Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Bark

SWOSU Engineering Technology Department Receives New Equipment from Berrong Gift


Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s Department of Engineering Technology in Weatherford recently purchased new lab equipment with funds from a generous gift from the late Senator Ed and Winnie Ola Berrong. 

The Ed and Winnie Ola Berrong Endowed Chair at SWOSU was established in 2010 to encourage excellence in faculty, teaching and leadership in the Department of Engineering Technology. 

The new equipment includes a 10” SawStop professional grade cabinet saw, compound sliding miter saw, an industrial grade horizontal band saw and a router table.

“Our students learn the theory through the lecture class and then they apply that theory in project-based activities,” said Nathan Brooks, instructor in the Engineering Technology Department. “The new equipment allows students to put theory into practice in class labs, which are critical to the student learning experience.” 

 Interim Department Chair Patsy Parker said upgrading the lab equipment is a boost for the program and for the students. 

“The Berrong Family’s donation made it possible to invest in our program and allows us to continue our commitment to quality instruction,” Parker said. “Seeing the excitement on the students’ faces when the new equipment arrived has been one of the best parts of this semester.”

The graduates of SWOSU’s Engineering Technology Department find employment in product design, testing, manufacturing and oilfield-related positions.  SWOSU’s Engineering Technology program is the only program in Oklahoma with a specialization in manufacturing that is accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. 

The hands-on aspect of SWOSU’s program is unique. 

“Only so much learning can be done with a textbook,” Instructor Cindi Albrightson said. “Adding real world equipment into real work experience helps the students apply the things we learn in the classroom to industry standards.”

Albrightson said the faculty hears positive feedback constantly from the department’s advisory board and employers. 

“They appreciate the fact that our students not only understand why something should work, they understand how it works because they have actually put their hands on the equipment,” Albrightson said.

Graduates of the SWOSU program are successfully employed at Boeing, NASA, Devon, federal and state government, and many oilfield-related businesses.

“The Department of Engineering Technology faculty and students are very appreciative of the generous donation and support given by the Berrong family,” Parker said. “Private investments such as this greatly help SWOSU’s departments maintain high quality instruction.”