Since their founding, Iron Range Engineering and Twin Cities Engineering have been on the leading edge of innovative education through project-based learning.

2018 MIT Report on Emerging Innovative Engineering Programs
Iron Range Engineering has been recognized as one of the top 10 emerging world leaders in engineering education. The study by MIT conducted a global review of innovative practice in engineering education. Read more here.

2018 Big Ideas Challenge
EnduraMark from Twin Cities Engineering is the grand prize winner of the 2018 Big Ideas Challenge by MSU's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The group members, Michael Ganzer, Robert Pederson, and Benjamin Lindquist, won with their idea of refillable dry-erase markers. Previously, they had also won admission to the Minnesota Cup.

2017 ABET Innovation Award
Iron Range Engineering and Twin Cities Engineering are the recipient of the 2017 ABET Innovation Award, who recognized the program's vision and commitment that challenge the status quo in technical education. For more here.

2017 Minnesota Cup
Iron Range Makerspace, run by 2016 IRE graduate Andrew Hanegmon, was among 80 Minnesota-based startup companies named as finalists in the 13th annual Minnesota Cup. Iron Range Makerspace was a semi-finalist in the 2017 Minnesota Cup.

2016 Big Ideas Challenge
Andrew Hanegmon from Iron Range Engineering won the grand prize at MSU's Big Ideas Challenge with his idea to create the Iron Range Maker Space in Hibbing, MN.

2011 Minnesota Cup
The Minnesota Cup is an annual, statewide competition that seeks out aspiring entrepreneurs and their breakthrough ideas. Iron Range Engineering students made three submissions based on their project based school-work. Of the three submissions in 2011, one advanced to the semi-finalists (Power-Trowel) and one was the student division winner (Tes-Gen).

The Power-Trowel Solution Applicator was a team of six students (Austin Mekash, Tyler Bartek, Alex Learmont, Erin Lamke, Cory Moran and Deric Phillips) who developed a device that allowed a power trowel operator rather than a bystander to apply a chemical solution that slows the rate at which concrete dries.

The Tes-Gen team (Eric Schaupp and Matt Hudson) developed a new type of portable and lightweight generator that can run on a variety of fuel sources.

2010 Excellence in Curriculum Programming Award
Northeast Higher Education District and Minnesota State University, Mankato were honored for the Iron Range Engineering program that enables students from rural northeastern Minnesota to earn bachelor's degrees without leaving the Iron Range.

2011 Board of Minnesota State Trustees Award for "Top Innovators"
Northeast Higher Education District was honored for the Iron Range engineering model of engineering education. Beginning in January 2010, the Northeast Higher Education District, which is a consortium of five colleges in northern Minnesota, began offering a project-based learning program in which third- and fourth-year engineering students work closely with industry on engineering projects. The goal is to produce graduates with highly integrated technical and professional knowledge and competencies and to promote economic development for the region. Enrolled as Minnesota State University, Mankato students, many of them complete their first two years at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids and then do their upper-level courses at Mesabi Range Community and Technical College. Students can earn Bachelor of Science degrees in engineering with emphases traditionally known as mechanical and electrical engineering. The program also encourages students to transform their project ideas into start-up enterprises that benefit the region.