UMass Lowell has the largest and most well established Plastics Engineering Program in the country. Plastics are widely used in the manufacture of products that we use in our daily lives. The companies that manufacture these products have a need for engineers that understand how plastics materials behave so that these products can be designed, tested and manufactured. This program is designed to prepare the graduate for a professional career as a Plastics Engineer. The curriculum provides a sound basis in mathematics, chemistry and process engineering, plus a full study of plastics materials, properties, physics, engineering sciences, product design, plastics manufacturing and computer aided engineering. It includes sufficient flexibility for further specialization in areas of individual interest.
Undergraduates may join the nation’s very first student chapter of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) chartered back in 1959.
Since the Plastics Engineering program started in 1954, more than 3000 graduates have been employed by companies throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Major plastics producers and end users recruit annually on campus. Most job openings are in manufacturing, product and process development, technical service and marketing. Some graduates go into research, consulting and teaching. The Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Plastics Engineering) program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, and is the only accredited plastics engineering program in the United States.
Program Educational Objectives
The primary objective of the Plastics Engineering Program is to provide a well-rounded basic level engineering education that prepares our graduates to be readily employable professionals in a lifetime career of Plastics Engineering.
The curriculum provides a sound foundation in basic sciences, engineering disciplines and communication skills along with a detailed study, including a laboratory experience, of plastics materials, properties, processing and design. The curriculum aims to foster professionalism, ethics and safety.
The department maintains the highest standard of academic excellence in plastics engineering, and maintains a caring environment for students of diverse backgrounds. The Plastics Engineering Program Educational Objectives (PEOX) listed below allow graduates to secure and develop the following post-graduation skills:
- PEO1 Graduates are expected to position themselves as readily employable professionals within all fields of plastics engineering, from plastic (polymer) synthesis, material characterization, product design, mold design, die design, troubleshooting and technical service in the field of plastics engineering.
- PEO2 Graduates are expected to position themselves as project/team leaders, with developing skills to advance within management levels in the commercial plastics industry.
- PEO3 Given the program’s deep outreach measures to alumni within the Plastics Engineering Community, our graduates are expected to maintain contact with the Plastics Engineering Program and that they continue to report and advise on the educational requirements within the field of plastics engineering.
- PEO4 Graduates are expected to become team leaders within the global plastics engineering community and to be able to lead and respond to global changes in the field of plastics engineering.
- PEO5 Graduates are expected to be well-positioned to consider their need for advanced degrees in the field of plastics engineering, other engineering disciplines, marketing, business administration, medical and intellectual property law.
- PEO6 Graduates are expected to adapt to emerging issues in plastics engineering, related to globalization of the plastics industry, environmental concerns and the importance of developing sustainable and reusable resources.
Course of Study
In order to keep our graduates competitive in the ever advancing field of plastics engineering, the course offerings and degree requirements are periodically reviewed and revised. For current course descriptions and requirements, check the UMass Lowell online Course Catalog.
For information on electives, check the Course Electives page.