Undergraduate Programs

B.S. in Technology

Emphasis in Manufacturing Engineering Technology

What is Manufacturing Engineering Technology?

Students who choose to pursue the manufacturing engineering technology area of study are introduced to the diverse areas of manufacturing systems and manufacturing processes.

The field of manufacturing is comprised of many exciting and growing areas such as numerical control, automation, robotics, plastics processing, quality control, and computer-aided manufacturing, to name just a few.

The manufacturing environment consistently requires engineering technologists to handle a wide range of tasks, and thus, they must be trained in many areas within the field. In addition, in order to accomplish many of the common tasks, manufacturing technologists must possess a wide variety of hands-on skills.

The area of study in manufacturing engineering technology produces students with both a diverse theoretical education and the hands-on skills needed to succeed in manufacturing processes and manufacturing systems.

Students who graduate with this area of study quickly obtain industrial employment at both large and small companies, with outstanding compensation. 

During their studies, MET students are taught:

  • Current manufacturing concepts and equipment, which they will be expected to implement in industry.
  • The use of computers and computational skills.
  • To work with the latest equipment in the areas of programmable logic control, computer numerical control, and automation components like mechanisms and robots. Students learn to utilize the coordinate measuring machine, roundness gauges, and various other measurement techniques.
  • To use advanced systems and systems integration incorporating vision, sensors, and electronics into the workplace.
  • Basic machine skills and equipment, such as lathes, mills, and grinders. Computer-aided design is integrated across the curriculum.
  • Design skills through an experienced-based learning component, in which the students solve open-ended team projects, similar to what they will experience on the job.

In the curriculum, students can use a wide variety of technical electives to tailor a program to fit their educational goals and interests.

The culmination of the program is a year-long senior capstone course. This course stresses teamwork, design, construction, and written and oral presentation skills. The projects which are undertaken are a collaborative effort between students and industry, with faculty guidance. Many of the project teams are cross-disciplinary, in which manufacturing engineering technology students work with electrical engineering technology students. 

Frequently students enroll in the optional departmental internship course during their junior year. Students in the technology program are either placed at, or assist with, their own placement at local manufacturing companies. Upon completion of written reports and faculty visits to the company, students receive course credit for the internship. The inclusion of the internship has proved to be a valuable tool in students obtaining employment after graduation. 

High School Preparation

Manufacturing engineering technology is a science-based curriculum; it is desirable for students entering the program to have taken at least one year of high school physics and chemistry. In addition, it is recommended that incoming freshmen have basic algebra and trigonometry skills. All areas of technology utilize computers; thus, prior computer knowledge is beneficial in preparing for your studies. 

After Graduation and Beyond

An indicator of a technology program's success is its ability to place students in successful career paths upon graduation. At NIU, most of our students receive employment offers prior to graduation, working for companies in the Chicago area with high starting salaries. In addition, many of our graduates choose to obtain a master's degree either directly after graduation or while working. 

NIU technology graduates find employment with companies such as: Motorola, Omron, Caterpillar, Ingersoll, Sundstrand, Underwriters Labs, Chrysler, AON, Siemens, Greenfield Industries, Connor-Winfield, Woodward Governor, IBM, GM, and McHugh Construction.

An Open Invitation

If the area of study in manufacturing engineering technology at Northern Illinois University sounds interesting, and you would like some additional information, or would like to see our facilities, please call us at (815) 753-1349.