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Developing an Engineering Curriculum at a Developing University in a Developing Country

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Global Engineering Models: Curriculum Development, Improvements, and Partnerships

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Page Count


Page Numbers

25.421.1 - 25.421.12



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Paper Authors


Kurt M. DeGoede Elizabethtown College

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Kurt DeGoede is Associate Professor of engineering and physics, Elizabethtown College. DeGoede is currently working on developing a collaborative study abroad program in West Africa built around a design course based in service engineering. Many of these projects include work with renewable energy systems. His research interests are in the areas of biomechanics and the modeling of dynamic systems. Current projects include collaborative work with faculty and students in occupational therapy and an orthopedic hand surgeon, developing clinical instruments for conducting therapy and assessing human movement in patients undergoing rehabilitation.

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Momodou Jain

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Developing, Developing, Developing –Kurt DeGoedeDepartment of Physics and Engineering, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PAMomodou JainDepartment of Physics, University of The Gambia, The Gambia, West AfricaPossible Sessions:Engineering education in developing countriesEngineering education in sub-Saharan AfricaU.S./Africa Engineering Education PartnershipsInternational Collaborations, Experiences, Partnerships, Service LearningABSTRACT:Developing an engineering curriculum at a developing University in a developing country: pilot study inprogress. During the 2010-11 academic year, I, Kurt DeGoede, served as a visiting professor of Physicsat the University of The Gambia (UTG), West Africa. I collaborated with Dr. Momodou Jain, chair of thePhysics department at UTG to initiate progress toward UTG’s offering of an engineering degree. Thisuniversity was established through an act of the national government of The Gambia in March of 1999.Prior to this act, students had to go abroad to study most disciplines. The Gambian government iscurrently constructing a new residential campus 10 miles east of the present shared UTG/GambiaCollege campus in Brikama. The Ministry of Education is finalizing arrangements to bring the FulbrightScholars program to UTG. Funding is in place to open a Masters Degree program centered on issuesrelating to global climate change. One profession which students at UTG cannot pursue is engineering.Yet establishing a home grown expertise in engineering would seem vital to a developing nation. TheGambia has severe infrastructure needs: roads wash out seasonally, devastating flooding occurscontinuously throughout the rainy season, much of the nation is off the electrical grid, and those on thegrid experience regular power outages. Food processing and other light manufacturing would providemuch needed employment. A blossoming photovoltaic industry needs engineers to design systems.Working with Dr. Momodou Jain, chair of the Physics department at UTG, and representatives of theMinistry of Energy along with a few private sector engineers, we have introduced a plan to bring anengineering curriculum to UTG. The concept is for a general engineering curriculum focused onrenewable energy applications. As expected in a developing country where per capita GDP is $1900annually (CIA World Factbook), UTG has very limited resources to work with. However, the studentsand faculty at UTG are strongly motivated to use their skills to improve their communities, and themove to a more applied engineering curriculum taps into that potential.

DeGoede, K. M., & Jain, M. (2012, June), Developing an Engineering Curriculum at a Developing University in a Developing Country Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21179

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