ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22-24 June, 2009 EU & FIPSE - Erabee

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ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

A uniform framework for compatible programs of
Biosystems Engineering

P. Panagakis
1
,

D. Briassoulis
1

and S. Mostaghimi
2

1

Agricultural Engineering Department, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece

2

Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Tech, USA

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Introduction

The work was carried out in the framework of a multilateral EU
-
USA Project
1



1

POMSEBES: Policy Oriented Measures in Support of the Evolving
Biosystems Engineering Studies in USA
-

EU

The

specific

goal

of

the

project

was

to

contribute,

by

means

of

specific

policy

measures,

to

the

structural

development

of

the

emerging

discipline

of

Biosystems

Engineering,

by

enhancing

collaboration

between

EU

and

US


ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Among the objectives of POMSEBES:


Propose policy measures that will guide the development of
appropriate curricula for Biosystems Engineering


Encourage targeted policies and procedures aimed at
compatible educational programs of studies within the EU as
well as between the EU and the US.



PROPOSE A UNIFORM FRAMEWORK


Uniform Framework


ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE


Biosystems Engineering programs of studies
should include a
strong basic Engineering courses/topics core

in their study
program



They must
disseminate their Engineering

courses contents to
other programs of studies in (applied) Biological sciences

so
as to be engaged in educating Engineering concepts to
Biological Sciences students

Uniform Framework


ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE


A list of complementary, with respect to traditional
Agricultural Engineering programs of studies, domains,
learning outcomes and core competencies for students in
Biosystems Engineering should be developed to assist with
the evolution and development of the discipline curriculum.



This approach can define modules offered by specific
programs of study, as applicable.

Uniform Framework

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Core Curriculum in Europe
-

I

The
core curriculum
* is composed of two
core basis
-

components
:


1.
Engineering Sciences core basis of the program of studies

2.
Agricultural/Biological Sciences
core basis of the program
of studies

(*) USAEE TN, ERABEE TN

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Core Curriculum in Europe
-

II

The
core curriculum
* is structured at two basic levels:



1.
Engineering and Biological/Agricultural Sciences
fundamental basis of core curriculum

2.
Optional modules (specialisations) for the Engineering and
Agricultural/Biological parts of the core curricula

(*) USAEE TN, ERABEE TN

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Overall Core Curriculum in Europe
-

III

Based on the approved by the
FEANI
-
EMC*

core curricula
specifications:

o
The Agricultural / Biological Sciences core basis
should be
limited between 39.0 and 57.0%

of the corresponding
Engineering core basis

o
20
-
25 ECTS

compared to 44
-
51 ECTS, respectively

ECTS: European Credit Transfer System (eq. to 25
-
30 h of student workload)

(*) FEANI:
European Federation of National Engineering Associations



Educational Monitoring Committee


ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Engineering Fundamental Basis


The following courses, defined in terms of contents, learning outcomes and ECTS
units, compose the EU Engineering core fundamental basis:



Engineering Graphics and Design
-

CAD


Mechanics
-

Statics


Strength of Materials


Mechanics
-
Dynamics


Fluid
Μ
echanics


Applied Thermodynamics


Heat and Mass Transfer


Electricity and Electronics


System Dynamics

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Engineering Fundamental Basis

Whereas,

US programs
of studies usually encompass the following courses (or
similar):


Statics


Strength of Materials


Dynamics


Fluid Mechanics


Thermodynamics


Transport Processes


Engineering Graphics and Design


Physical Properties of Biological Materials


Engineering Economics


Electrical Theory


Instrumentation


Foundation of Engineering Design


ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Agricultural/Biological Sciences Fundamental Basis


The following courses may be considered as comprising the corresponding EU
Agricultural/Biological Sciences core fundamental basis
(five courses may be
selected out of six depending on the modules offered):



Plant Biology


Animal Biology


Introduction to Soil Science


Introduction to Agricultural Meteorology and Micro
-
meteorology


Understanding the Environment and its interaction with Living Organisms


Microbiology

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Agricultural/Biological Sciences Fundamental Basis


