By Sarah Snyder
UT Permian Basin just got the green light for much needed engineering programs.
In the next year or two, they hope to begin classes for mechanical, chemical, and petroleum engineering majors.
They currently have a Pre-Engineering program, but after students finish their freshman and sophomore years they have to transfer to other cities like El Paso or Austin to complete their major.
These new programs will allow them to stay right here in the Permian Basin, plus, they'll be able to intern with local companies.
The school went to local businesses and professional engineering societies to determine their needs for new engineers.
"This is going to be, not only a program for West Texas," said William Fannin, VP and Provost, UTPB. "But one for the entire state and country with very well-trained individuals knowing the latest in technologies for all the energy fields."
Dr. Fannin says there's a big demand for new petroleum, mechanical, and chemical engineers.
The amount of area engineers retiring is exceeding the amount of those entering the field.
Over the next several months, the school will continue to develop their full proposal that has to be approved by the UT coordinating board.
School leaders are hoping to start the four year program in about a year.