June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.50.1 - 14.50.11
A Mechatronics Program as an Alternative to Separate Programs in Electrical and Mechanical in Developing Countries
Education is one of the key infrastructure components needed to sustain peaceful development and maintain security, so that the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Afghanistan) can meet the critical needs of its people as well as participate fully in the international community. Higher education, in particular engineering education, is at a crucial crossroads. A comprehensive and functional higher education system for engineering students will provide Afghanistan with the capacity to develop its infrastructure as well as expanding its role in the international community.
The partnership between University of Hartford, USA and Herat University in Afghanistan began in August 2007. This partnership strives to develop and implement a program to strengthen and modernize engineering education at Herat University. Phase I of the program includes a number of activities such as curriculum review and revision, faculty development, and laboratory upgrading. Currently we are midway in Phase I. Phase II focuses on expanding the current undergraduate engineering program to areas beyond civil engineering that are critical for the continued development of infrastructure and capabilities in Afghanistan.
While reviewing and planning to expand the current engineering program to areas beyond civil engineering, the focus evolved to adding two new undergraduate engineering programs, one in electrical and one in mechanical. However, after further evaluation of the needs, priorities, financial constraints and infrastructure support, it was obvious that two programs would create a burden that would not be feasible at this time. A program in Mechatronics emerged as the best fit to meet the current and near future needs and augments the current offerings in civil engineering. Approval has been received for a Mechatronics Engineering program from the Ministry of Higher Education in Afghanistan and the financial support from the World Bank.
This paper will focus on the needs, resources and plan to develop a program in Mechatronics at HERAT University. The paper will focus on the preparation for laboratories, equipment, curriculum, faculty, etc. including the difficulties in helping to start a new program in another country.
The College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture at University of Hartford offers several ABET accredited programs in engineering, technology and architecture. The University of Hartford is a small private institution located in West Hartford, CT. The relationship between University of Hartford, USA and Herat University in Afghanistan began in the summer of 2006 under the framework of the Strengthening Higher Education Program (SHEP). The program is supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and is funded through a grant from the World Bank. The steering committee for SHEP selected University of Hartford to assess the current situation at Herat University and propose ways to improve
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