MechSE: Poised for growth


Julia Park

Male student sitting at computer in his room.In FY 2023, The Grainger College of Engineering was awarded major funding from the campus’ Investment for Growth Program. One of their two funded college-wide projects – “Online Programs and Hy-Flex Classrooms” – will help MechSE, along with other Grainger departments, to accelerate growth in both our undergraduate and online professional master’s degree programs.

Grainger plans to upgrade the technology in instructional labs; create sustainable TA training programs to support online instruction and provide necessary faculty support for courses with online students; translate curricular content to online delivery with a focus on utilizing augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) in labs; and more successfully identify and recruit potential learners.

In MechSE, this will mean hiring more teaching professors to specialize in and support online instruction, as well as more TA support for online office hours, assessment, and course management; and added lecture-capture capabilities throughout the Sidney Lu MEB.

“MechSE degrees are in extremely high demand, and our ME and TAM courses support programs throughout the college,” said Department Head Tony Jacobi. “But we need to evolve from the ‘traditional’ course delivery to more broadly serve MechSE and society. We need to boldly build on what we learned during the early stages of the pandemic—that many courses can be more impactful when delivered in an asynchronous online or hybrid modality. This funding should help enable us to do that.”