GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s efforts to establish an in-region resource for developing highly needed mechanical engineering talent in Northeast Wisconsin took a gigantic step forward today (Feb. 9, 2018) with the UW System Board of Regents approving the University’s request to offer the new program on its campus. UW-Green Bay hopes to begin accepting freshman into its Mechanical Engineering program for the Fall 2018 semester.
The approved resolution by the Board of Regents requires that the University have at least $1.2 million in cash donated to support the mechanical engineering degree before enrolling students and donation commitments between $800,000 and $1 million for each of the succeeding four years.
“This is a monumental day for our community and our region, one that’s been 30 years in the making,” said UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller. “Business leaders in this community have wanted engineering to be offered at UW-Green Bay for decades; we are now on the cusp of something very transformational for this community, our economy, and most importantly, our students, who are the workforce of the future.”
“We are deeply grateful for the leadership of President Cross and the extraordinary work of his staff, the care with which the Board nurtured the wishes of this community and to our legislative colleagues who encouraged us to seek innovation on behalf of Wisconsin.”
In addition to approving UW-Green Bay’s BS in Mechanical Engineering, Regents also approved establishing a School of Engineering on campus and granted the University permission to extend naming rights of the School to a non-disclosed community donor. The Board also approved the University’s request to rename the College of Science and Technology as the College of Science, Engineering and Technology to reflect the growing presence of engineering on the Green Bay campus.
According to Miller, the University has already secured donations totaling more than $7.1 million to support the University’s School of Engineering, the construction of the STEM building on campus and the updating of STEM curriculum for The Einstein Project’s outreach with school districts across the State of Wisconsin.
The building will be owned by Brown County as part of Phoenix Innovation Park, which will be located on the UW-Green Bay campus. In addition to UW-Green Bay’s School of Engineering, the building will also be home to UW Extension, Brown County Land & Water Conservation and The Einstein Project. Brown County and the State of Wisconsin are each contributing $5 million to the construction of the Center.
“Not only will this create a nexus for STEM-related issues, resource sharing and networking and bring a critical mass of STEM skilled professionals together, it will also create an accelerator for entrepreneurial skills to attract and keep STEM talent in Brown County. This is absolutely a game changer for our community,” Miller noted.
John Katers, dean of UW-Green Bay’s College of Science and Technology agreed. “The need for engineering talent in Northeast Wisconsin is extreme. This region has the most open positions for engineers in the State, and has seen an 18% increase in demand for engineers since 2010. As an aspiring engineer, I had to leave the Green Bay area to complete my engineering degree. Our future students won’t need to do that.”
The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering will be UW-Green Bay’s first four-year engineering program and brings the total of engineering programs offered at the campus to four. Since 2014, the University has collaborated with NWTC to deliver Environmental, Electrical and Mechanical Technology programs.
The University is holding a news conference on Monday, February 12, 2018 at 10 a.m. in the Environmental Sciences building on the UW-Green Bay campus to announce naming gift donors and unveil building renderings.
About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate and graduate programs to 7,158 students. The University transforms lives and communities through exceptional and award-winning teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities and a problem-solving approach to education. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.