 graduate credit hour program. It offers flexibility with three lecture courses completed online and two hands-on design studios that will expose students to the Keck Center’s more than 50 additive manufacturing machines for plastic, metal and electronic fabrication. 

“This area of 3-D manufacturing and 3-D printing is going to be a significant game-changing technology to all aspects of engineering development moving in the future,” said Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Graduate Program Director Jack Chessa, Ph.D. “It changes inherently the way you design products. There are only a few institutions that have the expertise and the history in doing the

3-D printing that the Keck Center has. Students will have an amazing advantage.”

In 2015, UTEP became the first satellite center for America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and this certificate program illustrates that relationship is growing.

The College of Engineering offers 21 graduate degrees and eight undergraduate degrees. For more details on this certificate, visit the program page online.