College of Engineering -- University of Wisconsin-Madison
ENGINEERING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
aints, polymers, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, asphalt, agrichemicals, pulp and paper--there are millions of products that require mixing technology in some phase of production. Getting the right mix is key to creating a successful batch. Associate Faculty Associate Elaine Bower, shown with David S. Dickey (left) of MixTech and Peter R. Holman (right) of The Consistent Mixing Company, offered a series of courses on mixing technology in 1999. Open to both experienced professionals as well as novices needing an introduction to mixing equipment, the courses covered consistent mixing, specifying mixing equipment, mixing of pastes and solid powders, and scaling for batch and semi-batch processing.
The mixing tanks shown at left, used in a course on specifying mixing equipment, demonstrate the difference in mixing between two mixer-impeller designs. The larger tank shows a random mix of colored beads, indicating a successful mix. The tank on the right shows the colored beads inadequately distributed. The course provided engineers with the knowledge necessary to successfully specify and evaluate mixing equipment and features of electric motors, mixer drives, shafts and vessels.
Celebrating 50 years of service
Engineering Professional Development is celebrating not only 50 years of continuing education in 1999, but through several departmentwide volunteer projects, its community ties.
Engineering outreach occurred at the UW as early as 1889 and EPD originated in 1949. Since then the number, quality and variety of courses it offered gradually increased. EPD officially joined COE 14 years ago, and now annually offers more than 400 seminars, workshops and short courses that are attended by more than 20,000 professionals.
An advanced degree via the Internet
Twenty-five engineers began a new degree program in 1999, attending classes in offices at home or work, hotel rooms or even airport lobbies.
The Master of Engineering in Professional Practice (MEPP) program is an innovative effort to bring instruction to the working professional by offering an entire advanced degree via the World Wide Web.
Classmates share an electronic classroom for two years and pursue a master's degree without interrupting their careers. Program director Wayne Pferdehirt says MEPP is expanding access to higher education for people juggling professional and personal lives.
"These students want to be able to earn a master's degree through relevant courses that are available wherever their travels take them, at times that fit their demanding schedules," Pferdehirt says. "In MEPP we accomplish that through courses specially designed to meet current, real-world needs of practicing engineers. We match our commitment to excellence in course content with an equal commitment to proven, effective distance learning methods."
Companies that have employees enrolled in MEPP include Mercury Marine, Trane, Kohler, John Deere, GE Medical Systems, Hewlett-Packard and the National Guard.
The program focuses on the skills engineers report are in demand in the field. The WWW facilitated instruction has a real-time, interactive quality, and includes collaborative projects with teams of students.
Working drawings that work
Recent surveys of representatives from the construction industry indicate that the quality of working drawings and specifications in construction plans is in decline. At the same time, industry experts are noticing an increase in the numbers of construction change orders. In response, architect and Professor Emeritus Philip Bennett offers a course on Preparing Design Professionals and Owners to Detect Deficiencies in Working Drawings and Specifications. The course focuses on the measures and actions needed to spot mistakes and deficiencies at the planning stage in order to prevent increased costs and claims. The program identifies several "action areas" where production control and review of documents are critical prior to bidding and contract signing. Developers, contractors and architect/engineers in the course hear from a number of industry experts brought together by Bennett. Participants are helped to identify problems and opportunities for reducing and potentially eliminating many of the frustrating conditions that give rise to claims. Attendees learn how to review graphics for potential change orders, integrate a step-by-step checking process into production, develop effective quality-assurance programs and identify opportunities for substitution.
Copyright 1999 University System Board of Regents
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