May 29, 2023  
2014-2015 Catalog 
2014-2015 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design, BS

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Department of Engineering and Design, College of Science and Engineering

124 credits


The Bachelor of Science degree program in Industrial Technology-Vehicle Design prepares graduates for design, product development and manufacturing positions in the automotive, marine, aerospace, composites, and alternative fuel industry. The program uses vehicle research, design and development projects to educate students. Through the Vehicle Research Institute, over 50 vehicles have been built since 1972. Since 1989, developing hybrid electrical and natural gas/biomethane vehicle technology has been a focus of the program. The student teams have set records around Indianapolis Motor Speedway, up Pike’s Peak and across the Australian Outback with a class win in the 1990 World Solar Challenge. A recent team was the only U.S. university-based team in the finals of the Progressive Automotive X Prize - a $10 million prize to build a 100 mile per hour gallon car. Graduates have entered a wide range of industry sectors including: automotive, automotive racing, aerospace, marine, heavy duty vehicle, composites, prototype design and manufacturing, computer numerically controlled machining and biofuels. Students gain an understanding of the tools, materials and processes used in industry.

Why Consider an Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design Major?

The Bachelor of Science Degree program in Industrial Technology-Vehicle Design prepares graduates for the above listed fields.

 Contact Information

Engineering and Design Departmental Website:

Industrial Technology
Vehicle Design Program Director

Eric Leonhardt
Engineering Technology 146

Program Coordinator
& Pre-Major Advisor

Lisa Ochs
Engineering Technology 204

 Sample Careers

Jobs obtained by Western students vary widely depending on the individual student’s abilities and the portfolio of work they create while in the program. Graduates of this program hold positions with all the major automotive equipment manufacturers and custom car-building companies, as well as positions as stylists. Graduates also work in the marine, aerospace, composites and trucking industries.

 Major/Career Resources

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Admission to the Industrial Technology-Vehicle Design program is a two-phase process. When students initially declare, they are designated as pre-majors. Students must complete the courses listed below in order to apply to the major. Admission to full major status is determined by academic performance as a pre-major and other factors. Admission to the major is competitive. Neither completion of the prerequisites nor attainment of any specific GPA guarantees admission.

Major prerequisite courses: MATH 124, MATH 125, CHEM 121, PHYS 161, ENGR 104 (ETEC 112), MFGE 261 (ETEC 113), ENGR 170 (ETEC 220), ENGR 214 (ETEC 224), and VHCL 260 (ETEC 280). Students may be currently enrolled in no more than two of the above courses when they apply for major admission. A final decision on applications may be delayed until receipt of final grades for in-progress courses. Students must obtain at least a C- in the above courses and an overall GPA in them of 2.0 or higher to be considered. AP scores are converted to GPA as follows: 5 = A; 4 = B; 3 = C. Decisions are based on the portfolio and cumulative GPA in the prerequisite courses, but successful completion of other required Major courses, GPA in the Major, and overall GPA are also considerations.

Application: In addition to academic performance as described above, acceptance decisions will also be based on an essay (500 words or less) explaining why you want a degree in vehicle design and a portfolio of your work including pictures and description of up to three pages. The portfolio should show examples of projects or products/parts that you have designed, fabricated, assembled or produced.

Applications are due by noon on the Tuesday after President’s Day to ET 204. Only complete, on-time applications will be considered. Applicants will be notified by the end of the following week. Students who are accepted must register for Spring quarter VHCL courses before the end of Phase II registration. Students who do not register by the end of Phase II registration may lose their major status.

Other quarters: If additional spaces become available, all pre-Majors will be notified by email that applications are being accepted, including the application deadline.

Transfer Students: A student that will be transferring to Western Washington University will be designated as a pre-major and will need to apply to the major. Transfer students who are interested in pursuing the IT-VD program should meet with an advisor to discuss their options.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.


Supporting courses: 54 credits

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