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Production Engineering Certificate (PEC)

The Production Engineering Certificate (PEC) in the College of Engineering provides students with unique hands-on experience, problem-solving skills, and knowledge integration using Lean thinking principles. PEC aims to enhance students' learning in capstone senior design projects, basics of automotive production processes, teamwork, Lean manufacturing principles, and applications to production engineering.

Design projects within the core courses will be developed through proposals from industry and engineering organizations. Through collaboration with automotive manufacturing companies (OEM), the PEC course instructor team consisting of UK faculty and experienced industry engineers will select projects based on the current engineering problems or future engineering advancement.  Students will learn how to integrate their knowledge by Lean thinking and achieve their team goal by effectively working together. The following provides four-step PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) procedures: 

  1. Plan – Identify problems and select the appropriate methodology
  2. Do – Apply methodology to obtain solutions
  3. Check – Assess the effectiveness of the solution to address the problem
  4. Act – Report the entire PDCA cycle result to the PEC instructor team for implementation

The Elective Courses include operation-based aspects vitally important in automotive manufacturing, including automotive painting, body welding, and automotive powertrain. Each of these is to be updated as new technologies emerge, and new electives will be assessed for future implementation by collaborating with the industrial OEMs.

Participating Departments

Four different academic departments, Mechanical Engineering (ME), Chemical & Materials Engineering (CME), Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), and Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering (BAE), participate in PEC.  Automotive industries have the largest, most demanding, and most advanced mass production systems globally, covering very diversified technical areas consisting of these four academic disciplines plus more. Hence, after initial success, the PEC Director and the PEC advisory board will assess ongoing automobile production needs and opportunities to determine whether other academic disciplines would further strengthen the value of the PEC and the success of students awarded the Certificate. 

Entrance Requirements

To be accepted into the University of Kentucky (UK) Production Engineering Undergraduate Certificate, students must be pursuing an undergraduate degree and have completed at least 24 credits with a UK cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. A transfer student can be accepted into PEC if they have completed at least 24 credits with a weighted cumulative GPA from all other institutions of at least 2.5.

Application and Contact

For questions about the application, contact Dr. Nelson Akafuah, Production Engineering Certificate Faculty Coordinator, via email at nelson.akafuah@uky.edu

PEC Requirements

To receive PEC, students are required to obtain an undergraduate degree in their home department which contains a minimum of 12 credit hours from the following list:

Required Courses (4 courses, 12 hours)

Students must complete the minimum 12 credit hours consisting of 6 credit hours of capstone design and 6 credit hours of elective courses. However, for students whose home department does not offer a capstone design course of a total of 6 credit hours, a three-hour credit course, ME 526 Lean Operations Management, can be used as an alternative.  For example, students from CME/MSE, which require only 3 credit hours of capstone design, can take ME 526 to satisfy the 6 credit hour requirement of the capstone design. Students from departments or disciplines with no capstone design as part of their degree requirements and interested in PEC may contact the PEC Director for an alternative solution.  

Core Course requirement for all students enrolled in the PEC program:

  • ME 526 Lean Operations Management (3)

Additional Core Courses for Mechanical Engineering Students:

  • ME 411 Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design I           (3)
  • ME 412 Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design II          (3)

Additional Core Courses for Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering Students:

  • BAE 402 Biosystems Engineering Design I           (3)
  • BAE 403 Biosystems Engineering Design I           (3)

Additional Core Courses for Electrical and Computer Engineering Students:

  • EE 490 Electrical Engineering Capstone Design I           (3)
  • EE 491 Electrical Engineering Capstone Design II          (3)

Additional Core Course for Chemical and Material Engineering Students:

  • MSE 480: Materials Design (3)

Elective courses for all students enrolled in the PEC program:

  • ME 418 Automotive Assembly and Quality Control (3)
  • EE 528 Automotive Body Welding (3)
  • ME 416 Automotive Painting Technology (3)
  • CME/MSE 552 Automotive Plastics (3)
  • ME/MFS 511 Machining of Materials and Application (3)
  • ME 417 Sheet Metal Forming (3)
  • BAE 515 Fluid Power Systems (3)

For additional information, please contact: Dr. Nelson Akafuah, 220 L Center for Manufacturing Building, Tel: 859-218-0702