Curriculum Currency

How MMA harnesses the power of Industrial Advisory Committees.

There is a slight smell of smoke in the Instruments and Electronics Lab of the ABS Center for Engineering, Science and Research, the origin of which is an idea to create a fire for learning.

Associate Professor of Engineering Donald McCann lifts a soldering iron from a microprocessor wiring connection for a tank level control system (shown left) and says, “One down and 10 to go.”

The assembly will be ready in time for a new fall semester automation lab, based on a suggestion from the engineering department’s Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC).

Professionals, including alumni, provide advice and feedback from the perspective of their industry and expertise.

“The IAC played a large role in establishing the need for our engineering automation classes to have an associated lab with the class,” says McCann. “They also helped us select topics for individual labs, including a Programmable Logic Controller system that the students will wire up, test and troubleshoot.”

To help guide the future of MMA, its major areas of study—Engineering, Marine Transportation/Vessel Operations & Technology , International Business and Logistics (IBL) and Ocean Studies—call on professionals, including alumni, to provide advice from the perspective of their industry and expertise.

“IACs are valuable in helping us maintain the currency of our curriculum as well as providing input for the strategic planning we do to anticipate future needs,” says Dr. David Gardner, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

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