Southern Utah University is one of only a handful of state universities across the country to offer a four year Bachelor's degree in CAD/CAM Engineering Technology. The four year degree program was developed in 1990 by senior faculty members. At that time, CAD/CAM faculty members, with input from members of an industry advisory board, saw a need for graduates with technical skills, design skills, and academic skills. Students from SUU's CAD/CAM program possess all of these skills upon graduation.
Curriculum on the mechanical side carries a heavy emphasis towards 3D solid modeling, parametric construction, and computer aided manufacturing. The mechanical design industry is in the process of moving away from typical 2D computer aided drafting, in favor of 3D solid modeling and parametric construction. Graduates who possess these skills are in high demand. All students find employment before graduating. Starting salaries are right at, and sometimes exceed, what traditional mechanical engineers earn. In urban areas, starting salaries are very close to $40,000 annually. Individuals with a high level of skill using CATIA earn an average of $55,000 annually.
Along with finding work in the area of mechanical design, graduates of the CAD/CAM Engineering Technology program also find work in the areas of architectural design and civil design. Students have the option of enrolling in architectural design and civil design courses to help meet their occupational goals. Large architectural design and civil design firms have indicated that there is a shortage of architectural designers and civil designers. There is a large demand for individuals to work in the areas of either architectural design or civil design, without necessarily possessing degrees in either Architecture or in Civil Engineering. Both areas are in need of individuals with design skills. SUU's CAD/CAM Engineering Technology program places heavy emphasis on developing and utilizing design skills on all areas.
Southern Utah University's CAD/CAM Engineering Technology program is correlated with input from members of an industry advisory board. Curriculum is continually updated based upon suggestions from the industry advisory board members. As students progress through the CAD/CAM Engineering Technology program, they gain extensive skills in free hand sketching, design (mechanical, architectural, and civil), layout, and manufacturing.
Students gain experience using AutoCAD 2005. Many design firms utilize AutoCAD for large portions of legacy data. Students also gain experience using AutoDesk Inventor 9. Inventor is a very affordable yet powerful 3D solid modeling and parametric construction software package. Inventor is very attractive for mechanical design firms that are looking to move into 3D solid modeling and parametric construction from 2D AutoCAD or other 2D drafting software.
Students also gain experience using Mastercam 9. Mastercam is computer aided manufacturing software that is used for the manufacture of numerous types of parts. Students also gain experience setting up parts for manufacture using the Spectralight bench top mill.
Students also gain experience in what may be considered the "Cadillac of CAD software" CATIA. CATIA is used by Boeing, Chrysler, and other heavy hitters in the design and manufacturing area. Students gain experience using CATIA's unique features such a Kinematics, Stress Test, Static's calculations and Animation. Professor Richard Cozzens, who teaches all of the CATIA courses has written the mostly widely used CATIA textbooks in print at this time. As of this writing, over 60 colleges and universities across the country use Professor Cozzens CATIA textbooks. Professor Cozzens has written several articles in CATIA Solutions magazine discussing the possibility's of using CATIA V5 for architectural design work. A sample house drawn by Professor Cozzens can be viewed online.
Southern Utah University's CAD/CAM Engineering Technology program is student oriented. Students benefit from small class size and practical, real world instruction provided by instructors who want to see students succeed. Instruction is geared towards entry level students with little or no experience in the CAD/CAM area. Anyone who is interested can contact either Scott Hansen or Richard Cozzens for more information.