Creating a University-Industry Advisory Board for a Joint Engineering School

Bremner, D. , Meehan, K., Liu, Y. and Liu, X. (2016) Creating a University-Industry Advisory Board for a Joint Engineering School. In: ASEE's 123rd Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, USA, 26-29 Jun 2016, (doi:10.18260/p.26597)

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Abstract

For an engineering course to be effective and acceptable to industry it must be continually revised to incorporate new technology and the latest thinking. Traditionally, the method used was to approach companies in the immediate locale of the teaching institution and elicit membership to form an industrial advisory board (IAB). The IAB had limited power and influence over activities within the school and was most prominent in ensuring the course obtained accreditation from an appropriate and relevant body. However, as industry transitioned first into international and then global companies, the geographically centric advisory board became a limitation; the original strengths and benefits of engaging with local companies were outweighed by the need to embrace cultural differences. Furthermore, as system and product integration extended beyond the single engineering disciplines, the membership of the advisory board had to be similarly extended. The most recent illustration of this is the blurring of the boundaries between Computer Science and Electronic Engineering in the emergent market for the Internet of Things. With the advent of trans-national joint degree programmes between Universities in separate continents, the problem is exacerbated. This paper looks at the challenges and approaches taken to address some of these issues when establishing an Industrial Advisory Board that is not only international, but is also multi-cultural and multi-discipline in support of a joint undergraduate degree programme in Electronic and Electrical Engineering in China. It proposes a balance between domestic versus international organisations to ensure that the educational content delivers the widest possible opportunities to the students. Finally, it examines how an effective advisory board can assist the academic staff in delivering the most appropriate, up to date training possible through the utilisation of members of the Advisory Board. Using this approach, the School can deliver best-in-class, up-to-date knowledge and experience from an industrial perspective, combined with traditional teaching of the fundamental disciplines. By involving the Industrial Advisory Board, both students and industrialists get a richer, more relevant experience and interaction.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Meehan, Professor Kathleen and Bremner, Dr Duncan
Authors: Bremner, D., Meehan, K., Liu, Y., and Liu, X.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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