IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, announced the latest initiative from Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) in IEEE – an educational partnership with select colleges and universities in India designed to enhance the education for future electrical engineers.
As part of the curricula and in line with EPICS in IEEE’s goals, students will team up with local non-profit organizations and apply technical knowledge to solve engineering-based problems that will improve the lives of their communities in India. More so, EPICS in IEEE leaders will oversee how the new curricula is being implemented and ultimately help provide an opportunity that will provide guidance and new learning methods for how India teaches its undergraduate engineering students.
EPICS in IEEE is an IEEE Foundation Priority Initiative that helps advance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning by providing real-world learning experiences that attract young people to the engineering profession. This new collaboration with India is part of a pilot program spearheaded by EPICS in IEEE and Purdue University’s EPICS department.
The initiative has been in the works for a long time, explained Dr. William Oakes, EPICS director at Purdue University. “The EPICS program, headquartered at Purdue University, is proud to be on board to provide support for the faculty in India who are preparing to integrate EPICS into their curricula to enhance their educational experiences and impact their local communities. The collaboration with EPICS in IEEE has the potential for an enormous impact.”
Deans S.K. Ramesh (California State University) and Saurabh Sinha (Johannesburg, South Africa) began the coordination between IEEE and Indian institutions several years ago. Currently, Vineeth Vijayaraghavan, EPICS in IEEE committee member, and Dr. Nicholas Kirsch, EPICS in IEEE committee chair, are continuing their efforts to bring the program to fruition. Mr. Vijayaraghavan has had an instrumental part in facilitating the program throughout the Indian institutions.
“This partnership with EPICS in IEEE aligns with our goals to enrich our curricula and advance our educational pursuit to be at par with global standards,” states Vijayaraghavan. “The purpose is to adopt a new and refined learning method that will encourage students to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of meaningful technology solutions that will improve their local communities and ultimately, become better engineers.”
To date, over 10 colleges and universities in India have been invited to participate in the program. These include: Vardhama College of Engineering (Hyderabad), CMR College of Engineering & Technology (Hyderabad), MLR Institute of Technology (Hyderabad), SR Engineering College(Warangal), Hyderabad Institute of Technology (Hyderabad), Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering & Technology (Chittoor), Sagi Ramakrishnam Raju Engineering College (Bhimavaram), Kumaraguru College of Technology (Coimbatore), Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) University(Vellore), PSG College of Technology (Coimbatore), Thiagarajar College of Engineering (Madurai), Sri Venkateshwara College of Engineering (Chennai). A non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the universities, EPICS in IEEE, and EPICS Purdue on April 6, 2018.
Each school will be responsible for submitting a service proposal for review to EPICS in IEEE. Upon approval, EPICS in IEEE will provide funding for the completion of the projects. Additional goals include:
- Introduce service learning into the 2018-2019 curriculums of partner universities and offer a unique opportunity for students to learn and collaborate in the many disciplines associated with engineering, in a way that may not have been available previously.
- Gain a working model that can be used in the future expansion of EPICS in IEEE.
- Establish an EPICS lab at each institution where EPICS in IEEE projects will be conducted.
- oster faculty engagement within the universities and collaborative learning between the partners, all while giving new and challenging opportunities to the students.
Photo: Professor Prema Muthuswamy representing Kumaraguru College of Technology in Coimbatore, India, participates in the MOU ceremony.
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