Program offerings and curriculum convergence between the Dublin Institute Of Technology (DIT) and the university of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC)

Reed, B. E., Ross, J. M., Bowe, B., Duffy, G. and Rogers, M. G. (2012) Program offerings and curriculum convergence between the Dublin Institute Of Technology (DIT) and the university of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC). [Conference Proceedings]


Recently the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at UMBC completed the process of revamping its curriculum and preparing a plan to offer a ABET accredited undergraduate degree in Environment and Water Resources Engineering (EWRE). The process began in a difficult economic period which resulted in an increased emphasis on due diligence as whether the program would succeed. The proposed EWRE program would address several UMBC academic priorities and respond to the anticipated increasing demand for training in this discipline. First, the degree program responded to a growing national and statewide initiatives in climate change and the environment. Environmental engineers, in addition to providing safe water and clean air, address many of the emerging issues associated with climate change, clean sources of energy, and sustainable development. The challenges faced by the EWRE profession today are unique and brought about by a rapidly changing world order with respect to the need for sustainable utilization of energy resources, sustainable use of material resources and production practices, proactive environmental management of emerging technologies (e.g. nanomaterials), and sustainable management of shrinking water resources that is increasingly becoming the cause of national and international conflicts. The creation of a new undergraduate engineering degree provides an opportunity to develop a program that embraces new problems and is focused on emerging issues in the field of EWRE. Second, an environmental engineering degree provides an option for UMBC engineering students beyond the available programs (mechanical, chemical/biochemical and computer engineering); this will also likely increase enrollment in UMBC's College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT). Third, environmental engineering is the only engineering discipline expected to grow much faster than the average for all [engineering] occupations (26% by 2016; ocos027.htm#outlook). As part of the degree planning process the following items where addressed: 1. An analysis of potential student enrollments in the program based on market demand, industry needs, and programs at comparably-sized Universities. 2. A description of the additional courses and course sections that would be necessary to offer the program annually. 3. A plan for using a combination of current tenure-track faculty members, the new tenure track faculty member, lecturers and part-time instructors to staff the referenced courses. 4. A description of any specialized laboratories, equipment or any other significant new resources that will be necessary to offer the program. Currently the Dublin Institute of Technology is facing some of the same issues that catalyzed the UMBC effort. Brian Reed was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award at DIT and will be part of the effort to address the issues that are facing DIT bringing a perspective that was developed at UMBC. The differences and similarities of the problems and solutions facing the two institutions will be discussed. © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education.

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