Aaron Birt received his PhD in materials science and engineering. He has been celebrated for “as much for what he will do in the future as for what he has already done in the past,” according to Diran Apelian, director of the Metal Processing Institute. “In many cases, the future is perfectly tied to past actions. In few other young individuals that I know is this truer than in Aaron. He is one of those individuals who when asked about plans for the future simply tells me he plans to ‘change the world.’” Aaron was honored as a "30 under 30" innovator in Advancing Manufacturing in 2016. In 2017, he became co-founder of the lithium-ion battery start-up Kinetic Batteries, and was named to Forbes “30 under 30” list for manufacturing and industry.
At WPI, we look at the materials around us and make them better or change them through manufacturing processes and business practices to meet industry and consumer needs. WPI’s Manufacturing Engineering program focuses on producing engineering designs that bring ideas into practical, cost-effective use in a production process that is less expensive, safer, and healthier for the planet.
Manufacturing engineering students work one-on-one with WPI’s renowned faculty who are leaders in fields like robotics, manufacturing and materials processing, control systems, machining, grinding, teaching CNC machining, materials engineering, and surface metrology.
Research at WPI is hands-on and cutting edge as we seek ways to advance the field while always improving manufacturing processes. Students address environmental issues in industrial processes and consider each task with a perspective on manufacturing’s global influence.
The latest edition of Advanced Manufacturing includes a guest column by Bogdan Vernescu, vice provost for research, about the importance of the manufacturing engineering education (MEE) grant program.
In a Sunday feature story about the future of manufacturing in the Worcester area, Diran Apelian, the Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Engineering and founding director of the Metal Processing Institute, discussed WPI’s emphasis on teaching students entrepreneurship.
WPI Students Teach Job Skills to Displaced Workers
WPI's students are learning about manufacturing as they teach the skills to others. Watch this video to see how WPI students are helping long-term displaced workers develop job skills in CNC manufacturing through a partnership between WPI's Manufacturing Labs and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP).
Manufacturing Engineering Students Gain Real-World Skills
Our manufacturing engineering students work closely with faculty and with project teams to learn how to apply their knowledge about materials and manufacturing from the classroom to real-world problems in an industrial or organizational setting. This hands-on approach increases confidence, instills essential skills, and gives students valuable experience to launch meaningful careers in which they can make real change.
WPI was established more than 150 years ago to generate the human and intellectual capital required to help transform the United States into a manufacturing powerhouse. True to our founding mission—to prepare students to put theory into impactful practice—our approach to manufacturing education and research has always had a distinct practical focus.
An accelerated BS/MS option is available to manufacturing engineering students interested in earning both degrees in a shorter time. Students interested in the program are encouraged to apply during their junior year when they will complete the online graduate admissions application, indicating both the BS/MS option and manufacturing.
With an degree in Manufacturing Engineering, graduates may assume leadership roles in many industries or academia. Today’s employers seek the kinds of skills manufacturing engineers have because they know that expertise will to lead breakthroughs in areas where innovative products change lives.