Beyond the Classroom

NASA Engineer

Engineering isn't about solving equations and putting a box around your answer. While the calculations are important, an engineer also needs to know how to implement the solution. At McLennan, not only will you master the "basics," like calculus, physics, chemistry, programming and differential equations, you'll also learn to apply those concepts to real-world problems.

We incorporate research and design in nearly all courses and partner with local industry to ensure you are getting the skills you need to succeed in not only academia, but ultimately, in your career as well.

Industry Connections

At McLennan, we work closely with local employers to ensure that students get the right combination of application and theory to succeed professionally. This partnership with our Engineering Advisory Council allows our students to have access to co-ops, internships and mentoring by engineers working in McLennan County.

Our partners also support McLennan Engineering by sharing equipment, serving as guest speakers and providing financial support. We also host an annual Career Mixer in early spring to help students find job placement for the upcoming summer break.

CP & Y FreeFlight Systems Sonoco Trane
Capstone Mechanical L3Harris SpaceX TXDOT
1519 GIS Abbvie City of Waco Public Works Waco Chamber of Commerce

International Engineering Experience

This travel-study opportunity allows students to spend two weeks in exciting international locations while learning about Engineering Economics or conducting independent research. Students apply engineering economy concepts in real-world case studies in exciting locations, and see how some of the world's most famous engineering achievements were planned, developed, financed and built!

For information about the next trip, visit the International Travel page.

Student-Driven Independent Research

For those with a passion for innovation and design, a semester-long independent research project can provide the opportunity to delve into subjects not normally covered in a typical classroom setting. At McLennan, research is student-driven, which means that the student (not the professor) is the subject matter expert.

Man holding a drone

Rather than assisting with some ongoing task, students develop their own interests and skills and gain hands-on experience working on projects that are meaningful and relevant to them. While all projects are done under the guidance of a faculty advisor, the advisor serves more as a facilitator, rather than as a "Director of All Knowledge."

Many research projects are undertaken the last spring semester before transfer, but any student with a proven track record in engineering may be considered for research. There is no "typical" research project, and students may not always know what exactly they want to do when initially getting started.

Some previous student projects have included:

  • A Study of the Matlab Programming Language with Applications in Radar Telemetry
  • Automated Skill-Based Referee Scheduling Using a Greedy Algorithm
  • Graphically Modeling Functions of 2 and 3 Variables Using Objective C on iOS5
  • Programming a Remote Control Vehicle with a Cellular Device
  • Five-Card Draw with AI and Bidding System
  • Applications of Integrated Circuits in Creating a SIMON Prototype

Students can learn more about the undergraduate research initiatives at McLennan at the Highlander Undergraduate Research Institute website.