Whereas
,

in the US
the Agricultural/Biological core basis competences are usually
covered by several general
‘Biological Sciences’
courses such as:



Principles of Biology


Soil Science


Biochemistry


Microbiology


Physical Chemistry



More advanced and applied courses in various programs of studies offered in
the US build upon the topics addressed within these general courses

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Engineering Core Competences in Europe
-

I


The 1
st

cycle graduate must attain the following outcomes:


Apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering and systems
approaches appropriate to his or her discipline


Design and conduct experiments, analyze and interpret data


Identify, formulate and solve engineering problems


Recognize the interaction between engineering activities and design,
fabrication, marketing, user requirements, and product destruction

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Engineering Core Competences in Europe
-

II

The 1
st

cycle graduate must attain the following outcomes:


Communicate information, ideas, problems, and solutions to both specialist
and non
-
specialist audiences


Display an understanding of the influence of engineering activity on all life
and the environment, and demonstrate a high moral and ethical approach
to engineering tasks


Function efficiently in project groups and teamwork


Understand the interaction process between people working in teams, and
be able to adapt to the requirements of the working environment

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Engineering Core Competences in Europe
-

III


The 2
nd

cycle graduate must attain the following outcomes:


Demonstrate an in
-
depth understanding of his/her subject area as part of a
general engineering technology


Demonstrate in
-
depth knowledge and understanding of a specialized area
related to his/her field of study


Plan, and carry out research in his/her specialized field


Assume an analytical approach to work based on broad and in
-
depth
scientific knowledge

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Engineering Core Competences in Europe
-

IV

The 2
nd

cycle graduate must attain the following outcomes:


Function in leading roles, including management roles, in companies and
research organizations, and to contribute to innovation


Explain ideas and projects to a team of co
-
workers


Find a solution of particular technical and human problems arising in the
working environment


Apply skills and qualities necessary for employment requiring personal
responsibility and decision
-
making

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Agricultural/Biological Core Competences in Europe

The 1
st

cycle graduate should be able to:


Understand the fundamental biological mechanisms which govern the
life of living organisms in general


Recognize the interactions between systems of living organisms and
their environment


The 2
nd

cycle graduate should be able to:


Appreciate issues (e.g. techniques used to model and subsequently
simulate) related to biological systems and their management


Understand matters related to environmental protection and
sustainability

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Core Competences in US


Engineering programs must demonstrate that their students attain the
ABET

(
a
)


(
k
)

criteria
:

(a)


an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and

engineering

(b)
an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze
and interpret data

(c)
an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired
needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental,
social, political, ethical, health and safety,
manufacturability, and
sustainability

(d)


an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams

(e)


an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Core Competences in US

(f)

an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

(g)

an ability to communicate effectively

(h)

the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering
solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context

(i)

a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life
-
long
learning

(j)

a knowledge of contemporary issues

(k)

an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools
necessary for engineering
practice

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE


Apart from the core competencies, a study program with uniform
framework leading to compatible learning outcomes has to
incorporate mid
-
level competences which refer to the optional
specialization (module) part of the core curriculum.



Mid
-
level competences are extended and completed with applied
courses on specialized areas of expertise over the 2
nd

cycle program
of studies
(or during the last two years of the integrated programs
of studies).


Uniform Framework


ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Water Resources Engineering



Understand the biological mechanisms and the biological and
physicochemical characteristics of living organisms as they are
related to various aspects of water resources engineering


Recognize the interactions between water and soil and their affect
on the living organisms systems


Appreciate matters related to environmental protection and
sustainability


Uniform Framework


EU & FIPSE

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

Uniform Framework


Water Resources Engineering

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Energy Supply and Management




Understand issues related to fossil fuels energy production,
transport, distribution; advantages and negative environmental
effects


Comprehend questions related to alternative renewable energy
sources and systems; negative and positive environmental impact


Realize matters related to environmental protection and
sustainability


Uniform Framework

EU & FIPSE

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

Energy Supply and Management

Uniform Framework

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE


A systematic comparison among study programs in US and
EU may lead to a standard definition of basics and a
clarification of application areas


