Developing Engineering Competencies in Industry for Undergraduates

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Developing Engineering Competencies in Industry for Undergraduates

Enhancing competencies through the parallel delivery of a capstone project and professional work placement elements in the final year

By Teaching and Learning Unit, MTU Cork

When and where

Date and time

Fri, 29 Jan 2021 02:00 - 05:00 PST

Location

Online

About this event

Funded by:

Presented By

  • Dr Sandra Lenihan, Lecturer & Academic Placement Supervisor, Chemical & Biopharmaceutical Engineering Course , MTU Cork
  • Dr Róisín Foley, Lecturer & Academic Placement Supervisor, Chemical & Biopharmaceutical Engineering Course , MTU Cork
  • Noel Duffy, Chemical & Biopharmaceutical Engineering Course Coordinator, MTU Cork
  • Cliona Hatano, AnSEO – The Student Engagement Office, MTU Cork
  • William Carey, AnSEO – The Student Engagement Office & Teaching and Learning Unit, MTU Cork
  • MTU Cork Chemical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering Graduates - Class of 2018 & 2019
    • Kevin O’Donovan, Value Stream Process Specialist, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
    • Wen Ning Ching, Crude, Distillates & Sulphur Plant Process Engineer, Irving Oil
    • Gráinne Power, Bioprocess Engineer, Eli Lilly and Company

Learning Outcomes

  • Developing “culturally fit” graduates matching national employability criteria (core technical engineering competencies and deep skills)
  • Structuring learning outcomes of industrially hosted modules to enable successful completion by the student, independent of the sector, and assessed in a manner, which is tailored to the needs of student outputs at an advanced level
  • Demonstration of best practise on the delivery of industrial hosted modules from execution, mentoring and assessment of same ensuring student success based on continuous communication and evaluation with relevant stakeholders: students, academic staff and industrialists
  • Recognition of enhanced experiential learning on student development (professional, personnel and career skills)
  • Foster a culture for soon to be graduates to adopt lifelong learning (experiential or structured)

Seminar Description

This seminar will present an innovative approach to enhancing engineering competencies through the parallel delivery of a capstone project and professional work placement elements in the final year of an undergraduate programme.

Nationally, it is recognised that engineering students require more development of skills to be “culturally fit” engineering professionals. In order to achieve this, a longer placement was incorporated into MTU Cork's Chemical Engineering programme with this industrial interface being leveraged to identify capstone projects, hosted in industry, for students to complete in parallel with their placement. Thereby providing students with more industrial exposure and developing more “culturally fit” employable graduates with general and transferrable skills as well as the necessary engineering knowledge. Since the adoption of these industrially hosted modules a repeated review process, facilitated by MT Cork’s AnSEO – The Student Engagement Office, has allowed “fine-tuning” of the approach and provided an improved student experience. This review process creates a constructive environment in which individual student voices can be heard alongside those of faculty.

MTU Cork has created an enhanced experiential learning experience for its final year students and provided a vehicle to pilot methods for student-staff collaboration supporting the shared refinement of both placement and the capstone project. The benefit to industry is a structured longer placement (in line with international policy) to develop “culturally-fit” graduates. The impact on student success is notable in that in excess of 90% employment levels have been observed in the graduate classes of 2018 and 2019. The student voice of their experiences substantiates the experiential and structured learning of these students.

Presenter Biographies

Dr Sandra Lenihan is a Lecturer in Chemical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering at MTU Cork with industrial experience in pharmaceutical processing. She is a Principal Investigator with the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC). Research interests include industrial-academic collaborations in pharmaceutical engineering, with particular focus on solid dosage processing. Sandra is also a Placement Academic Supervisor and Co-ordinator for the Chemical Engineering Programme and has been involved in initiatives with Dr Roisin Foley on developing engineering competencies in undergraduates over the last few years.

Dr Róisín Foley is a Lecturer in Chemical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering at MTU Cork with industrial experience in the food, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sectors. In 2009, she returned to academia to pursue a PhD in Process Analytical Technology in Bioprocessing, at Dublin City University (DCU). She has presented at a number of international conferences with publications in both spectroscopy and bioprocessing areas. In 2016, Róisín a former graduate of the Chemical and Process Engineering programme at MTU Cork joined the Chemical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering staff in the department of Process, Energy and Transport Engineering, MTU Cork. For the last 4 years, she has developed and coordinated the Chemical and Biopharmaceutical placement programme with Dr Sandra Lenihan leveraging her industrial experience in identifying the core competencies required of graduates by industry.

Noel Duffy is a chartered chemical engineer with over 40 years’ experience. After several years in the heavy chemicals industry, he joined MTU Cork, then Cork RTC, from which he recently retired after 38 years of experience in education, primarily teaching on the chemical engineering course. He is also a lead assessor for the Institution of Chemical Engineers’ accreditation of engineering courses which has led him to scrutinize seven other institutions’ practices.

Cliona Hatano is a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist with BA (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy. Currently, Cliona is working as Project Officer with AnSEO – The Student Engagement Office on their Student as Partners in Quality (Le Cheile) programme. Le Chéile enables facilitated student-staff dialogues around academic issues of concern for students and/or staff as identified through many of the activities of AnSEO, i.e. Good Start, Academic Success Coaching, Academic Learning Centre, etc., as well those identified from data collected through the Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE), course monitoring reports, surveys, etc. These activities often lead to meaningful improvements to the quality of the learning environment through solutions co-created and shaped by students and staff working together as partners.

William Carey is a founding member of the European First Year Experience Network and helped to organise EFYE for the second time recently – first, Manchester 2011 and then Cork 2019. Currently, William is working in CIT as Student Engagement Officer with AnSEO – The Student Engagement Office and as Project Officer on MTU Cork’s Strategic Alignment Fund projects with the Teaching & Learning Unit but previously, he worked at The University of Manchester. He has a national and international reputation in student engagement, specifically peer learning, serving as Associate Editor for the International Journal of Peer Learning.

Kevin O’Donovan is a Chemical Engineer who is currently working as a Value Stream Process Specialist at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. Kevin completed his BEng Honours degree in Chemical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering at MTU Cork in 2018 graduating with First Class Honours. In his time in MTU Cork, he won the following awards:

  • 2017-2018 PM Group Medal for best Design Project by a CIT Chemical Engineering Student.
  • 2019 ILC Dover prize for articles by Chemical and Bio-process engineering students published in the Engineers Journal.

Gráinne Kearney is a Chemical Engineer who is currently working as a Bioprocess Engineer at Eli Lilly and Company in Kinsale, Co. Cork. Gráinne completed her BEng Honours degree in Chemical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering at MTU Cork in 2018.

Wen Ning Ching is a Chemical Engineer who is currently working as a Crude, Distillates & Sulphur Plant Process Engineer at Irving Oil in Whitegate, Co. Cork. This role involves:

  • Monitoring the day to day running of the refinery to ensure its operations are within safe and reliable operating limits
  • Ensuring the products are on grade while maximising profit and efficiency
  • Troubleshooting any issues that may occur at the plant

Wen Ning completed his BEng Honours degree in Chemical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering at MTU Cork in 2019 graduating with First Class Honours winning the 2019 Merck Prize for Academic Excellence in Chemical Engineering.

About the organiser

Office of Registrar and VP for Academic Affairs, MTU Cork

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