Mississippi Public Universities prepare workforce for shipbuilding industry

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(Information provided by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning)

It is no wonder that Mississippi is home to several shipbuilders, considering that the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway have more than 15 ports to serve the needs of the shipbuilding industry. Mississippi Public Universities also serve the needs of the shipbuilding industry by preparing students to build maritime vessels of all types, from battleships to yachts.

The Department of Engineering Technology at Mississippi Valley State University offers students hands-on experience with Computer Aided Design & Drafting (CADD) software utilized in the shipbuilding industry. MVSU engineering technology majors learn architectural, civil, mechanical and structural drafting. Students concentrating in electrotonic are taught skills needed for the electrical aspects of the industry. In addition, the management concertation prepares students for supervisory roles within the industry.

The University of Mississippi prepares the workforce for the shipbuilding industry through the Center for Manufacturing Excellence, which partners with the Schools of Accountancy, Business Administration, and Engineering to offer a unique undergraduate degree for careers in manufacturing. Students gain the professional skills involved in successful manufacturing along with an understanding of accounting, communication, human resources, leadership, management, and marketing. CME has extensive facilities including a 47,000-square-foot building with state-of-the-art classrooms, a 12,000-square-foot factory, assembly and finishing areas, and a robotics laboratory.

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) offers the state’s only Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering—one of only 10 such programs in the nation. Offered through USM’s School of Ocean Science and Engineering, the degree reflects the school’s emphasis on the emerging “Blue Economy” and supports shipbuilding, the maritime industry, offshore oil and gas exploration, environmental monitoring, port operations, coastal engineering and more.

USM’s ocean engineering program features interdisciplinary coursework that integrates multiple engineering fields, including mechanical, civil, electrical, computer and environmental. Students participating in the program have the unique opportunity to access laboratory facilities located at Stennis Space Center in Hancock county, as well as USM’s new Marine Research Center located at the Port of Gulfport.

The Undergraduate Civil Engineering Program at Jackson State University is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. The undergraduate curriculum offers two concentrations in general civil engineering and environmental engineering.

It may be obvious that building a ship requires the expertise of an engineer, but it actually requires many types of engineers, including mechanical, structural, naval, civil and chemical, to name a few. Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering offers mechanical engineering, the application of science and mathematics to the design, development, and operation of mechanical and energy systems, and industrial and system engineering, the design and improvement of systems to make products or provide services, among other engineering disciplines.

Mississippi State University also offers industrial and systems engineering (ISE), the design and improvement of systems to make products or provide services. Students in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering learn and research how to design, improve, and control systems of people, materials, information, equipment, energy, and capital to increase quality, safety, and profitability. Industrial and systems engineers provide innovative solutions to the complex problems faced by virtually all enterprises operating in today’s global economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that of the more than 18 engineering fields, ISE is among the top three employed. Master’s and doctoral degrees are also offered.

Wherever their jobs may take them, engineers who are already working in the field have the chance to enhance their skills with a graduate degree through Bagley’s Online Graduate Engineering Programs, which was ranked in the nation’s Top 50 for Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

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