Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Session to announce new information about Engineering program

By Salman Ahmed Rasul

                                                  Photo by Taha Faris AUI-S Voice 
                  David Clough informs the students with the latest news about the Engineering program.

To announce more information and more clarification about the new AUI-S engineering department an informational meeting was held on May 11th by Athanasios Moulakis, the Provost of AUI-S, and David Clough, a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Moulakis opened the meeting by introducing Clough to the audience, and he described him as “The person who is designated by the University of Colorado to be the point person, to be the lead person, to be on this project is Professor David Clough, former associate dean of the college of engineering. He is a very distinguish engineering scholar, and he is one of the most passionate and competent engineering educators. He is main consultant as part of our partnership between us and the University of Colorado.”
Both gave the students more informationabout the engineering and curriculum program and announced the requirements to study engineering.
“We want to have an engineering program of the highest possible quality,” said Moulakis. “We are planning to have a kind of program that is immediately recognized by the most respected accrediting body in engineering education which is called ABET. Furthermore, we want to guarantee the success of the students who enter the program.”
“In order for a student to do well in the program, it has to be a well prepared student, prepare in certain ways. The requirements that we have suggested are in line with requirements of any respectable university you would find,” He added.
There are three requirements that the AUI-S students have to meet in order to be able to study this filed. First, the student, if they were admitted to AUI-S after January 2011, has to have 80% on his/her baccalaureate when he graduates from high school.
The student’s performance in the classes and his GPA, which should not be less than 3.00 in his general studies and no less than a 2.7 GPA in math and science courses. The final requirement is the student’s skill and his passion for the field.
As Provost Moulakis said that they want to be sure that students will be successful in the program, and “it is an attempt to protect people from jumping into something they will not be able to handle.”
According to Clough the relation between engineering and liberal arts education is to understand the world and be able to succeed in the future profession.
“General liberal arts education gives you more capability,” said Clough. So, this program helps the students to engage in conversation outside from their profession like philosophy.
“The students who have been in that program are telling us now that experience as turn out to be one of the most important aspects of their life. It also helps them outside their profession. There is more to life than just to your profession.
There are other dimensions to your life other than the profession. Shouldn’t your education prepare you for those dimensions? So, I think that is a philosophy that is imbedded in AUI-S,” he added.
Now, another achievement of AUI-S is to be a partner of the University of Colorado, especially the engineering program. This engagement means that the University of Colorado helps AUI-S with it engineering program in terms of the program curriculum, designing the laboratories, with finding expert for the program, and providing useful advice for the program.
Out of thousands of engineering programs in the United States, the University of Colorado is among the top 50 engineering programs in the United States by US News and World Report rankings.
"We have an agreement with the University of Colorado," said Moulakis. "This agreement does not take the form of contract, but that is not necessary. It takes the form of cooperation between the two provosts. The University of Colorado agreed to help us in the design of our engineering curriculum, in the design of the appropriate engineering labs necessary for engineering education, and thirdly, help us with the selection of the people, who will guide the program, teach the program because we are a small liberal arts college, and our competence in designing engineering programs is limited. So, we need the advice of experts."
Moulakis showed his confidence for the success of the AUI-S engineering program, and he emphasized the University's need of help by the University of Colorado. "We will get an engineering school here that is going to impress people in New York, in California, in Texas, in Canada and in the United Kingdom," he said.
"They we lick their lips when they see the kind of engineering program that we want to have because we and our friends at the University of Colorado are both enthusiastic about it. The cooperation is based on mutual professional and personal trust between ourselves and the leadership of the University of Colorado.”
Even though AUI-S hasn’t started its engineering program, the University of Colorado seems really interested in helping AUI-S and becoming a partner with AUI-S. “There is a liaison between the two universities,” said Clough.
“My university is very interested in becoming a partner with AUI-S, so, that we can share in many different ways. I think an important part of the liaison between the two universities is we need to try educating the people back in the US what this is. How is this region different? How is Sulaimani different? And I think that will be helpful.”
The meeting gave the students more information about the program, what they are expected to have to start the program, and what they should expect from the program.
Moulakis indicated the first engineering mathematics classes in the beginning of the actual preparation for engineering major in spring of 2012, again with the help of our friend at the University of Colorado.
“I can feel the positive impact of the new department on the university already,” said Alan Hiwa, an academic student, from Sulaimani. “Seeing so many students attending Wednesday’s session shows the good feedback from the students for the new department.
The only concern I have is that there is not a focus on only one field of engineering; instead they are trying to introduce the students to a wide range of subjects in a really short time. But overall I am optimistic about the future of the new department.”
“The presentation about engineering program was necessary and useful because now we know what are the requirements and students have better understanding of the program, so they can decide whether this program works for them, or not,” said Muhammad Babakr, an academic students, from Qaladza.
“Personally, I decided not to choose engineering as my major because I think it’s too general, and it does not prepare me for what I want to be which is a specialized engineer.”
Moulakis indicated the first engineering mathematics classes in the beginning of the actual preparation for engineering major in spring of 2012, again with the help of our friend at the University of Colorado.

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