shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


Page address:

History of Automotive Engineering Technology

The 70s

The Industrial Technology (IT) Program is the grandfather of the Automotive Engineering Technology Program. Like most universities across the country, at Minnesota State University, Mankato, the closest thing to a degree in AET was a bachelor s degree in IT. In 1971, only two automotive–related courses even existed at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Well, times they do change and so did the faculty. Some of the new faculty had experience with and a passion for automotive engineering. They wanted to share their passion and experience with their students. Automotive course offerings were added on a continual basis until, by 1975, a concentration of seven automotive–related courses existed. Some students specialized in this new concentration, eventually gaining employment in the automotive industry. As enthusiasm for the automotive concentration grew, design projects became an integral portion of the curriculum in 1974.

The 80s

As automotive design projects progressed to higher levels of sophistication and technology they required modern labs. Additional space and state–of–the–art equipment was necessary to support both the basic curriculum and the design projects. New labs were developed and equipment was acquired using department funds and a number of research grants from state and external sources.

The Automotive Engineering Technology Program grew and became an official concentration under the Industrial Technology degree in the 1986–87 Bulletin. One year later, the AET concentration option was offered under the new Manufacturing Engineering Technology (MET) Program. Finally, in the 1988–89 Bulletin, Automotive Engineering Technology was presented as an official major.

AET and MET became equally strong programs, and both considered applying for accreditation from the Technology Accreditation Commission –Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (TAC–ABET). It was decided to apply for accreditation only for the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program because; the MET Program was slightly larger than the AET Program, three of the four faculty members had manufacturing backgrounds compared to only one faculty member with an automotive background, the MET Program had more competition from other accredited programs than did the AET program. The MET accreditation was awarded by TAC–ABET effective in 1989.

The 90s and 2000s

Politics, technology, and its terminology continued to change. The AET Program is now part of the Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology (AMET) Department under Minnesota State University, Mankato s College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

The AET Program applied to the TAC–ABET in 1994 and was accredited in 1995, 2002 and 2008.


The AET Program continues to attract students from all parts of the United States and the world. Faculty and staff are dedicated to effective and innovative teaching and individual study to maintain their professional currency. Customized research areas provide state–of–the–art equipment and space necessary for a variety of student design projects and student competition vehicles. Students, faculty, and staff, in partnership with government and business, apply new research in vehicle design on a daily basis. Technology is continuously advancing and Minnesota State University, Mankato is a leader in Automotive Engineering Technology research, design, and training. The University is positioned to remain a leader in this area for a very long time.