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Otterbein Offers NEW Systems Engineering Program Starting Fall 2015

Otterbein’s major in systems engineering offers a broad-based, interdisciplinary approach to engineering education with the added benefits of personal attention in a small campus setting just minutes from a major metropolitan area. Home to Battelle, Worthington Industries, Lake Shore Cryotronics, Xigent Automation Systems and many other companies, Columbus offers a diverse range of internship, co-op, and career opportunities available for systems engineers.  Students will have the option of enrolling in Otterbein’s four-year program or to participate in a pathway program currently being developed with Systems EngineeringColumbus State Community College (CSCC).  

According to the National Academy of Engineering’s report, The Engineer of 2020, tomorrow’s engineers “will need to be multidisciplinary; and social, cultural, political, and economic forces will impact technological innovation.”

“The System Engineer is often seen as an engineering discipline that ‘thinks big.’ Worthington Industries plant engineers will trouble-shoot complex systems both mechanical and electrical and manage small to large capital projects. The Otterbein curriculum is geared to what most Worthington Industries facilities are looking for — a multidisciplinary engineer that can handle a wide range of plant engineering tasks.”
David Painter, Operations Manager at Worthington Steel

Otterbein’s systems engineering curriculum combines the principles of mechanical, industrial and electrical engineering with our nationally-recognized Integrative Studies (general education) program. Elective tracks are available in industrial systems and high-level systems analysis. Additionally, Senior Year Experience (SYE) courses will place engineering students in multidisciplinary teams to solve real-world problems. 

“I strongly believe that programs such as yours will produce the talent required to meet the future needs of our business and in re-establishing our country as a premier manufacturing presence in the global economy.”
Tim Moorman, Controls Engineering Manager, Xigent Automation Systems, Inc.

Systems EngineeringSystems engineering graduates will be:

  • technically competent, with broad training and perspective;
  • well-positioned to solve problems in a wide range of contexts;
  • creative and ethical problem solvers;
  • effective communicators;
  • educated to seek Professional Engineer (PE) license;
  • employable in a wide variety of situations;
  • leaders in the workplace.

Career Outlook

Ohio will need to fill 274,000 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs by 2018, and 34,000 of those jobs will be for people with degrees in Engineering, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011).

Research conducted by My College Options and STEMconnector and funded by Cisco Systems, Inc., found that 26.4 percent of high school students in Ohio are interested in STEM areas of study compared to 25.5 percent nationally. Of the STEM branches in Ohio, engineering was the top ranked at 12.3 percent, compared to the national average of 11.7 percent. More Information

Additional statistics can be found in Innovation Vital Signs: Ohio’s Federal R&D and STEM* Jobs Report 2013.

Applying to the Program

Students with a passion for math and science, who love solving problems, and who desire a challenging and rewarding career are encouraged to apply. Learn more about applying to Otterbein


The systems engineering program was approved by the University Senate in fall 2013, with one student noting that she transferred to Otterbein from a larger school to receive more personal attention, and believes that engineering students should have the same opportunity. The Ohio Board of Regents approved the program in January 2014.  In accordance with Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) requirements, Otterbein will seek accreditation concurrent with the first graduating class.

Core Courses

Note: See catalog for course descriptions, additional electives and Integrative Studies courses.

Required Courses

  • ENGR 1000 – Engineering Fundamentals I
  • ENGR 1010 – Engineering Fundamentals II
  • ENGR 2000 – Statics and Mechanics of Materials
  • ENGR 2100 – Dynamics
  • ENGR 2200 – Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer
  • ENGR 3000 – Electrical Systems I
  • ENGR 3010 – Electrical Systems II
  • ENGR 3100 – Production Processes
  • ENGR 3200 – Materials Engineering
  • ENGR 3300 – Linear Systems Modeling
  • ENGR 3400 – Production Systems I
  • ENGR 4000 – Production Systems II
  • ENGR 4100 – Automated Systems
  • ENGR 4200 – Statistics and Quality Control
  • ENGR 4800 – Senior Design Project
Elective Tracks
  • ENGR 4300 – Systems Optimization
  • ENGR 4400 – Systems Simulation
  • ENGR 4500 – Vibrations
  • ENGR 4600 – Control Theory
Support Courses
  • MATH 1700 – Calculus I
  • MATH 1800 – Calculus II
  • MATH 2700 – Multivariate Calculus
  • MATH 2900 – Linear Algebra and Intro to ODEs (new)
  • PHYS 1500 – Principles of Physics I
  • PHYS 1600 – Principles of Physics II
  • CHEM 1800 – Accelerated General Chemistry

Four Year Curriculum Plan


Fall Semester

Spring Semester


  • Physics I (Princ of Phys. I)
  • Math I (Calculus I)
  • Engineering I (Eng. Engineering Fundamentals I)
  • Freshman Year Experience (FYS)
  • Activity (Health & PE)
  • Physics II (Princ. Of Phys. II)
  • Math II (Calculus II)
  • Engineering II (Eng. Fundamentals II)
  • Integrative Studies


  • Math III (Multivariate Calc.)
  • Statics & Mechanics of Matr.
  • Chemistry (Accel Gen Chem)
  • Integrative Studies
  • Math IV (Linear Alg & Intro to ODEs)
  • Dynamics
  • Thermodynamics & Heat Transfer
  • Integrative Studies


  • Electrical Systems I (Fundamentals)
  • Production Processes (Intro to Manf. Eng)
  • Materials Engineering
  • Integrative Studies 
  • Electrical Systems II (Sens/Comps/Motor)
  • Linear Systems Modeling
  • Productions Systems I (Prod Pin/Fac Des)
  • Integrative Studies 


  • Automated Systems (FPow/Servos/PLCs)
  • Productions Systems II (Proj Mgt & Eng Econ)
  • Statistics & Quality Control (Prob & Stat)
  • Integrative Studies (Dyad)
  • Systems Optimization or Vibrations
  • Senior Design Project/SYE (Capstone Design)
  • Systems Simulation or Control Theory
  • Integrative Studies (Dyad)

/ Systems Engineering

Dr. Gary Maul
p/ 614.823.1304
e/ gmaul@otterbein.edu

/ Also See

Engineering announcement
Systems Engineering announcement video Thursday, February 6, 2014.

Spotlight On...

Gary Maul
Gary Maul Selected to Lead Otterbein's New Systems Engineering Program

Otterbein University has selected Gary Maul, an Ohio State University professor with more than 40 years of engineering experience in university and industry positions, to serve as director of its new systems engineering program.