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What ABET Accreditation Means

Accreditation is key. It means our program upholds stringent quality standards. ABET (www.abet.org) is the recognized accreditor for programs such as ours. Its stamp of approval means you'll get a great education from us.


Interested in our Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Bioengineering? It's not ABET Accredited, and it's not for you if you want to be a professional engineer. But it's a great springboard into postgraduate study if you're planning on a career in bioengineering, medicine, dentistry, public health, or physiology.

(Find out more about Bioengineering on the WWU Website.)



Studying is important, but to prepare for a career doing things, you often need to ... do things. That's what the labs are for. Here's where you meet and wisely decide not to shake hands with a robotic arm. Here's where you get to stress structures until they collapse—and get academic credit for it. Here's where you get to watch that machine part you designed on a computer get "printed" in 3D plastic by the rapid prototyping machine, and then carved in metal on the CNC lathe. Here's where you get to find out just how breezy it is in a wind tunnel, or how sopping wet water under pressure can get you.

Our hands-on labs are all about discovery:

Analog Electronics Lab

Chuck and Brandon work on their shortwave radio for Electronics II class.
The final project in Electronics I is a class A-B audio power amplifier built on a breadboard. Electronics II uses that amplifier as part of a radio connected to a loudspeaker.
Dr. Frohne helps two students test the frequency response of their low-pass filter circuit.
This class A-B audio amplifier has been built on a homemade circuit board as part of Electronics II class.
Equations describing some of the theory behind building a shortwave radio decorate a lab whiteboard.
Dr. Frohne checks in on Brandon and Chuck's shortwave radio prototype.

Computer Lab

Two freshmen Electrical Engineering students lay out their circuit boards (to be fabricated using the LPKF circuit board milling machine in the projects lab) as part of the Intro to CAD class.
Jodi, a freshman Electrical Engineering major, designs the layout of a solid-state relay circuit as part of the Intro to CAD class.
Two freshmen Electrical Engineering students lay out their circuit boards (to be fabricated using the LPKF circuit board milling machine in the projects lab) as part of the Intro to CAD class.
The motor controller circuit used in the RHex robot was created using Design Architect in the Engineering Computer Lab. Chris, a senior Electrical Engineering major, designed the circuit.
The motor controller circuit design was sent to a professional manufacturing company to be fabricated.

Digital Electronics Lab

Aurelien, a senior Computer Engineering student, works on his senior project in the digital lab.
Computer and Electrical Engineering students, Mark, Matt and Aurelien study their Matlab plot of electron tunneling, part of their Physical Electronics homework.
Aurelien studies for the FE exam in the digital lab.


Dr. Cross reads a clamp-on current meter.
Physics major Brandon reads the tachometer on a three-phase motor. His partner is adjusting the load on the motor so they can determine the relationship between motor speed and output power.
Dr. Cross holds a clamp-on meter that measures current based on a wire's magnetic field, without a physical connection. This is a safer and more convenient method, and allows the user to measure higher currents.
Mechanical Engineering students use meters to determine the current in each phase of a three-phase motor.

Environmental Lab

Dr. Jon Cole observes Michael using the total station, an electrical/optical distance meter and theodolite with an attached data collector.
This physical model of soil formations is used to better understand how to develop wells for drinking water and predict how water and soil will influence the foundation of buildings.
Water samples from a river are used as part of a water quality study.
Two Civil Engineering students use a CAD program for roadway alignment design.
Civil Engineering student Brian takes notes before embarking on a surveying project

Fluids Lab

Ryan measures the water's rate of flow as it exits a nozzle.
Dr. Sih helps a junior Mechanical Engineering student prepare for the day's experiment.
A student performs a jump experiment in the water flow chamber, also known as a flume.
Students conduct experiments in the fluids lab.

Manufacturing Lab

Karl adjusts the timing of the pneumatic cylinders on his team's stator manufacturing machine.
Manufacturing Systems class instructor Ralph Stirling demonstrates how to change spindle speeds on one of the drill presses.
Justin, a Mechanical Engineering student, examines the stator holder he created with the rapid prototyping machine.
Jonathan attaches a SmartMotor to a custom-made plate that allows the motor position to be adjusted after a drive belt is installed.
Shane, a Mechanical Engineering student, connects the wiring blocks to his team's stator winding machine.
Justin mills a custom plate for his stator winding machine.
The wire supply drum spins, wrapping wire around the stator.
Paul attaches an inductive position sensor to his machine for Manufacturing Systems Class.

Materials Lab

Aaron, a chemistry major, looks at a calibration wafer under the optical microscope during Physical Electronics lab.
Dr. Ma uses the Tenius-Olson materials testing machine to determine the stress-strain characteristics of a steel bar. The top and bottom portions of the machine separate, pulling on the bar until it breaks.
Dr. Ma explains the use of the Tenius-Olson materials testing machine.
Physics professor Dr. Ekkens uses one of the School of Engineering's optical microscopes to examine a calibration wafer as part of Physical Electronics class, taken by electrical/computer engineers and physics majors.
Dr. Ma poses with the material sample polishing and preparation machine.

Projects Lab

Senior Electrical Engineering majors Mark and Max assemble part of their radio for Electronics II class.
Ralph Stirling demonstrates proper soldering techniques to a freshman Electrical Engineering major as part of the Intro to CAD lab.
Ralph Stirling shows freshmen students an embedded circuit board designed by a sophomore Electrical Engineering student in Embedded Systems Class.
A freshman student uses a pick-and-place machine to position a microprocessor on the circuit board he designed in Intro to CAD lab.
Freshman engineering student Ben applies solder paste to the embedded circuit board he designed.
This high precision milling machine allows students to create their own circuit boards in-house.
A microscope is used to work with small surface mount components.

Rapid Prototyping Lab

Gabriel's finished face model with a mockup of his air-warmer attached.
The 3D scanner uses lasers and cameras to create a full-color computer model from a physical part.
The rapid prototyping machine is printing a model of a human face for Gabriel's senior project. (The printer ran for 36 hours to build his model!)
A 3D model of a water turbine next to a printout of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model predicting how water will flow through the blades. Bobby used the computer model to optimize the design, then printed it for better visualization.

Structures Lab

The structures pit is primarily for testing structural components such as beams, columns, walls, and welded connections. Testing can be incorporated into structural engineering classes or student projects.
Dr. Bryce Cole using the Instron materials testing machine to determine the characteristics of a new type of building material.
A hydraulic actuator with an attached load cell applies up to 100 thousand pounds of force to test the deformation characteristics and breaking point of structural components made from different materials such as steel, reinforced concrete, or timber.
Newly installed gantry crane for moving objects in and out of the structures pit.

Vibrations Lab

A vibrations testing machine allows students to visualize the response of a structure (in this case a model of a four-story building) to vibrations of various frequencies.
Acceleration sensor signal amplifiers analyze how the four-story structure is vibrating. Each "floor" is equipped with an accelerometer that measures vibrations at that point.