UW-Green Bay wants to offer new undergraduate degree

A mechanical engineering program might be coming to UWGB. (WLUK/Tim Flanigan)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- A mechanical engineering program may be coming to UW-Green Bay.

John Katers is dean of the college of science and technology at UW-Green Bay.

"As we've been out there in the community talking to employers and talking to a number of folks. The need has really surfaced. We do need more engineering talent here in Northeast Wisconsin," he said.

UWGB offers electrical, environmental and mechanical technology engineering degrees.

Katers says last year all three programs combined had about 30 students and this year, 115.

Now, UWGB wants to offer a four-year degree in mechanical engineering which is a bit different from the university's engineering technology programs.

"This could be a multiple year process," said Katers.

The university sent a notice of intent to the UW System.

Other UW institutions have also been notified and have the opportunity to share comments or concerns with the Office of Academic and Student Affairs according to the UW System.

Jagadeep Thota, a Mechanical Engineering Technology Professor at UWGB says he's excited to see what happens next.

"It's very good, I would say, and encouraging for me as a new faculty because, for me, it shows it's growing," Jagadeep Thota.

Katers also talked about the benefit of adding mechanical engineering.

"I think, is going to allow us to start filling some of that pipeline for the needs of the manufacturers and other companies are expressing," Thota said.

Before UWGB can add the degree, the UW System says its Office of Academic and Student Affairs would have to recommend to offer the new degree and then it would go to the UW System President for review.

The UW System says if the president agrees to the new program at UWGB, it would go before the Board of Regents and if approved, the new program is implemented.

UWGB would then have to find a way to pay for the new program and hire additional professors.

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