JIS News

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  • Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computing at the University of Technology (UTech), Gossett Oliver, has said that the institution was positioning graduates to take advantage of trading arrangements such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
  • Pointing to the opportunities being opened up at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and FTAA levels for the export of technical and professional services, he said,
  • Mr. Oliver, who was speaking last week at the annual awards function of the faculty at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium in Kingston, unwrapped a package of alliances being forged with a number of universities and bodies in the United States (US) and the wider Caribbean.

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computing at the University of Technology (UTech), Gossett Oliver, has said that the institution was positioning graduates to take advantage of trading arrangements such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

Pointing to the opportunities being opened up at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and FTAA levels for the export of technical and professional services, he said, “We are opening up ourselves, to position to take advantage of the FTAA; it will make our students more marketable”.

Mr. Oliver, who was speaking last week at the annual awards function of the faculty at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium in Kingston, unwrapped a package of alliances being forged with a number of universities and bodies in the United States (US) and the wider Caribbean.

Among the alliances being pursued is an agreement with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in the United States, whereby students of the faculty could get accreditation from the body under a reciprocal agreement. ABET is considered to be the best authorizing body for engineering and computing programmes in the US, the Dean said.

Partnership is also being sought with the University of Havana in Cuba, which will see second and fourth year Chemical Engineering students learning the technology in Spanish, making them more marketable in the region.

The Dean said that the faculty was also seeking membership in the Australia-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Centre for Education, thereby bringing exposure for students and staff, who, through a reciprocal agreement, would get placements there.

He noted that only two weeks ago, the faculty hosted a seminar for the Institute of Electrical and Electrical Engineering (IEEE) in United States, which was attended by 32 universities through the world, and at which the work of the students of the faculty was showcased. He said whilst they took 2nd place in the T-shirt design competition, it was their ability to put up such a seminar that pleased him most.

Stating that the Engineering and Computing faculty was the first department at UTech to graduate two students with Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) degrees, the Dean informed that 15 PhD students were nearing completion of their programmes. In addition, he said that research was being undertaken by Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and MPhil students in five areas, which would have practical application.

Guest speaker at the function, Dr. Robert Snyder, Professor and Chairman of the Materials Science and Engineering faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US, spoke about the development of materials from the stone age to the development of alloys, which have allowed jets to fly.

“We have now moved into tomorrow’s era of new stuff”, Dr. Snyder said, citing engineering advances, such as genetics, magnetics and a wide range of materials to replace aluminum, in order to make lighter and stronger goods, such as cars. He pointed to the next generation of materials, which would build for example, space crafts with titanium skin, thereby avoiding the use of heat tiles and therefore, future accidents, such as the one which blew up the Challenger space craft recently.