Help: Name For New Engineering Department
Q: I hope you can help with this. Our departments of: * Mechanical Engineering * Aerospace Engineering * Engineering Science & Mechanics will soon merge to form a new department. The tentative name for the new department is: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Science and Mechanics but many here feel this is too long. Can you please propose a shorter name that is also representative of the typical programs in the three mentioned departments?
A: -where I went to school all of these areas were covered by the 'Mechanical Engineering' department, including Manufacturing Engineering as well. -Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Sciences. -How about The Department of Noisy Friday Afternoon Faculty Meetings ? 8*) (couldn't resist, and I hope your new department won't be subject to the conflict often associated with such mergers...) I liked Department of Applied Mechanics until I realized that students will doubtless want "Engineering" in the name. The problem is a fairly serious one: a department's name is its brand name. Nobody's going to declare a major in the Department of Extreme Hardship and Dull Toil even if it's changed its curriculum radically and is no longer dull. You probably can't use Mechanical Engineering because everyone will assume that Eng Sci and Aero have been eliminated. The long name would work, and might be the best for the students and the health of the department if not for the secretary who answers the telephone. You could try combinations like Mechanical and Aero Engineering Science if it's clear that everyone, especially prospective students, understood which fields were included. It might be a good idea to look back at the history of the school to see how the various departments formed and what they were called back when. We've run into this problem as electrical engineering has imploded. Most departments are now Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Ohio University now has to contend with the just-announced inclusion of computer science into the department. A talk with your admission people might also help. The sales staff there should know how department names are perceived by the public. At Point Park College we had a Natural Science and Engineering Technology Department that covered pre-med and engineering technology and about every other field outside of ballet. It worked, I think mostly because the admissions folks were good.
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