Engineering (pre-professional) major
Central College offers a dual degree program in engineering with the nation’s foremost engineering institutions: Washington University, Iowa State University or The University of Iowa. The program culminates in a B.A. degree from Central College and a B.S. in engineering from the engineering institution. Students spend three years at Central and then enroll at the engineering institution. Credits transfer back to Central so the students receive a B.A. from Central.
Students often opt to spend four years at Central, complete the B.A. degree before leaving Central and continue with engineering studies at the graduate level thereafter and earn a M.S. degree in engineering.
- Engineer, 3M Corp., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
- Mechanical engineering graduate student, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
- Systems engineer, government flight management systems, Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Communications system engineer, Aerospace Corporation, Washington, D.C.
- Research assistant, Ford Motor Company, Westland, Mich.
- Physicist, Sverdrup Tech/NASA Research Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Audio development engineer, Shure, Inc., Evanston, Ill.
- Manufacturing engineer, Deere & Co., Des Moines, Iowa
- Technical project manager, Wells Fargo, Minneapolis, Minn.
- Graduate student, bio renewable resources, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
- Manager, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Littleton, Colo.
- Associate analyst, EMC Insurance Companies, Des Moines, Iowa
- Product line manager, Alstom Switzerland Ltd., Baden, Switzerland
- Project manager, The Weitz Company, LLC, Des Moines, Iowa
- Research scientist, electrical engineering dept., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
- Mechanical engineer, Creative Composites, Ankeny, Iowa
- Process engineer, Pella Corporation, Pella, Iowa
- Production chemist, Cargill Inc., Eddyville, Iowa
- Mechanical engineer, KJWW Engineering, Urbandale, Iowa
- Planning engineer, MidAmerican Energy Co., Davenport, Iowa
- Civil engineer, Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, Mo.
- Reliability & safety engineer, Rockwell Collins Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Civil engineering graduate student, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
- Distribution engineer, Kansas City Power and Light, Kansas City, Mo.
- Verification manager, Intel Corp., Beaverton, Ore.
- Chemistry research assistant, chemical engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
- Aerospace and mechanical engineering graduate student, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.
- Product engineer, Pella Corporation, Pella, Iowa
- Transmission line design engineer, POWER Engineers, Inc., Seattle, Wash.
- Product development engineer, The HON Company, Muscatine, Iowa
- Mechanical engineer, Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kan.
- Design/process engineer, Co-Line Welding, Inc., Sully, Iowa
- Technical sales engineer, TIG Distributing, Marshalltown, Iowa
Are you looking for practical experience in a given field of engineering? An internship might be the answer. When it comes to future employment or entrance into graduate school, students with internship experience have a proven track record in a professional environment. In today’s competitive job market, proven experience is a priceless commodity. Many students turn their internship into employment after graduation. Past internships include:
- Hon Company, Muscatine, Iowa
- Pella Corporation, Pella, Iowa
- Harper Brushwork, Fairfield, Iowa
- Frontier Natural Products Co-op, Norway, Iowa
- Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, Mo.
- Maytag, Newton, Iowa
- Vermeer Corporation, Pella, Iowa
- Mechanical engineering department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
- Center for Neuroscience, West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.
- Van Gorp Manufacturing Co., Pella, Iowa
- Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, Fort Calhoun, Neb.
- Mid American Energy Co., Des Moines, Iowa
- JFSCO Engineering, Red Oak, Iowa
- Civil and environmental engineering department, Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.
- Materials science and engineering department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
- Fisher Controls/Emerson, Marshalltown, Iowa
Learn more about internships at Central.
Students usually major in physics, chemistry, computer science or mathematics at Central, depending on which of these majors is the most closely allied with their engineering field(s) of interest. The following courses must be included:
- General Chemistry
- Calculus I
- Calculus II
- Differential Equations
- General Physics I
- General Physics II
The pre-engineering program is located in the Vermeer Science Center which recently underwent a $20-million renovation and expansion. The building contains 13 high-tech classrooms. Each contains a ceiling-mounted projector, computer with flat panel monitor, Wolfvision document camera, combination VCR/DVD player and a Ken-a-vision flex camera. Vermeer also contains several computer labs with new Dell computers with flat panel monitors and the most recent versions of math and science computer programs. Numerous science laboratories with state-of-the-art science equipment allow students to conduct their own research. Central was awarded a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) medal rating from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), making the science center the first LEED-rated building in the state.
Numerous physics laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment are available to students. In general physics lab students can utilize specially designed equipment to test and explore physics concepts. They also use advanced devices and computers to collect and analyze data. The recently redesigned electronics lab allows students to experiment with analog circuits, digital circuits and even build microcomputers by themselves. The advanced labs offer a large variety of experiments including cloud chamber, stereo amplifier, laser optics, bomb calorimeter, radio isotopes and speed of light so students can enhance their knowledge through hands-on experimental investigations.
The physics department is licensed by the state of Iowa to own and use a plutonium-beryllium neutron source and a cesium gamma-ray source for experiments in nuclear physics. Our observatory with an 11-inch reflector telescope is located at an optimum site for students to observe stars and other celestial objects. Students can use an x-ray diffractometer and a high-vacuum system with a mass spectrometer to conduct research projects. The pre-engineering program is supported by a mechanical shop with a mill, a lathe and welding equipment.
The chemistry department maintains state-of-the-art instrument research equipment including NMR, IR, AA, GC, HPLC, UV-VIS and luminescence.
The computing science program is proud to offer a unique computing laboratory with an advanced networking lab which allows students to get hands-on computer networking experience. The laboratory includes an eight-node, 16-processor cluster to support high performance, parallel computing activities. The laboratory also has other advanced technologies to support courses and independent studies.
Central’s dual degree engineering program is an excellent way for students to obtain both an engineering degree and a liberal arts degree in a small classroom setting taught by exceptionally well-qualified faculty devoted to their teaching. A broad background in science, mathematics and the liberal arts, as well as our emphasis on communication skills, helps students to establish themselves as thoughtful, creative, productive engineers. For more information check the physics major at the http://www.central.edu/academics/majors/physics/
Career Center — a helpful resource
Staff of the Career Center, located in the Maytag Student Center, Suite 244, provides the following:
- Individual appointments to help students identify career options in the engineering field.
- Career mentoring through the use of a database of Central alumni in a wide variety of engineering careers.
- Advertising for and transportation to engineering events.
- Assistance with finding and applying for internships and summer opportunities, including specific internship programs in Chicago and Washington, D.C.
- An annual graduate school conference with representatives from regional universities and presentations about success in graduate school.
- Help with graduate school essays and related application materials.
- Workshops on résumé-writing, interviewing and etiquette.
- “Meet the Pros” events where alums return to campus to talk to students about careers in engineering.
Strengths in Central's pre-engineering program
- Faculty provide support to students.
- Small class and laboratory size allow faculty to provide each student with individualized attention and the opportunity to develop those skills so necessary for engineering school.
- Faculty are invested in the success of their students and provide advising that ensures that students have met the course work and preparation required for engineering schools.
- Faculty provide letters of recommendation that make a vital difference in the decision process for acceptance into graduate engineering programs.
- Faculty provide research opportunities.
- Faculty provide students with many professional development opportunities including working alongside professors as student instructors and/or teaching assistants to enhance the learning experience of underclassmen.