Manchester engineering science
It was announced in 2019 that Manchester University would no longer offer the engineering science major, though current majors were able to finish out their degrees.
Photo by MU

Final Four Engineering Science Majors Reflect on Program, Field

Christian Smith

When Manchester decided in Spring 2019 that they will no longer offer the major of engineering science, those students who had enrolled before Fall 2020 were allowed to carry out their engineering degree. Currently there are only 4 engineering science major students left at MU.

Then in fall 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the U.S., resulting the whole state of Indiana to go on a stay-at-home, not only did these students had to take on more pressure of passing classes without in-person support but they also had to face the struggle or a new learning environment.

Senior Bryce Morales, an engineering science major fell in love with math so much that he felt the engineering field was a perfect fit for him as a career. “I enjoy the major but work is not easy” he said with a chuckle. “Although it is difficult, I like how this major challenges me mentally and allows me to really think and use my prior knowledge.”

Years from now Morales sees himself working in the engineering field but don’t know which field he wants to pursue. “The hardest engineering science course I’ve taken here is analytical mechanics, which really challenges me mathematically and scientifically” he said.

He went on to say: “With Covid-19 restrictions adding on to the news about the engineering science program , it was a lot harder mentally trying to stay up to speed with schoolwork due to being home (in Florida) and also trying to adopt to a new learning style by doing everything virtual. Imagine trying to do a hands on lab online and you have to make predictions and assumption rather than being able to physically perform the lab and see results first hand.

Heather Binion and Ryan Nastav, juniors in the engineering science major, were very upset when the found out about MU engineering program coming to an end. “When MU got rid of the major and decided to support the students to continue to finish I felt like as if myself and the other ES students were isolated from the University, I felt we were alone,” Binion said. “We are already low in numbers as ES students and now down to 1 engineering course professor left, it feels as if were forgotten. The classes seem harder when there is no large support of students in your class.”

Binion’s only motivation to keep pursuing her dream to work in the engineering field is her love and passion for chemistry and engineering as well as taking into account the work she’s already put in at MU. A couple years from now she plans to have complete her master’s and work in the field of chemical engineering. “Although the work is hard, it’s worth it in the long run,“ she said.

Nastav chuckled and nodded his head in agreement. He went on to mention that he agreed with everything Binion was saying, and added: “I felt like MU should have discussed this change with the other ES students and me before making a final decision. But I understand there reason for it.”

He also mentions that he appreciates that the University was allowing the opportunity for this major to be completed. Nastav hopes to go into the aerospace and/ or mechanical field of engineering. He looks to use his degree in engineering science in the aerospace or mechanical engineering field, and says that he gained a passion for this career field because of the material he learns day in and day out at MU.

Nastav was happy to know that MU campus was opening back to in-person learning. “During our opening convocation. Pres. Dave’s theme for the University was, 'Here We Stand,’” he said. “I can say this hits closer to home for me and the other ES students, because we’ve faced many obstacles and now we are in the final year here at MU and the theme encourages us to finish strong.”