Manufacturing Engineering Technology History

The MFGE program has played and continues to play many roles for the Ferris State University community. It is a cornerstone of the College of Engineering Technology, as the original BS in engineering technology (introduced by J. Edward Nicks in 1976).

It is the wellspring from which many of Ferris' most popular programs have flowed, with the Plastics Engineering Technology BS program (1982), Welding Engineering Technology BS program (1984), Product Design Engineering Technology BS program (1988), and the Quality Engineering Technology BS program (1997) all beginning as specialized areas of concentration under the MFGE umbrella. It has now even grandfathered a program (Rubber Engineering Technology, commencing in 1998).

It is an originator in many ways; for instance, reaching out to the continuing education student market by being the first (1984) and still most popular Ferris program offered at night in Grand Rapids, garnering a state grant to provide new metal stamping option via distance learning technology directly to industrial sites (the first in the College to do so on both counts), and offering the Quality Technology Certificate program both on- and off-campus simultaneously.

It is a trendsetter, having inspired copycat programs at nearby schools such as Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan University, and Central Michigan University, as well as feeder programs at numerous community colleges through the state.

It is an innovator, having been the first (and to date one of the few) College of Engineering Technology programs to have three of its courses designated as writing-intensive.

It is an enabler, consistently placing its graduates in the top five on the list of starting salaries by not only getting graduates good jobs, but getting them a choice of good jobs, with over 85% still in Michigan and contributing back to the state.

It is the taproot that steadies and nourishes numerous other programs within the department, college, and university by providing service courses on basic and advanced manufacturing topics.

...consistently placing its graduates in the top five on the list of starting salaries by not only getting graduates good jobs, but getting them a choice of good jobs...

A few of the unique aspects of the Ferris MFGE curriculum are:

  • The concentration on production process planning rather than systems engineering common to other manufacturing programs. Where other schools teach their students to be able to make one of anything, we go beyond that, teaching our students to be able to make many of anything, and to do it the most economical way possible.
  • The number of group projects and technical presentations the students are responsible for in the space of only two years. There is at least one major term project and presentation due every semester, with several cross-course projects and one that combines the efforts of both juniors and seniors.