The Kettering University Chemical Engineering program was recently accredited by ABET, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that accredits university applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology programs. This makes Kettering the sixth ABET accredited Chemical Engineering program in Michigan.
“This is very exciting news for our program,” said Stacy Seeley, the Chemical Engineering Program Director and Department Head for Chemistry and Biochemistry. “It is an affirmation of the significant work we have put into developing a rigorous and unique Chemical Engineering program that fully prepares students to make a positive and immediate impact in the professional world.”
The accreditation, which is voluntary, is a peer-reviewed process that assures that university programs meet the professional standards established in industry. ABET evaluators cited three major strengths for the new program which included a strong emphasis on lab courses that couple the course theory with hands-on applications, a unique co-op education program where students will graduate with two-and-a-half years of chemical engineering work experience and individualized student education with strong faculty mentorship.
Dr. Stacy Seeley
“This accreditation is a significant milestone for the Chemical Engineering program and for Kettering University,” said Kettering University Provost Robert Simpson. “Our Chemical Engineering faculty have created a robust program that fuses theory through classroom learning with practice in labs and co-op placements as well as any program in the country.”
"ABET accreditation will elevate our reputation as an innovative and pioneering chemical engineering program,” Seeley said. “It will also add to the reputation of Kettering University as a leader in engineering education."
The Kettering University Chemical Engineering program was launched in 2008 and graduated its first students in 2011. There are currently approximately 100 students in the Chemical Engineering program and 26 students have graduated from the program since it launched.
The department applied for ABET accreditation in January of 2012. The process included a self-study evaluating the program and an on-campus evaluation of the program by an ABET team, both of which were very successful.
“Our self-study was chosen as a model study for use at the ABET Symposium in April of 2013,” said Dr. Susan Farhat, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Assessment Leader of the program. “Very few self-studies were chosen to be used as model studies this year out of all that were submitted.”
Chemical Engineering is one of the fastest growing programs at Kettering and chemical engineers are extremely sought after in a variety of industries on the current job market. Students in Kettering’s program get to work in new, state-of-the-art labs and learn from faculty with a wide array of professional experience in industry. In addition, through their co-op placements with companies like General Motors, Dow Chemical, Whirlpool, Asahi Kasei, Exxon Mobil, Argonne National Labs, DTE Energy and DuPont, among others, they get the opportunity to immediately apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and labs in a professional setting.