TSTC Engineering: Training a new generation of problem solvers

Laboratory equipment physical optical experiments

By Amanda Sotelo, TSTC Staff

The Engineering department at Texas State Technical College will prepare a student for advancement in the workplace with a mathematics- and physics-based curriculum that will improve and increase problem-solving skills.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of engineering is expected to grow as much as 10% in the coming decade as government and industry work to meet the challenges of a growing global population and dwindling resources.

With Texas being among the largest employers of engineers in the nation, the Rio Grande Valley is also seeing an increase in demand for highly skilled engineers.

TSTC Engineering department chair Hermes Chirino said as the Valley grows, the need for engineers, especially civil engineers, will increase in the region. And with the newly constructed SpaceX site in Brownsville, he expects aerospace engineers also to be in demand in coming years.

Chirino went on to explain how TSTC’s Engineering department is helping to fill a large demand.

What is the length of the program?

The Engineering program takes five semesters to complete. Upon successful completion, a student will earn an Associate of Science degree in Engineering.

What skills do students learn in Engineering?

In Engineering, students will learn the concept and theory foundations of mathematics and physics, programming for engineers and engineering mechanics — static and dynamic, all of which will allow a student to become problem solvers in the field.  

What types of technologies are used to learn these skills?

To learn these skills, Engineering students will use a wide array of industry-standard software such as MATLAB, which is a type of engineering software used worldwide.

How do these skills prepare a student for the workforce?

Many of the students pursuing an associate degree in Engineering will transfer to obtain a higher degree, with every course in this program being transferrable, or will come from one of the many popular technical programs at TSTC such as Wind Energy Technology, Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics, or Mechatronics Technology.

Nearly 40% of the program is made up of Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics students who find an interest and want to pursue a career in civil engineering. Students who graduate with an associate degree from a technical program in engineering become more marketable among employers.

What types of positions can a graduate obtain?

As a graduate from TSTC’s Engineering program, a student can go on to work as a technician in civil engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering and mechanical engineering.