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In keeping with its commitment to preparing graduates for Industry 4.0, the Department of Applied Engineering and Technical Management has announced the first degree of its kind in the state of Iowa.

The new Bachelor of Science in Automation Engineering Technology (AET) was approved by the Board of Regents in February and will be offered in the fall semester 2022.

Through a combination of industry-relevant training and hands-on experience, the AET program will help students apply their knowledge of automation engineering technology to industry and manufacturing for process control and system review. It will equip students to work in one of the fastest-growing areas of technology with the demand being particularly great in the automotive, metal casting and energy industries. 

The AET program combines elements of UNI’s electrical engineering technology (EET) program and the manufacturing engineering technology (MET) program. Because only two-year programs in automation engineering technology exist in Iowa, this new degree option is especially enticing for incoming students. With the similarities to EET and MET, there is also the hope that some students in the department will double major.

“UNI is proud to be the first in the state to offer this type of program,” said Chris Shaw, Recruitment Coordinator in the Department of Applied Engineering and Technical Management. “We can clearly see this is a skillset employers are looking for, and we’ve worked hard to offer a program that will meet their needs and become a premier place in the state for students to thrive.”

Even at a national level, UNI’s degree will be unique since most programs offered by other universities are heavily theoretical with a large emphasis on engineering. UNI’s program will be more focused on hands-on learning.