Today’s engineering careers demand technical knowledge, creativity, versatility and excellent communication skills. Central College’s Bachelor of Science engineering degree is designed to be completed in four years and readies students for a rewarding career at the interface of mechanical and electrical engineering.
Central has partnerships with three large, international companies headquartered a short distance from campus, including two Fortune 500 companies. The engineering curriculum at Central includes a senior-level engineering course led by a practicing engineer, often from one of these companies. These capstone projects have found students designing and building a solar-powered snow blower, a remote-controlled double-hung window, a hand-cycle for people with disabilities, an idler roll condition monitoring system and a water quality testing buoy. Studying engineering at Central opens doors to ample opportunities for students to apply for internships and jobs.
Central’s Bachelor of Science in engineering was launched in 2015 and is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, a nonprofit, nongovernmental agency that accredits programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. ABET accreditation is designed to assure students, employers and society that the program meets the quality standards that produce graduates prepared to enter a global workforce.
The Vermeer Science Center classrooms and laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and advanced technological equipment to support coursework, augment independent studies and elevate research projects. Additional mechanical and electrical engineering laboratories with cutting-edge equipment and a design studio are available in Peace Hall.
Begin building your résumé by working alongside professors as a student instructor and/or teaching assistant. Funding for student research in engineering is made possible through the Arthur J. Bosch Endowment for Student Research, which supports collaborative research projects with faculty and alumni.
At Central, you’ll find a wide variety of research and professional development opportunities to choose from, including an X-ray diffractometer and a high-vacuum system with a mass spectrometer to conduct additional research projects. The on-campus observatory with an 11-inch reflector telescope allows you to observe planets, stars and other celestial objects.
Central’s physics department is licensed by the state of Iowa to own and use a plutonium-beryllium neutron source and a cesium gamma-ray source for experiments in atomic and nuclear physics.
Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.
Engineering majors will coordinate with their academic advisor to determine if study off-campus is available.
Central’s career development staff can provide guidance to help students identify career options in the engineering field.
Central offers assistance with finding and applying for internships and summer opportunities, including specific internship programs in Chicago and Washington, D.C., help with graduate school essays and related application materials and career mentoring through the use of a database of Central alumni in a wide variety of engineering careers and an annual graduate school conference with representatives from regional universities and presentations about success in graduate school. Find out what it means to be Forever Dutch®.
Central College graduates have found successful careers in engineering careers.
Katherine Stroh ’24 is completing a U.S. Department of Energy undergraduate research internship for the summer at the Ames National Laboratory.
An articulation agreement between Pella Community High School, Des Moines Area Community College and Central College has been finalized to provide a clear pathway for Pella High School students to begin their engineering studies in high school, move to DMACC for one year and then transfer to Central to complete the Bachelor of Science in Engineering in an additional three years.
The engineering major includes coursework in materials, electronics, thermodynamics, dynamic systems, physics and mathematics. The major culminates with a two-semester Capstone Design course. Students can complete the degree in four years (eight semesters) and gain practical experience through summer internships.
Graduates will have a strong foundation in physics and the basic sciences which, coupled with the Central College core curriculum, will prepare students broadly for careers or graduate school and long-term success in mechanical and electrical engineering.
Engineering students are strongly encouraged and supported to complete internships and/or co-ops in engineering at local, national and international locations. Students interested in off-campus experiences can complete international internships during a semester or summer around the globe. Internships, co-ops and off-campus experiences open the door to lifelong connections.
Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.
Central engineering students use computers extensively in labs and classes. Windows-based computers are preferred in the engineering world. Central faculty do not require students to have a laptop or computer for classes. All the specialized software is freely available for students to use in the college’s computer labs.
Some students may prefer to download the software, SOLIDWORKS used in engineering, on their personal laptop or computer. This software is not available for Macintosh computers.
Please review the system requirements for SOLIDWORKS. Central uses the latest version of this software each academic year. Please note the processor and RAM requirements, especially the graphics card requirements displayed by clicking “certified cards and drivers.”
Students majoring in engineering should be ready for Calculus I fall semester their first year. Pre-calculus concepts should be covered prior to enrolling.