Navajo Technical University Seeks to Support New Economy, Four-year Degrees with New Engineering Technology degree

Published January 9, 2018

CROWNPOINT, NEW MEXICO – A newly created two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology is the latest addition to the programs offered at Navajo Technical University. The program is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will support an economic development initiative by the Navajo Nation in hopes to foster a new economy around additive and subtractive manufacturing.

The A.A.S. degree will be unique in that it will help prepare students to immediately enter the workforce, while also providing pathways to NTU’s four-year degree programs in industrial engineering and advanced manufacturing to ensure success. The program will also partner with several companies that utilize advanced manufacturing technology and software, including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Kansas City Nuclear Security Complex, and NASA.

“Navajo Technical University will continue to develop programs that meet the needs of our students,” said Casmir Aqbaraji Dean of Undergraduate Studies at NTU. “With the new engineering technology program, students will have the option of seeking employment upon completion or continuing on to obtain a bachelor’s degree.”

The program will incorporate courses already being offered through various technical programs at NTU, and will be offered in a 2 + 3 format for students wishing to continue beyond an associate degree. The program will also be mindful of students who are deficient in math and English courses in order to provide a solid foundation for the program’s more advanced concepts. Students who are unsure of what course of study they would like to pursue will also benefit from the program because they will be exposed to learning concepts from several fields of study.

Students in the program will learn about technology trends impacting the advanced manufacturing industry, while engaging in hands on work with 3D printers and laser scanning technology. The work will include cleaning and prepping machines; inspection that includes skills in all operations of metrology; and additional education in 3D modeling, simulation, and digital product definition.

The Navajo Nation is currently in discussion with Morf3D to create a 3D additive manufacturing factory on the Navajo Nation.  The factory foresees over 500 high tech high wage jobs in the next few years that will focus on technical work of mass producing or manufacturing metal 3D printed parts for clients such as Lockheed Martin and Honeywell.

The university currently offers a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Advanced Manufacturing and Bachelor of Science degrees in Industrial Engineering and Electrical Engineering. NTU is hoping that each program, paired with the new degree in Engineering Technology, will help foster in this new economy.

“The additive manufacturing facilities that will be going up will be the first of their kind in the world, and Navajo Technical University is at the forefront of the industry,” explained Dr. Agbaraji.

For more information about NTU’s new degree in Engineering Technology, contact Dr. Casmir Agbaraji at cagbaraji@navajotech.edu.

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