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Thursday June 08, 2023

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Engineering Technology Expanding to Sevierville
June 27, 2022

Walters State’s Engineering Technology Program is expanding to the Sevier County Campus beginning fall semester. All courses needed for both the automation specialization and the computer-aided design (CAD) specialization will be available in Sevierville. These lead to the following degrees: the A.A.S. Electrical Engineering Technology Automation Specialization and the A.A.S. Engineering Systems Technology Computer-Aided (CAD) Design Specialization.
“These two specializations are popular with students and the skills taught are needed by employers,” Dr. Bob Dixon, head of engineering technology at the college, said. “Almost all of the manufacturing companies in East Tennessee have automated production. They need people who can program machines and robots.”
Dixon said most students have a job lined up before graduation. The pay range varies, but it compares favorably with other technology programs. 
Many students in engineering technology qualify for Tennessee Reconnect and Tennessee Promise, “last dollar” grant programs that pay tuition. Tennessee Reconnect is designed for adult learners and Tennessee Promise is for current high school students.
Engineering technology leads to a “hands-on” career focused on applications, implementations and design. Engineering technology students also have a broad range of knowledge. Many times, an engineering technology specialist will build something designed by an engineer.
Manufacturing is not the only employer for engineering technology students. Dixon said that many of the area’s entertainment venues also need the same skills to keep amusement park rides and shows in operation. 
New equipment is being installed in two technology labs in Kile-Ogle Hall on the Sevier County Campus. 
The expansion is made possible by a grant from the DENSO North America Foundation. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DENSO, a leading mobility supplier and Sevier County Employer.
“This would not be possible without a generous grant from the DENSO North America Foundation and we are so grateful,” Dr. Jama Spicer Sutton, dean of the Sevier County Campus, said. “Area industries have told us they need employees with skills in engineering technology. We are excited to offer these programs to local students.”
For more information on Walters State’s Engineering Technology Program, contact Dixon at or 423-318-2758.

In the photo: Dr. Bob Dixon, head of engineering technology at Walters State, works on a piece of equipment that will be part of the new engineering technology lab on the college’s Sevier County Campus. Beginning fall semester, the college will offer the automation specialization and the computer-aided design (CAD) programs in Sevierville.