Masters in Manufacturing Engineering

Program Mission

The master’s of manufacturing engineering program at Bradley University provides students with professional robust design and continuous improvement principles. The program gives students the ability to improve integrated systems, optimize manufacturing processes, adopt state-of-the-art materials, and produce superior quality products at minimal cost. By working closely with both constituencies and students, the department combines theoretical learning with hands-on application to keep students – and the organizations they benefit – globally competitive in today’s economy.

Role of Manufacturing Engineers

Manufacturing engineers (MfE) are the intermediaries between consumers and the production floor. As the key personnel who understand the relationship between the Voices of the Customer (VOC) and the Voices of the Products (VOP), their leadership and management skills are critical in determining optimal processes, minimal production costs, superior products and customer satisfaction. Further, MfEs enhance production by eliminating waste; establishing standardized operations; creating safe, green working environments; and providing training and development to the workforce.

The manufacturing engineering (MSMfE) master’s program at Bradley University is designed to broaden the career paths of our students in manufacturing sectors. This sector is comprised of all organizations engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products. A list of possible manufacturing engineering careers for master’s degree holders includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Manufacturing engineers at the Caterpillar Technical Center develop new processes that can be used in the development of new products. By optimizing process maps, they ensure that the best procedures are developed and implemented.
  • Manufacturing engineers at 3M support the production facility’s efforts to increase product quality and reliability through constant reassessment and refinement of the manufacturing process. In the R&D department, they also develop manufacturing methodologies and equipment for products and subassemblies.
  • Manufacturing engineers at General Mills develop automated production lines integrated with on-line quality control and safety inspection to guarantee that the cereals, snacks, and other such consumables they produce are safe, nutritional, and profitable products.
  • Manufacturing engineers at Pella Cooperation facilitate Product-Process-Production (PPP) development teams to design products while taking into account merchandise functions, production processes, and efficient assembly practices. These efforts result in organized one-piece-flow manufacturing systems that minimize floor space to meet delivery deadlines.
  • Manufacturing engineers at Toyota Motors Manufacturing Kentucky Inc. build pokayoke (defect prevention) devices to ensure smooth operations in the assembly line. By using PLC and sensor-related knowledge, they create damage prevention devices that automatically halt the line when errors are detected. They also create ergonomic tools to ensure the safety and efficiency of operators.
  • Manufacturing engineers at Ecolite Manufacturing West (Moreno Valley, CA) develop, evaluate, and improve manufacturing methods using their design skills and familiarity with materials, fabrication processes, tool and production equipment capabilities, assembly methods, and quality assurance. Their work also includes applying lean manufacturing principles to develop efficient assembly equipment and operations.

Educational Development for Future Success

MSMfE at Bradley not only provides a self-constructed program of study for each student based on his or her career interests, but also encourages graduate students to conduct research projects to expand their knowledge in a specific field. The independent research and project management skills gained through this type of training are key core competencies of engineers in any organization. MSMfE students will be encouraged to begin research projects early in their academic training in order to foster interactions between faculty and students and increase chances for industry or federal agency-funded projects.

Financial Assistance

The Graduate School awards scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships on a competitive basis to graduate students. Awards range from partial tuition support to full tuition support that may include a stipend. Students seeking financial assistance should apply according to the deadlines set by the Graduate School at www.bradley.edu/grad.

Faculty

Faculty in the MSMfE program share core values to provide the best curriculum and classroom experience possible. Our faculty of varying academic experiences, and areas of expertise provide a wide range of research opportunities to meet specific student needs, allowing them to not only understand the theory but also grow through industrial or practical projects. The faculty education background can be found here.

Expert Research Support

Two full-time technicians with mechanical and computer networking expertise aid the Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering & Technology. They support the MSIE faculty and graduate students with a multitude of project needs, such as creating fixtures for prototype developments, assisting in networking, and preparing specimens for experiments.

  • Ronald Jones M.S., Purdue University
  • John Leber B.S., Carleton College & Florida Atlantic University

Degree Requirements

The program offers students three options: thesis, research project, and a courses only option. For more detailed information on these options, please refer to the following document. (Rules for Thesis and Project Options) The MS degree has a minimum requirement of 30 semester hours with a minimum grade point average of 3.00 for degree completion. Credit hours must be fulfilled as follows:

A. Core Courses – 3 Credit hours (one from the following list)

IME 511 Engineering Statistical Methods 3
IME 512 Design and Analysis of Experiments 3

B. Thesis (6 credit hrs), Research project (3 credit hrs) – not required for all-course option

Thesis Option
IME 699 Thesis Work 6
Research-Project Option
IME 691 Research 3

Both thesis and project options should lead to a scholarly publication which must demonstrate comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of a topic in a concentration. It should be suitable for submission to a refereed publication acceptable to the Program of Study (POS) committee. A thesis involves more extensive and in-depth research than a research project. Responding to input received from industry and our alumni, the masters of Manufacturing engineering program (MSMFE) has been modified to allow students to select from one of the following concentrations:

1) Production Engineering Concentration 2) Manufacturing Management Concentration

Rules for Thesis and Project Options

This document provides definitions and rules relative to research-projects, theses and comprehensive exams to be completed by students in the graduate programs in the IMET Department.

C. Concentration courses (min. 15 credit hours)

Production Engineering Concentration
(1) IME 531 Polymer and Ceramic Materials and Manufacturing
Or IME 533 Composite Materials and Manufacturing
3
(2) IME 541 Advanced Forming Processes 3
(3) IME 543 Advanced Material Removals Processes
Or IME 547 Advanced Joining and Fabrication
3
(4) IME 553 Advanced CAM 3
(5) IME 555 Computer Integrated Manufacturing System 3
(6) IME 590 Geometric Modeling
Or IME 592 Tribology
3
(7) IME 595 DFM & Tool Design 3
Manufacturing Management Concentration
(1) IME 501 Engineering Economy and Cost Engineering 3
(2) IME 522 Manufacturing Quality Control 3
(3) IME 524 Six Sigma Theory and Methodologies 3
(4) IME 555 Computer Integrated Manufacturing Systems 3
(5) IME 581 Lean Manufacturing System Design 3
(6) IME 586 Advanced Logistical Supply Chain Systems 3
(7) IME 566 Advanced Facility Planning 3
(8) BMA 602 Organizational Behavior 3

D. Elective courses

The remainder of credits must be taken from the list below:
a. Any 500-600 level course(s) offered in the IMET Department
b. Any other graduate level course(s) in the University with consent of the project/thesis adviser