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UCR Mechanical Engineering Degree Program Receives Accreditation from National Board

UCR Mechanical Engineering Degree Program Receives Accreditation from National Board

(September 28, 1999)

The Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside has been awarded accreditation in mechanical engineering by the nation's leading evaluation body for such educational programs.

The Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), based in Baltimore, granted the accreditation for one of UCR's newest undergraduate majors. ABET is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for its responsibility in accrediting educational programs leading to engineering, engineering technology and engineering-related educational programs.

"ABET accreditation provides an independent measure of quality. Quite simply, it is the standard by which all professional engineering programs are evaluated," said Satish K. Tripathi, dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at UCR.

UCR programs in electrical engineering and chemical and environmental engineering were previously granted accreditation.

Established in Fall 1994, the undergraduate mechanical engineering major emphasizes design in all of its courses, according to Akula Venkatram, chair of the department and professor of mechanical and environmental engineering. The educational program cul minates in the senior design projects in which students work in teams to design, analyze, fabricate and test prototype devices relevant to real-world problems, he said.

Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest and broadest fields of engineering, including the design of machines that lift loads, move people and goods, and produce energy. In recent years, mechanical engineering has grown as new and stronger composite materials have been developed and computer applications have expanded the problem-solving capabilities of practicing engineers.

UCR's Department of Mechanical Engineering, enrolling about 110 students, has particular expertise in environmental systems and air pollution modeling, architecture of robot movement, and design of smart materials.

More than 1,000 undergraduates and graduate students enrolled in the Bourns College of Engineering this fall. The college offers undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering and environment al engineering, in addition to mechanical engineering. Graduate programs are offered in chemical and environmental engineering, computer science and electrical engineering.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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