Plastics and Composites Engineering

Plastics and Composites Engineering


Students in Western's Plastics and Composites Engineering (PCE) program study the relationship between molecular structure, material properties and performance, and the manufacturing of polymers, composites materials, and products. In other words, they either make the products you use, make the materials that are turned into those products, or make the machines that help build those products.

PCE students gain authentic experiences using commercial plastics and composites processing equipment, use advanced materials characterization instrumentation, conduct applied and interdisciplinary engineering research, model technical processes, apply principles of designed experimentation, and learn and practice high-level technical and professional communication skills.

The PCE program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Western’s Engineering and Design Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.

Beyond the Classroom

Plastics and Composites Engineering students participate in clubs such as the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), Society of Women Engineers, and Society for the Advancement of Materials & Process Engineers.

Students have numerous opportunities to participate in projects and undergraduate research with faculty members. Additionally, students can choose to work on projects directly with industry partners as part of their coursework. Faculty and students work with companies such as Nike, PACCAR, PEXCO, QUATRO COMPOSITES, R&D Plastics, Tethers Unlimited, and Zodiac Aerospace.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Plastics and Composites Engineering graduates work in teams with engineers, scientists, and technicians to solve the complex problems associated with plastics or composites manufacturing operations. PCE’s experiential learning program is inclusive, and produces graduates who are industry-ready, prepared for graduate school challenges, and capable of critical thinking and community leadership.

Recent employers of Plastics and Composites graduates include:

  • Boeing
  • Janicki
  • C&D Zodiac
  • R&D Plastics
  • Space X
  • Sawbones
  • GM Nameplate
  • Angeles Composites
  • Cashmere Molding
  • Liberty Orchards
  • Cascade DAFO
  • Samson Rope
  • Mad Fiber
  • Ershigs
  • Hexcel
  • Intec
  • Nike

Sample Jobs

  • Manufacturing Operations Analyst
  • Composite Design Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Material Scientist

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.