An
equivalence between EU student course load
-

ECTS and
US
-

credit

should be developed to make EU Biosystems
Engineering curricula comparable to those of US

Uniform Framework

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Uniform Framework



Efficient collaboration between EU and US University programs
of study in Biosystems Engineering must be established
incorporating:


joint research work at various levels, (
e.g. in US, during the
final year of studies through the undergraduate project; in
EU during the 2
nd

cycle of studies through the Diploma
Thesis
)


partnership between Universities and Industries in teaching
fundamental design courses


ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Uniform Framework



Relationships between quality assurance issues of programs
of study and learning outcomes or student’s core
competences should be encouraged



A European platform for establishing such a relationship is
the
EUR
-
ACE Accreditation framework
, while
the ABET
may
be employed as the
equivalent US Accreditation scheme




ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Uniform Framework


The concept that Biosystems Engineering
emphasizes:


“integration of life and engineering”


including both approaches:


“bringing engineering to life” and


“bringing life to engineering”


should be promoted

and





disseminated
!




ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE


Incompatibility among curricula



horizontal compatibility among European Institutions


vertical transatlantic with the US institutions
(benchmarking European
institutions and programs
against their US counterparts)



Lack of program harmonization among European countries


major obstacle


Lack of a uniform understanding of an engineering curriculum


among various European institutions
(proliferation of programs that call their
graduates “engineers” without offering engineering curriculum)


Lack of well
-
defined admission requirements
to the US graduate programs
for graduates of various cycles in Europe


alleviation through development of outcome
-
based assessment process

EU & FIPSE

Factors Affecting Uniformity

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE


Strong basic Engineering courses/topics core


Complementary domains/modules


Common areas of expertise


Matching core and mid
-
level competencies


Teaching compatible fundamental design courses


Joint research work at various levels


Similar learning outcomes


Equivalence between EU
-

ECTS and US


credit


Compatible quality assurance and accreditation frameworks



EU & FIPSE

Key components of a Uniform Framework

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE


The term ‘
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
’ is very broad as it covers
a wide range of disciplines and programs of studies:


Programs of studies in Agricultural Engineering and the
emerging from these
Biosystems
Engineering

programs of studies


Programs of studies in Biological Engineering which are based on a mixture of
the already established discipline of Biotechnology
and Engineering Sciences


Programs of studies in Biomedical Engineering

EU & FIPSE

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

vs. Biosystems Engineering

All these three disciplines offered in one program of studies in
“Biological Engineering”, or talking about one discipline, meaning
that it covers all subjects of three different disciplines…

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE


A proposal towards the development of
a common

Agricultural and
Biological Engineering’

framework in the form of one discipline
with a
common curricula basis covering all three disciplines (programs of
studies) will create
a chaotic situation
.


Such a proposal is not a realistic one and cannot achieve the objectives
set by combining the scope of studies in Biotechnology, Agricultural
Engineering and Biomedical Engineering all together!

EU & FIPSE

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

vs. Biosystems Engineering

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

However,


the possibilities, the competences and the abilities of
Biosystems Engineering
graduates

(including as the main core Agricultural Engineering)
to work as
professionals or researchers in areas of Biotechnology or Biomedical
Engineering is very much welcome, expected and should
be encouraged
.

EU & FIPSE

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

vs. Biosystems Engineering

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE


A Biosystems Engineering graduate should be able to extend the engineering
sciences
beyond traditional agricultural applications to all living organisms
(except human)

applications including agriculture.



Biosystems Engineers
shall be involved in the new areas
of


Bio
-
based materials, agro
-
fuels, bio
-
mechatronics, and assessment of food
traceability, quality and safety


The design of environmentally friendly and sustainable systems for plants, animals
and natural
resources

EU & FIPSE

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

vs. Biosystems Engineering

ASABE 09, Reno, Nevada, 22
-
24 June, 2009

EU & FIPSE

Thank you for your attention!

EU & FIPSE