3mE to continue as Mechanical Engineering

The 3mE Faculty will change its name to Mechanical Engineering on 1 January 2024. The names of the bachelor and master degree programmes will not change.

Marine engineering and materials science remain important disciplines for the faculty, as do other disciplines not currently in the name. (Photo: Justyna Botor)

The Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering – as the Faculty 3mE is called in full – is quite a mouthful. The name will be a lot shorter next year as it will then be called Mechanical Engineering (ME). “We chose this name for several reasons,” says Chantal Brokerhof, the Faculty Secretary, who is in charge of the name change.

The current name has been in use since 2011. Brokerhof explains that the most important reason to choose a new name after 12 years is that the current name does not properly reflect what the Faculty does. “We have added new and rapidly growing disciplines such as BioMedical Engineering and Robotics. The current name does not express these while they are part of Mechanical Engineering.” This name will be used both in Dutch and in English. “Werktuigbouwkunde, the Dutch translation of Mechanical Engineering, does not cover the activities of our Faculty well enough,” Brokerhof continues. The names of the three bachelor degree programmes (Mechanical Engineering, Maritime Engineering, and Clinical Technology) and the master degree programmes will remain unchanged.

The Faculty is currently assessing if the name change will have any repercussions. “For example we have asked several ‘heads of staff’ what the implications of a name change could be. The IT staff members brought up the issue of the URLs and internal systems that would need to be changed.” Other issues associated with the new name could include changing boards on campus, replacing the letters on the Faculty building, and changing the name on diplomas and educational platforms.


Brokerhof estimates that the change will cost up to EUR 250,000. “This is a wide estimate. The costs are primarily related to hiring labour such as a student assistant who can help make changes to educational systems such as Osiris. But most of the changes will be done by the current staff.” The Faculty intends to use smart tools. “As IT regularly rolls out all sorts of system changes, the Faculty can piggyback on one of these changes.”

The forthcoming name change to ME was discussed in March at the joint meeting of the Executive Board with the central Works Council (OR) and the Student Council. At the time, Dean Fred van Keulen described it as a ‘long cherished wish’. OR and Student Council members wanted to know what would happen to Maritime Engineering and Material Sciences, which will no longer appear in the Faculty’s name. “They will become less visible. Have you thought about that?” asked OR member Paul Roling.


Last year 3mE’s Faculty Student Council expressed similar concerns. In a letter to the then Dean, Theun Baller, the Faculty Student Council stated that it agreed to the change, but that it ‘was afraid that the change would lead to a drop in maritime students’. “I do not think this will happen,” says Brokerhof. “We do not see it as a point of concern, but it is an issue that we have to keep in mind. We will watch out for this. Maritime Engineering and Materials Science are important disciplines and the names of the degree programmes must not change. We will involve students as much as we can in the change in the time to come.”

3mE expects that the online findability of the Faculty will be greater when called ME. This will be another reason for change, says Communications Manager Céline Bovy. “An external agency that has done some research for us concluded that people mostly google the term mechanical engineering as that is the name most used abroad.”

In the name change proposed to the OR and Student Council, the Faculty stated that the new name would encourage cooperation between researchers in different subjects at 3mE. Brokerhof said that this had not specifically been looked into. “It is expected though. We do not think that it is the deciding factor, but it does give researchers greater encouragement.”

News editor Annebelle de Bruijn

Do you have a question or comment about this article?

Comments are closed.