WINONA LAKE – Grace College is announced its bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering has earned accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.
Located in the Orthopedic Captial of the World, this accreditation has significant implications not only for Grace College students and faculty but also for local orthopedic companies and the greater community of Warsaw, according to a news release from Grace College.
“Grace’s engineering program has been building to get to this point of ABET accreditation since I arrived in 2018,” said Dr. Fred Wentorf, director of the Department of Engineering at Grace. “This accreditation is assurance that our program meets the quality standards established by the profession. It is the same bar that is used to assess engineering programs of all sizes, including Purdue and MIT. ”
The engineering program boasts a 100% postgraduate placement rate in the engineering industry. Many of the program’s graduates step into local positions and have jobs lined up before graduation. Two recent examples include Natalie Gerber, a 2022 graduate working as a development engineer at Wishbone Orthopaedics, and Cody Holmes, a 2021 graduate working as a development engineer for Zimmer Biomet, a Fortune 500 company.
“If I did not go to Grace, I may not have my current job,” said Holmes. “The Grace Engineering Department is staffed with experienced professors who have the goal of sharing all they have learned with the next generation of engineers.”
One of the program’s distinctions is its close relationships with the local robust engineering industry. This is demonstrated in part by its advisory council of top leaders from medical technology companies such as Zimmer Biomet, DePuy, Wishbone, Ignite Orthopedics and JTL, who actively guide the program’s curriculum and ensure it’s up to date with current industry needs.
President, CEO and Co-Founder of Ignite Orthopedics Brian Hoderick sits on the council and brings insights from his 16 years of engineering experience. In addition, he has worked with a number of the program’s students as interns and affirms the value they bring to the workplace.
“The influence of the faculty and advisory council members with orthopedic roots has well positioned the graduates to fulfill the demands required of an R&D Engineer in the orthopedic industry,” said Hoderick. “The understanding of the design control process, quality systems, designing for manufacturing and CAD design, to name a few, are critical skills Grace engineering interns have exhibited during their time with Ignite.”
Additionally, the program is taught by many industry experts with years of experience in the field. David Ray, the operational excellence director at Zimmer Biomet with 35 years of engineering experience and an adjunct professor at Grace, is one example. Ray has used his extensive experience with Six Sigma to train students and give them an edge-up in the job search.
“What sets Grace apart is the small, personal program that enables each student a chance to interact with professors and get hands-on experience throughout their education,” said Ray. “Grace students come out of the program with knowledge that many engineers don’t get until they are already finished with their degree. Therefore, local companies are receiving engineers that can immediately contribute.”
According to Alan Tio, the CEO of the Kosciusko County Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO), this meets a big need for orthopedic companies in Warsaw.
“Our community has some unique talent needs,” said Tio. “Because of the industry base we have and the number of jobs we have, our employers have an ongoing need for world-class talent, particularly in the field of engineering. To have programs here in the community that create and sustain a talent pipeline is crucial to ensure companies will continue to develop new products and services here in Kosciusko County.”
According to Wentorf, ABET accreditation is a critical step in building a solid foundation for the program to grow.
“Our industry-experienced faculty and staff will continue giving students hands-on experience with industry-grade equipment and preparing them for jobs at companies on the cutting-edge of innovation,” said Wentorf. “But most importantly, we will continue equipping world changers who are engineered to serve.”
Visit www.abet.org for more information about ABET.
To learn more about the Grace College Department of Engineering, contact Wentorf at email@example.com or visit www.grace.edu/academics/undergraduate/academic-schools-departments/sc/department-engineering/.