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The mechanical engineering program at William Penn is a distinctive offering, in the form of a 3+2 program of study through a partnership with Iowa State University. As a student in the program, you’ll spend three years completing the Penn Core Curriculum as well as advanced mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering, economics, and writing courses. The final two years are completed at Iowa State University. When you successfully complete the program, you will have earned a B.A. from William Penn, and a B.S.M.E. from Iowa State.

Mechanical Engineering continues to be a career choice which provides high job satisfaction, high salaries, and high demand in the workforce.

Dr. Jim Hoeksema, Co-Chair of the Applied Technology Division


The mechanical engineering field is expected to achieve sustained growth through the year 2024 according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and remains one of the higher-paying career fields for college graduates. In fact, the median annual pay for a mechanical engineer in 2015 was more than $83,000.  Employers that have hired graduates from the WPU mechanical engineering program include:

  • Musco Sports Lighting, LLC
  • John Deere
  • Cargill, Inc.
  • Vermeer Corporation
  • Pella Corporation


A key aspect of the mechanical engineering program is putting theory into action through hands-on learning experiences, and internships are among the best ways for that to happen. In addition to providing invaluable perspective on how knowledge is applied in a real-world professional environment, internships also provide an ideal opportunity for developing professional connections and networks. Our students recently have completed internships at:

  • Pella Corporation
  • Musco Sports Lighting, LLC
  • Wilson Trailer Company
  • Montezuma Manufacturing
  • Cunningham (HVAC), Inc.
  • Clow Valve Co.
  • Weiler Corporation
  • Van Gorp Manufacturing


James Smith, M.S.

Instructor of Industrial Technology 641-673-1098 Email

Jim Drost, Ph.D

Co-Chair of Applied Technology, Professor of Industrial Technology 641-673-1104 Email

Ravindra Kumar, Ph.D

Visiting Professor of Mechanical Engineering 641-673-1099 Email


As a student in the program you’ll be able to enhance your learning experience through membership in student organizations like the Math Club or Computer Club. You’ll also have the opportunity for field trips to places like the hydroelectric plant in Ottumwa, Iowa; the Iowa Energy Center in Ankeny, Iowa; Co-Line Welding in Sully, Iowa; Chillicothe Coal-Fired Electric Plant; and the Siemens wind turbine blade factoryin Fort Madison, Iowa.


Musco Technology Center (MTC)

WPU opened the doors of the Musco Technology Center in 2008. Within the building, students have access to state-of-the-art equipment and machinery, giving them practical experience for after graduation. The Applied Technology Division holds most of its classes here, along with the Digital Communication program.

  • Digital Communication studios
  • Computer Labs
  • Classrooms
  • 88.7 KIGC FM Studio
  • Industrial Technology Labs
  • Faculty Offices
  • Student Lounge
  • Mechanical Engineering Labs


You’ll take the following courses as a student in the mechanical engineering program, the first three years at William Penn University and last two years at Iowa State University.

Year 1
  • ENGR 101 Engineering Graphics I
  • ENGR 102 Engineering Graphics II
  • ENGR 125 Industrial Metal Processes
  • ENGR 215 Materials & Processes
  • LDRS 100 College Foundations
  • LDRS 101 English Composition I
  • LDRS 102 English Composition II
  • LDRS 105 Computers & Technology
  • MATH 140 College Algebra & Trigonometry (depending on math assessment)
  • MATH 241 Analytical Geometry & Calculus I
  • APCS 205 Algorithms & Programming (or Year 2, depending on schedule)
  • PSYC 102/108 or SOCI 101/123 Psychology or Sociology
Year 2
  • ENGR 341 Statics
  • LDRS 200 Principles of Communication
  • HIST 217 Leaders in American History or HIST 234 or HIST 318
  • LDRS 220 Arts & Society I or LDRS 221 Arts & Society II
  • MATH 242 Calculus II
  • MATH 343 Calculus III
  • PHYS 211 College Physics I
  • PHYS 212 College Physics II
  • INDU 227 Electrical Energy & Circuits
Year 3
  • APCS 345 Numerical Analysis Methods
  • CHEM 101 General Chemistry I (or Year 1, depending on schedule)
  • ECON 211 Principles of Microeconomics/ECON 212 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ENGR 342 Dynamics
  • ENGR 343 Mechanics of Materials
  • ENGR 327 Engineering Thermodynamics
  • LDRS 290 Quaker Values
  • ART/MUSI/THEA (or Year 1, depending on schedule)
  • RELI 300 Comparative Religion
  • LDRS 390 Contemporary Leadership
  • MATH 335 Differential Equations
  • MATH 336 Mathematical Statistics
Year 4
  • LIB 160 Library Instruction
  • MatE 273 Introduction to Materials
  • ME 202 Career Planning
  • ME 231 Engineering Thermodynamics I
  • ME 270 Intro to Mechanical Engineering Design
  • ME 324 Manufacturing
  • ME 325 Mechanism and Machine Design
  • ME 332 Engineering Thermodynamics II
  • ME 370 Engineering Measurements & Instrumentation
  • EE 442 Introduction to Circuits and Instruments
  • EE 448 Intro to AC Circuits and Motors
  • Gen Educ American Diversity/International Perspective
  • ECON 201/202 Microeconomics/Macroeconomics
Year 5
  • ME 335 Fluid Flow
  • ME 421 Mechanical Systems and Control
  • ME 436 Heat Transfer
  • Design Elective
  • Technical Electives (could take INDU 315, INDU 329, MATH 353 at Penn)