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Iron Range Engineering, Twin Cities Engineering Programs Selected for Innovation Award

Programs were recognized with 2017 ABET Innovation Award at awards gala in Baltimore.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 10-25-2017

Pictured from left to right in photo are Christine Kennedy, director of Iron Range Engineering; Rebecca Bates, professor in Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Integrated Engineering; Ron Ulseth, Iron Range Engineering faculty member; and Dan Ewert, a founding faculty member and previous director of Iron Range Engineering. Ewert co-nominated the Minnesota State Mankato programs for the ABET Innovation Award. He is currently an emeritus faculty member at North Dakota State University and the CEO of Krisara Engineering.

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Iron Range Engineering and Twin Cities Engineering programs were awarded the 2017 ABET Innovation Award Friday, Oct. 20 in Baltimore at the ABET Awards Gala.

ABET, formerly known as the “Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology,” announced its annual award winners in a news release.

The ABET Innovation Award recognizes vision and commitment that challenge the status quo in technical education, according to the award notification letter from ABET to Minnesota State Mankato. The award honors individuals, organizations or teams that are breaking new ground by developing and implementing innovation into their ABET-accredited programs.

Students in Minnesota State Mankato’s Iron Range Engineering and Twin Cities Engineering programs learn traditional engineering knowledge and skills in a project-based learning environment. They work with industry members and others on real-life design projects, with a focus on integrating technical and professional knowledge and competencies.

“We’re honored and proud to have been selected to receive this award,” said Rebecca Bates, professor in Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Integrated Engineering, which comprises Iron Range Engineering and Twin Cities Engineering. “It’s a very prestigious award, especially when considering that ABET accredits more than 3,700 programs at more than 750 colleges and universities in 30 countries.”

For more information, contact Bates by phone at 507-389-5587 or by email at

Minnesota State Mankato’s Iron Range Engineering and Twin Cities Engineering programs are just the second recipients of the ABET Innovation Award. The inaugural recipient of the award was Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Robotics Engineering Program in 2016.

Iron Range Engineering is offered on Minnesota’s Iron Range in Virginia, Minn., and its students are upper-division Minnesota State Mankato engineering students who are graduates of Minnesota’s community colleges, most commonly from Itasca Community College Engineering in Grand Rapids, Minn. For more information, please contact Christine Kennedy, director of Iron Range Engineering, by phone at 218-766-9536 or by email at

Twin Cities Engineering is hosted by Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn., at its new Partnership Center. It is a collaboration between Minnesota State Mankato and the following colleges: Normandale Community College, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Century College, Inver Hills Community College and Saint Paul College. For more information about Twin Cities Engineering, please contact Jared Hansen, industry relations director, by phone at 952-358-9206 or by email at

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Integrated Engineering is part of the University’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology. Ten Minnesota State Mankato engineering programs are accredited by ABET.

According to its website, ABET (formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology at the associate, bachelor and master degree levels.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,712 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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