Columbus , Ohio
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
The Republic of Tatarstan is one of the most stable and fastest growing members of the Russian Federation with a highly diversified industry base. However, this growth is threatened by a lack of engineers to guarantee this innovative economy. A project of successive vocational training of engineers has been developed at Kazan National Research Technological University (KNRTU) to meet this challenge. KNRTU is uniquely positioned to address this need with a well-developed multilevel vocational training system, an efficient educational process integrated with the research and facilities of laboratories and research centers, and many networking and international cooperation opportunities.
In this paper, we describe the project as exemplified by the discipline of Composites studied within the Polymers and Composites Processing training program. The curriculum has four levels with progressively increasing depth and complexity. It starts with a Materials Science course for undergraduates followed by a Basics of Developing Polymer Composites course for graduate students. Within the postgraduate program, the project continues with the General Principles of Developing Polymer Structural Materials. The program continues with continuous education of active engineers, who return to upgrade their qualifications and/or do additional practical courses. The topics of these continuous education courses include Advanced Polymer Nano-Composites and Innovative Technologies of Processing Polymers and Composites in an occupational retraining program.
This paper deals with the content of the courses offered, their interconnection focusing on the requirements of potential employers and the use of the latest scientific results, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and new performance capabilities. For instance, the bachelor-level topic, titled Polymers with Solid Particulate Fillers, considers the aspects of mixing polymers with fillers and of the interrelations between the composite formulation and its properties. The master-level students study the causes of changes in the properties of polymers when being filled. At the postgraduate level the matters of creating composites with pre-defined properties are analyzed while the returning professional from industry are more focused on the practical aspects of manufacturing polymer composites and products based on them.
The project gives some of courses and activities in mixed groups, such as postgraduates with professionals and bachelor-level/master-level students, creating combined teams for solving mini projects. The efficiency of such lessons is enhanced due to the focused creation of pedagogical situations involving students into social relations within the professional context.
An interesting part of such training is the internships of postgraduates and professionals which are organized on the basis of networking cooperation with universities and partner enterprises. Thus, in the Republic of Tatarstan, such partners are PJSC Nizhnekamskneftekhim, JSC Kazan Helicopters, JSC Kazan Synthetic Rubber Plant. Across Russia, these are the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Aviation Materials (VIAM), and the Federal Research and Production Center ALTAI. Internationally strong collaborations exist with educational, research and engineering companies from the USA, Germany, and Czech Republic, such as Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, Envidatec GmbH from Hamburg, Germany, the Research Institute of Industrial Chemistry and Explosia a.s. of the University of Pardubice, Czech Republic, etc.
The project demands continuous monitoring of the educational outcomes. Every subject starts with input tests, intermediate tests are conducted upon each topic, and then the summative assessment is performed based on specially developed criteria and academic performance indices. Moreover, questioning based on the expectations/outcomes principle at the input and at the output allows the teacher coordinating the project to ensure feedbacks and make necessary changes in the educational path. The indices of satisfaction were noted to grow when passing from bachelor level (75 %) to master level (80 %), and then, at the postgraduate level, they reach 95 %, while for career development programs, they approach to 90%, which can be explained by the higher requirements of trainees. The experiences in implementing such a successive vocational training showed its efficiency, which is proven by the findings of surveys performed on both the alumni of the Research University and their employers (the indices of the training quality satisfaction vary within the range of 75-95 %).
Ivanov, V. G., & Galikhanov, M., & Shageeva, F. T. (2017, June), Research University as a Center of Internationally-Focused Training Innovative-Economy Engineers Paper presented at 2017 ASEE International Forum, Columbus , Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29296
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