Cal Poly SLO Manufacturing Engineering Spotlight

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo – Cal Poly SLO – is located just 135 miles north of the Haas factory headquarters in Oxnard, CA. The school’s close proximity and the high quality of its engineering programs make Cal Poly a valuable source of engineering talent for Haas Automation.

Well known for their nationally ranked, hands-on engineering program, Cal Poly SLO is home to more than 19,000 students, of which 6500 are engineering majors. The school’s engineering program offers 14 different undergraduate degrees, and 11 master’s programs, and students have access to 11 state-of-the-art manufacturing engineering laboratories, under the guidance of more than 230 engineering faculty.

Cal Poly’s Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) Department was founded in 1954, by Dr. George Hoffman. The department’s mission statement sums up their educational philosophy: To inspire and educate students for successful careers as engineering professionals, using a learn-by-doing approach that develops students’ abilities to design and implement innovative, effective solutions for improving processes and systems in society, business, and industry.

To accomplish this, the IME department offers two main ABET* accredited undergraduate engineering degrees – a B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering – as well as graduate M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering and Technology Management.

“Our main focus is to prepare graduates for careers in professional engineering,” says Trian Georgeou, an IME professor and lecturer at SLO. “Our learn-by-doing philosophy is emphasized throughout the curriculum – through our large number of design-centered laboratories, by integrating design throughout the curriculum, and through direct experience during the senior capstone design projects.”

Many of Cal Poly SLO’s manufacturing engineering courses incorporate 3-hour labs, providing students with practical hands-on experience. Students learn how to design parts, create drawings, manufacture their designs, and inspect the parts they create in lab, ultimately instilling key DFM (design for manufacturing) principles in their engineering skill set.

“Our students have a strong foundation in theory,” says Trian, “and many of them go on to graduate schools. But the education we provide our students makes them sound, practicing engineers from the moment they graduate. In fact, our industrial partners tell us that they seek-out our graduates, because, in their words, ‘they hit the ground running.’”

Cal Poly SLO’s mission statement aligns closely with that of the Haas Technical Educational Center (HTEC) network, which is why SLO has been a part of the HTEC network for more than 10 years. HTEC’s goals are to provide students with a relevant, high-tech and hands-on educational experience; and to graduate work-ready CNC machinists, programmers, and engineers for today’s industrial employers and the manufacturing challenges of the future.

SLO’s manufacturing laboratories are equipped with 16 Haas VMCs, 4 Haas lathes, and a number of Haas rotaries. The labs also include 3D metal printers, 3D printers, injection molding machines, laser cutters, welding equipment, waterjet machines, and plenty of manual machines.

For more information, please visit Cal Poly SLO’s website:

* ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.

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