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Developing Undergraduate Water Program Courses: Meeting the Needs of the Egyptian Workforce

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Poster Session

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College Industry Partnerships

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Paper Authors


Mohammad Al Mestiraihi Utah State University

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Mohammad Al Mestiraihi is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Engineering Education Department at Utah State University. Before joining USU, Mohammad was a Master's student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Oklahoma State University. Mohammad also holds another Master's degree in Computer Engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology ( JUST ) in Jordan. Besides, Mohammad also has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from Al Yarmouk University in Jordan. Complemented with his educational degrees, Mohammad has more than five years of teaching experience at Najran University, Saudi Arabia. Currently, Mohammad is working toward getting his Ph.D. degree from the Engineering Education Department under Professor Kurt Becker's supervision.

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Kurt Henry Becker Utah State University

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Kurt Becker is a professor in the department of engineering education and his areas of research include engineering design thinking, adult learning cognition, engineering education professional development and technical training. He is currently working on National Science Foundation funded projects exploring engineering design systems thinking and several GEAR UP STARS projects funded by the US Department of Education. He has extensive international experience working on technical training and engineering education projects funded by the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and U.S. Department of Labor, USAID. Countries where he has worked include Armenia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and Thailand.

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R. Ryan Dupont Utah State University

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Dr. Dupont has more than 35 years of experience teaching and conducting applied and basic research in environmental engineering at the Utah Water Research Laboratory at Utah State University. His main research areas have addressed soil and groundwater bioremediation, stormwater management via green infrastructure, and field remediation technology demonstration and treatment system performance verification. He received a BS degree in Civil Engineering, and MS and PhD degrees in Environmental Health Engineering from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Dr. Dupont has been a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at USU since 1995, served as the Head of the Environmental Engineering Division for 10 years, was instrumental in establishing an Undergraduate Degree in Environmental Engineering at USU, and has been responsible for attracting more than $6 million in extramural funding through the Water Research Lab since joining the faculty in 1982. Dr. Dupont is a member of Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Chi Epsilon, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Water Environment Federation, Engineers without Borders, and the Air and Waste Management Association. Dr. Dupont was recognized as an Outstanding Young Engineering Educator by the American Society of Engineering Education in 1988, and was a 2015 recipient of the Richard I. Stessel Waste Management Award, for “distinguished achievement as an educator in the field of waste management” from the Air and Waste Management Association.

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David K. Stevens Utah State University

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Education is one of the societal pillars of all nations, and most developing countries are interested in human development based on reforming and improving their educational training systems. Arabic countries, and Egypt in particular, have placed education at the top of their 21st Century goals to support and develop education as it provides a means of upward mobility, social change, and a way to face the challenges of globalization. Highlighted in Egypt’s Vision 2030, the government allocated huge financial budgets for education. Egypt faces many water challenges as one of the most arid countries in the world. Most of its land is desert, and the Nile river represents 95% of the nation’s currently accessible water supply. Today, the current Water Program curriculum at Egyptian universities does not provide the essential requirements to equip Water program graduates with the skills to solve Egypt’s current and future water needs. Consequently, many Water Program graduates in Egypt are underemployed. To adequately solve this problem, Water Programs must evolve, and universities should look at not only what is being taught, but also how it is being taught. To address this, and as part of a USAID funded “Center of Excellence in Water” Project, Water Programs that meet the needs of industry and the public sector in Egypt are being transformed. This paper highlights the undergraduate level courses that Water Program graduates need based on the demands of Egypt’s water issues. Seventeen undergraduate courses were identified by academia, industry, and the public sector using two online questionnaires, which were distributed to academic instructors and administrators in Water Programs in Egyptian Partner Universities, and to industry and public sector companies throughout Egypt. Results of the questionnaires show that the essential courses identified by industry and public sector companies differ from those identified by academia, and highlights the gap between industry and academia. Currently, the 17 courses are in the process of development by Water content experts from Egypt and the US, and the results of course development will be implemented at the Egyptian partner institutions in the coming years.

Al Mestiraihi, M., & Becker, K. H., & Dupont, R. R., & Stevens, D. K. (2021, July), Developing Undergraduate Water Program Courses: Meeting the Needs of the Egyptian Workforce Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36946

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