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Sustainable Manufacturing

This unique multidisciplinary program, rooted in hands-on technology education, ties together an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that modern manufacturing faces, for creating tomorrow's industry leaders.

The program is built on a foundation of lower-division math, science, economics, business, and manufacturing concepts. Upper-division sustainable manufacturing (SMFG) classes integrate that foundation into a unified body of knowledge on the management of materials, processes, costs, lifecycle, waste stream, and personnel. In addition to this core curriculum, the program currently offers a range of laboratory courses in three high demand areas:

  • Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
  • Metals Processing
  • Polymer/Plastics Processing  

Hallmarks of our program are:

  • An industry/academic partnership model that fosters creative solutions to real-world problems
  • Faculty with significant industrial experience whose focus is applied undergraduate education through superior teaching and mentoring both in and out of the classroom
  • Project experiences that build fundamentals and team skills development
  • Facilities and industrial equipment that are readily accessible
  • Class sizes that encourage active student participation

The Minor in Manufacturing is specially designed to complement business and engineering majors.

The SMFG Degree Program is professionally accredited by The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE).

Career Outlook

Job opportunities are available throughout the manufacturing sector-in both large and small, local and national companies involved in the full range of operations-from research and development through mass production. Although the program is designed to educate students as technical managers, graduates are employed in numerous capacities. The median starting salary for 2009-2010 SMFG graduates was $54,500 per year for these entry-level positions:

  • Manufacturing/Operations Manager
  • Maintenance/Testing Manager
  • Manufacturing/Applications/Project Engineer
  • Environmental Health and Safety Manager
  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Technical Sales/Purchasing Representative
  • Production Planner/Supervisor
  • Quality Engineer/Specialist
  • Tooling/Process Designer
  • Technical Instructor/Trainer

Industrial Support

Many organizations actively support the program by sponsoring projects, funding research, donating equipment and materials, and hiring graduates. The program's partners are exemplified by the Sustainable Manufacturing Patrons' Board. Its members provide funding, direction, and guidance from their vantage point as senior managers in the manufacturing industry.

Student Organizations

Active participation in student chapters of professional organizations develops well-rounded individuals with leadership, managerial, social, and technical skills. Current on-campus student chapters include:

  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)
  • Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)

These student organizations arrange guest speakers, field trips, social activities, and sponsor professional certification exams. Manufacturing students also compete and excel in regional design and fabrication competitions.


In addition to university-wide scholarships, manufacturing students are eligible for twelve to fifteen SMFG-specific scholarships each year. Individual awards range from $100 to $1,000 and are based on academic performance/improvement, participation in activities, leadership qualities, and/or financial need.


On-campus work experience is available through a limited number of part-time production jobs and sponsored projects in the program's labs. Many students also take advantage of cooperative education/internship opportunities available through the Career Center's internship program. These are full-time, semester and/or summer positions with well-known companies. Participants gain professional experience, earn salaries of $2,500-$3,500 per month.

Additionally, the off-campus Industrial/Academic Innovation Laboratory partnership that is co-directed by the Sustainable Manufacturing program allows students to work with regional businesses and economic development organizations toward research ad development, job creation, and business start-up incubation projects.

Catalog Cycle:15