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Engineering at Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA

This blog contains direct quotes from websites as of 2023. Programs and policies do change, at colleges, from time to time, so please check with the colleges directly to receive any updates. These are not, necessarily, the biggest, best, or most popular programs at the college, but they are the ones that just “caught my eye” as unique, special, interesting, or just plain awesome. Enjoy!

From the Sweet Briar College website, 2023: “In our program, nearly every class is project-based, hands-on learning. It’s all the challenge and sense of purpose you’re looking for. Discover the ways you can become a woman who gets things done.

“Individualized Experience: Most of our engineering students are involved in clubs, varsity sports, arts and humanities. They meet with faculty advisors every semester to make sure they are in position to succeed. Our small class sizes mean their professors know them by name. That’s every class, every semester.

“Partnerships with the technical community: Through co-ops, regular guest speakers, capstone projects, and our annual “Engineers Week Banquet”, we work to make sure our students and faculty are connected with industry, government, entrepreneurs, and non-profits who hire engineers and are active in technological fields. Some of our better known partners are GLAD, Whirlpool, Cognosante, and Graham Packaging. Organizations looking to get involved can find more information here.

“Proven success after graduation: With the help of our Career Services Center, Sweet Briar engineers have gone on to companies like NASA, IBM, the U.S. Navy and highly competitive graduate programs at Duke, Virginia Tech and Johns Hopkins. In fact, 61% of our recent graduates started engineering jobs within 3 months of graduating and 85% were employed within a year.* Our program provides the solid foundation necessary to adapt to the constant changes in technology.

“Women leading in engineering: Ours is one of just two women’s colleges in the U.S. with an ABET-accredited engineering program. Our general education program focuses on women’s leadership. Our students and graduates stand out for the right reasons.

“About the Program: Sweet Briar College’s all-women engineering program is ideal both for students who are unsure of their capabilities and require more one-on-one with faculty in small classrooms as well as those who clearly want to become engineers.

“Employers of our students value their self-confidence, self-efficacy, and pro-activity as well as technical proficiency in both mechanical and electrical engineering. They are equally well-prepared for graduate-level work in many engineering specializations. Our program is ABET accredited, meaning our graduates leave with the right credentials to enter the engineering profession.

“We have well-appointed facilities to ensure a hands-on learning experience:

“Engineering Facilities: Engineering at Sweet Briar is based on a hands-on, lab-intensive curriculum that emphasizes the design process. Our spaces are arranged to maximize flexibility and student access. The facilities are maintained by engineering faculty and staff to ensure safe operation.

Computer Lab

*18 Dell Desktop PCs

*14 Dell laptop PCs

*Software (Autodesk Inventor, MathWorks MATLAB, MathWorks Simulink, National Instruments Multisim, Ansys Workbench, Microsoft Office Suite)

Electronics and Mechatronics Lab


*Function Generators



*Wide range of sensors and electrical components

*Electromechanical actuators

Rapid Prototyping Lab

*3-D printer (LulzBot TAZ SideKick 747)

*Tabletop CNC router (Inventables Carvey)

*3D scanner (Artec 3D Space Spider)

*60-watt laser engraver and cutter with a 24″x12″ engraving area (Epilog Zing 24)

Introductory Design Lab

*This lab provides a large open space for introductory and intermediate design courses.

Machine Shop

*CNC mill


*Drill press


*Wide variety of hand tools

Materials Testing and Thermodynamics Lab

*Concrete tester

*Hardness tester

*Impact tester

*Tensile tester

*Thermal conductivity sensor

*Research grade recirculating wind tunnel

*Fluid properties measuring instruments

*Pump and fan test rigs

*Heat exchanger test equipment

*Free and forced convection test equipment

Senior Design Lab

*This lab provides space for seniors to work on their capstone design projects.”

Sweet Briar is one of the featured colleges in my new book (click image for additional information):

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