Welcome to the Web site for the BSEMET (Bachelor of Science in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology) program at Penn State Altoona.
BSEMET Degree Mission Statement
The Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology (EMET) baccalaureate degree program is designed to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to apply current methods and technology to the development, design, operation, and management of electro-mechanical systems. The program is specifically intended to prepare graduates for careers in industries where automated systems are used and to prepare them both to meet current challenges and to be capable of growing with future demands of the field. Students are trained in both the electrical and mechanical disciplines, and then exposed to a wide spectrum of instrumentation and industrial controls concepts. The program culminates with a capstone project design course that requires students to assimilate the skills and knowledge from all of their electrical, mechanical, instrumentation, and controls courses to develop and demonstrate a practical, working electro-mechanical device.
The EMET program provides graduates with the range of practical skills needed to be successful engineers in any industry where modern industrial and manufacturing control systems are heavily used. Students are exposed to a core of electrical and mechanical engineering topics, which are capped off with extensive studies in modern instrumentation and controls concepts. Electrical topics include basic circuits, linear and digital electronics, microcontrollers, and electrical power and machinery. Mechanical topics include CAD (computer aided design) and spatial analysis, statics and dynamics, properties and strength of engineering materials, mechanical drives, and concepts in product and production design. Courses in data acquisition and measurement and instrumentation are included to prepare students for industrial settings. Students study feedback control systems based on PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) concepts, and sequential control systems used in PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) equipment, and robotics. In all cases, a balance between theoretical concepts and practical applications is maintained through a combination of lectures and lab-based activities.
Training in the technical subjects is supported by foundation courses in differential and integral calculus, ordinary differential equations, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, statistical process control, and engineering economics. Students' written and oral communications skills are refined through a technical composition course and through extensive writing and speaking activities in the technical courses. These same activities support an additional outcome of the EMET program, which is to prepare graduates for life-long learning once their formal education is completed.
At the level of faculty and in the classroom, EMET programmatic outcomes translate into specific course goals and accomplishments. Students begin in their accumulation of electrical knowledge with fundamental DC and AC circuit concepts including standard circuit analysis theorems and methods. Subsequent electrical courses in the EMET program focus on digital, linear, and microcontroller circuitry and on the characteristics of machinery and electronics used to distribute electrical power and convert electrical to mechanical power. Digital instruction requires students to understand, assemble, and use basic combinatorial and sequential logic circuits, including general logic circuits, multiplexers/de-multiplexers, counters, timers, and computer memory. Microcontroller instruction builds on digital concepts to teach students the architecture and operation of state-of-the-art microcontrollers, including the programming of the devices to perform practical tasks and to interface and exchange data with other computer and data acquisition devices. Linear electronics focuses on the operation and application of op-amps and other general-purpose IC (Integrated Circuit) devices to a range of commonly-encountered small-signal, filtering, data acquisition, signal conditioning, and control circuits. In the area of machines and power technology, students are required to develop and demonstrate an understanding of the operating characteristics and capabilities of the AC and DC machines typically found in industry, , as well as the power electronics used to operate these motors.
Students begin a study of mechanical topics with an introduction to basic computer-aided drafting skills, an understanding of statics, and knowledge of the properties of typical engineering materials. Thus, mechanical courses in the EMET program focus on CAD, spatial analysis, statics, dynamics, strength of engineering materials, machine design, and production design. CAD instruction requires students to be able to create and produce hard copy engineering drawings using AutoCAD and Pro/Engineer. Students are trained to represent objects in two dimensions through multiview drawing. The three-dimensional training begins with part creation, and also includes assembly creation as well as model analysis. Dynamics instruction trains students to determine the velocities and accelerations of particles and rigid bodies due to applied forces and torques. In the strength of materials courses, students learn to calculate stresses and deflections of simple structural entities due to applied forces and moments. Machine design and mechanical drives studies build on the understanding of properties and strength of materials to teach students how to determine required sizes and strengths of common machine parts. Finally, the production design courses familiarize students with typical industrial production techniques, such as jig and fixture design and computer-numerical-control methods.
In all areas, demonstrated abilities must include both theory-based analytical problem solving and practice-oriented building, testing, and troubleshooting of actual devices in lab. Students must also demonstrate the ability to convey their understanding of technical ideas and subjects in public forums both through formal writing and public speaking exercises.
For more information:
Ms. Irene M. Ferrara
Senior Instructor in Engineering
Business, Engineering, and Information Sciences and Technology
Office: C105 Smith Building
Irene Ferrara joined the engineering faculty at Penn State Altoona in August 1995. Currently, she is the Coordinator of the Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology program, a position she has held since January 2005. She has taught classes in computer-aided design, programmable logic controllers, quality control, career preparation and job skills,statics, strength of materials, dynamics, and materials science. Irene received her B.S. in Engineering Science from the Pennsylvania State University and her M.S. in Mechanics and Materials Science from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.