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EED-Newsletter-Vol-2-Issue-1-2017

PAGE 2 Shaping the

PAGE 2 Shaping the Future of EE Students at QU: ABET Accreditation Dr. Ahmed Massoud. Associate Professor & Program Coordinator of EE Program The Electrical Engineering (EE) program at Qatar University is a general EE program structured to address the industrial and societal needs of the State of Qatar. The program was first offered in 1980 and the first student cohort graduated in 1985 [1]. Our first request for Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation through the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) was made in January 2004, with a visit in February 2005 resulting in “Substantial Equivalency Accreditation”. “ABET accreditation provides assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards of the profession for which that program prepares graduates [2]”. Then, another EAC of ABET general review was held from November 6-8, 2010 and the EE program was accredited since October 1st, 2009. Continuing these milestones, the EE program has been reaccredited by the EAC of ABET this year (2017) with a visit from December 3-5, 2016. The program has currently a study plan built around 131 credit hours. The curriculum had initially 162 credit hours, which was reduced to 139 credit hours when the curriculum was revised in 1997. The number of credit hours was further reduced to 131 credit hours when the curriculum was revised in 2003. The students of the EE program, graduating with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in EE, are prepared for engineering practice or further graduate studies. The curriculum of the program is designed to achieve the following Student Outcomes (SOs): a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering b) An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data c) An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability d) An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams e) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems f) An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility g) An ability to communicate effectively h) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context i) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in lifelong learning j) A knowledge of contemporary issues k) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. These SOs ultimately contribute to the achievement of the Program Educational Objectives (PEOs), which are based on the following three main pillars [3]: 1) Apply effectively their technical, communication, and teamwork skills in modern work environment as well as graduate studies. It has to be noticed that technical skills that are essential for a successful career in EE arena, in industry as well as academia, should include a good theoretical background (mathematics and basic science skills, experimental skills, and design skills. In addition, engineering is all about utilizing new tools in problem solving. Moreover, modern work environment requires engineers to work in multidisciplinary teams. Nonetheless, productive teamwork in general demands effective communication skills. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas Edison EED NEWSLETTER VOL. 2, ISSUE 1

VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1 PAGE 3 Knowledge application requires a solid base of EE fundamentals. Over the years, an acknowledged strength of the Qatar University engineering programs has been their insistence on requiring all students to learn fundamental mathematics, science, and engineering topics. This experience prepares graduates of the program to succeed in their professional careers. Practicing engineers should be able to tackle problems that require hands-on experience in addition to theoretical exposure. Electrical EE students do an extensive laboratory work by designing and conducting experiments to demonstrate achievement of this outcome. This enhances technical hands-on experience of our graduates. Practicing engineers should be able to tackle problems that require hands-on experience in addition to theoretical exposure. Electrical engineering students do an extensive laboratory work by designing and conducting experiments to demonstrate achievement of this outcome. This enhances technical hands-on experience of our graduates. System design is the heart of the EE practice, particularly in the design of electrical components and systems that require both hardware and software elements within realistic constraints and standards. Engineering design is prominent throughout the Electrical Engineering curriculum. The culminating design experience occurs in the senior design project. This experience prepares graduates of the program to develop technical solutions to contemporary issues in the area. There are several opportunities for students to work in multidisciplinary teams throughout the EE curriculum. Students from other programs share courses with EE References: students, allowing students from different technical backgrounds to work in teams in order to identify, formulate, analyze and/or solve problems through course term projects and assignments. This prepares our graduates for multidisciplinary work and graduate studies learning environment. To prepare EE graduates for this, problems become more open-ended as students progress upstream in their study plan till senior design project. In their senior design project, students have to identify, formulate, compare alternative solutions and implement the selected solution based on realistic constraints and standards. This experience prepares them to apply their technical skills effectively in work or learning environments. In many courses, EE students write reports and make presentations related to projects that they do. Such activity enhances their oral, written, and listening communication skills, a main prerequisite for professional activities in the field. EE students use a plethora of tools and techniques that increase their engineering technical skills and knowledge. Such exposure makes them more knowledgeable to practice EE effectively. 2) Act professionally and ethically. Electrical engineers need to act professionally and ethically. All EE students must take a course in engineering skills and ethics that discusses ethical situations and professional practice through case studies. The ethical theme continues throughout their studies, reinforced through class attendance policies, strict deadlines, and university regulations and rules. This experience helps graduates to act professionally according to work ethos. 3) Adapt to emerging technologies, social development, and contemporary issues. The technical knowledge in the area of EE is changing at a very fast pace. Electrical engineers are required to possess adequate knowledge of contemporary advancements in the field. Moreover, to keep up with the fast pace of change, they are required to be independent life-long learners. Last but not least, engineering solutions must take into consideration societal, environmental, and economic considerations. All EE students must take a course in engineering skills and ethics that discusses the impact of engineering solutions on society. That theme appears as well throughout their studies, and culminated in the senior design project, where they have to consider constraints in emerging global societal, cultural, and political context. This experience prepares our graduates to adapt to emerging technologies, societal changes, and contemporary issues. The general education requirement coupled with the many projects in many of the EE courses allows students to do critical investigations on a variety of topics. This experience prepares graduates of the program to become self-learners and foster their passion for continuous learning. In order to be effective and play positive role in the work environment, it is important for graduates to be well versed in the latest activities and the newest technologies in the field. The curriculum is diverse enough to expose students to such knowledge and skills, which prepare them to keep abreast with the latest issues and technologies. [1] “ABET Self-Study Report for the Electrical Engineering Program at Qatar University”, June 2016. [2] [2] http://www.abet.org/accreditation/ (last accessed October 2017) [3] [3] http://www.qu.edu.qa/engineering/electrical/obj.php (last accessed October 2017) EED NEWSLETTER VOL. 2, ISSUE 1

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