Friends to offer new mechanical engineering degree in Fall 2019

Friends University will begin offering a new bachelor’s program in mechanical engineering this fall. The new program is one of only three programs offered at a faith-based, private university in Kansas.

“We’ve seen interest from students who want to pursue mechanical engineering in a faith-based environment,” said Dr. Nora Strasser, division chair of the Natural Science and Mathematics division. “In addition to the technical skills they will acquire through our program, they will also benefit from strengthening their soft skills, such as developing strong ethics, leadership and effective communication – skills that are in high demand by today’s employers.”

The new bachelor’s program will allow a graduate to enter the work force as a practicing engineer or continue their education as a graduate student in an engineering-related field.

Dr. Teresa Miller will oversee the program with students learning from engineering experts in the Wichita region. Dr. Miller holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Wichita State University. She has held numerous engineering and management positions in new aircraft design, analysis and testing at Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems and Bombardier.

“Mechanical engineering is a broad-spectrum type of engineering which is used in a wide variety of engineering occupations. The job prospects are strong for our graduates in this field,” Dr. Miller said. “With a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1, students will benefit from more individualized instruction and attention than larger programs can offer.”

Dr. Kenneth Stoltzfus, academic dean at Friends University, also notes that students will benefit from learning from local engineering experts in the classroom.

“The fact that students are learning and networking with local engineering leaders in a smaller, faith-based environment should have a positive impact for our students when it’s time to graduate and find a job,” Dr. Stoltzfus said. “Engineering experts see that our students not only have the technical skills, but have learned about ethics, teamwork and other aspects of the profession that are important to be successful in the field today.”

Students interested in learning more about the new program are invited to attend a Mechanical Engineering Open House April 23 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in William Penn Science Building, Room 100 on the Friends University campus. To register for the open house, click here. For more information on the program, visit or apply at

Friends University, a Christian University of Quaker heritage, equips students to honor God and serve others by integrating their intellectual, spiritual and professional lives.