Robert Wallentine

Professor, and Department Chair - Manufacturing Engineering Technology - 1963 - 1996

Here are some thoughts about the start of the 4-year Manufacturing Engineering Technology (MFET) Program. It was approved by the State of Utah & Weber State University to start in the fall of 1963. I was recruited by Cliff Larson (the department chair) and Kent Randall in the fall of 1963 to develop and teach some of the 3- & 4-year courses in the MFET Program. Cliff and Kent had developed this program with some help from people in the local industry and the Society of Tool and Manufacturing Engineers (ASTME).

The department faculty then consisted of Clifton Larson, dept. chair, Kent Randall, Dave Gaily and myself. I was involved primarily in the Engineering Science classes. The short catalog course descriptions had been written and approved by the Faculty Senate but course outlines, text selection, etc. needed to be completed. The first task was to select and order the textbooks for fall quarter classes.

These new courses required the approval of the curriculum committee of the faculty senate. A faculty member made the presentation and most classes were rather easily approved but those that had any similarity to other department offerings such as business courses were challenged. They were all approved but often with some changes. The department wanted representation from a committee, so I was later appointed to do it.

Some of the new courses such as Metallurgy, Hydraulics and Pneumatics required new equipment for the labs.  This equipment included heat treat furnaces, metal testing equipment, hydraulic and pneumatic test benches, etc.  This equipment was researched and ordered.

The department wanted to build a good relationship with the local manufacturing industry. I was a member of  The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and helped to organize a student chapter of SME on campus. This also helped to bring local manufacturing personnel to campus.

Sept. 20, 2021