WACO, Texas (Nov. 24, 2014) – Baylor University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science received a $100,000 grant from The Sunderland Foundation to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the mechanical engineering materials lab.

Hundreds of mechanical engineering students use the lab each year, conducting tests on metals, polymers and structures. Using the equipment, students can determine the strengths and weaknesses of various materials, as well as heat treat metal to changing its mechanical properties.

“Innovation in new materials is a rapidly changing area within mechanical engineering. This new equipment will allow Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science to keep our students at the forefront of how to test materials and understand their mechanical behavior,” said Dr. Bill Jordan, professor and chair of mechanical engineering department. “It will be a big help in our undergraduate materials laboratory class, the freshmen engineering class, senior design, and some technical electives.”

The mechanical engineering curriculum consists of two main course stems – thermal/fluids and materials/mechanical systems. In the former, students study fluid mechanics, heat transfer and thermodynamics. In the latter, students study engineering materials, manufacturing processes, control systems and machine design. In addition to its undergraduate program, the department offers a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering.

The Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, who served as president of the Ash Grove Cement Company for 33 years and a respected leader in the cement industry. In 2013, the Foundation awarded more than $2.2 million to more than 30 educational organizations. Grantees included community colleges, private colleges and public universities.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


With more than 10 percent of Baylor University’s freshman class pursuing major courses of study in the School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS), the focus remains on preparing graduates for professional practice and responsible leadership with a Christian world view. ECS majors include bioinformatics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, general engineering, and mechanical engineering. Among ECS graduate programs are Master of Science degrees in all disciplines, a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering, a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, and several dual degree programs. The Teal Residential College, in which engineering and computer science students and faculty live, fosters the pursuit of wisdom, academic excellence, and meaningful relationships for the development of diverse, innovative leaders.
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