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RE: foreign engineer requirements

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Just because the topic of engineering education system in different
countries has come up, I would just like to tell how this works in
India. 

Here we have the following education levels in engineering:

(1) 
1-10 classes in school (this is common to all disciplines)

(2)
 11 and 12 class or what we call as Intermediate in a school/Junior
college.
(here the bifurcation starts, there are various options that you can
take for 11 and 12 classes like MPC (maths-physics-chemistry), BiPC
(Biology-Physics-Chemistry)
or arts or commerce). Only those who take MPC are eligible for
engineering. BiPC guys are eligible to go into Medicine.

(3)
Then we have the Bachelor level or the Degree level in Engineering. To
get into engineering education, we need to write an entrance exam. The
entrance exams are different for different states in India. Off course,
there some common engineering entrances exams also for all over India. 
Based on the rank that you score in these exams, we get to study in a
good or a bad college. There are following types of
colleges/universities that provide engineering education:
(a) IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) - These are the best
institutions in India and have world class infrastructure and education.
(b) NITs (National Institute of Technology) - These are also very good
institutions
(c) Government Engineering Colleges - These are good/Ok type.
(d) Private Engineering Colleges - The lesser said about them the
better. These are run with the sole aim of profit generation. But this
is not a generalization, a few of them do provide good infrastructure
and education.

The (a), (b), (c) types of colleges are funded by the Union/State
governments of India.

The Engineering Degree course is a four year course here. There are
various disciplines like civil, mechanical, electrical, electronics,
computers, etc that you can opt for.

Those who opt for civil engineering get to study engineering mechanics,
engineering drawing, basic electronics, basic electrical engineering,
basic mechanical technology,
surveying, strength of materials, structural analysis, structural
engineering (RCC, prestressed concrete and Steel), hydraulics, water
resources and irrigation engineering, soil mechanics, geotechnical
engineering, engineering geology, transportation engineering,
environmental engineering (water purification, sewage treatment, air
pollution), concrete technology and a lot more subjects.
So those who have slogged out these four years would really have a good
enough knowledge to start off. I think that's the reason why the
government has not laid down a separate licensing requirement. Off
course, I do not think anybody over here also starts independently
designing structures, when he has freshly finished his degree, unless he
gets sufficient experience working under somebody. At last, it is the
engineer who has signed on the drawing who is responsible for safe
design of the structure. It does not matter if he has a does not have a
separate license because it is he who is responsible.

(4) Then the next level in engineering education is post graduation or
masters. This is a two year course. This level is optional and not
mandatory for being called as an engineer. This is mainly preferred if
you want to go into academics. Those who want to be engineering
professionals also opt for these courses.
 Here are also there various specializations like structural,
geotechnical, earthquake, irrigation, transportation, environmental
engineering, etc available.

Those who opt for structural engineering get to study various subjects
like matrix analysis, finite element methods, theory of elasticity,
plates and shells, plastic analysis of steel structures, Foundation
engineering, stability of structures, optimization techniques etc. In
addition to this, they need to submit a thesis work also.

So the above broadly describes the civil/structural engineering
education in India.


Best regards 
K.V.N.Ramesh,
M.E (Structural Engineering).

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Kester [mailto:andrew(--nospam--at)baeonline.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 9:50 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: foreign engineer requirements

I am completely happy and a big supporter of the current system in the
US to
become a Professional Engineer. I believe the education and practical
experience go hand and hand, and both are absolutely necessary to become
a
competent PE.

My one big complaint would be with most engineering degrees in the US
(like
my own), those from "liberal arts programs", is that a good 2 years + is
spent taking liberal arts classes. (After that, it is usually around 3
more
years of science, math, and engineering classes.) Now these classes were
interesting and worthwhile in their own right, but not very necessary (I
did
enjoy them actually). People claim this helps to produce well rounded
people, helps engineers and scientists be well rounded by making them
take
history, psychology, English and the like. I contend that I have
forgotten
most of this information and outside of Jeopardy it is of little use. I
got
a minor in English and I still do not think it is that much help. I
believe
I would have been better served by a couple of technical writing,
reading,
speaking, etc. type classes.

I am not sure about India, but one thing many other countries may have
going
for them is that their educational systems are set up differently. In
many
European countries (probably elsewhere- but I have the most firsthand
experience with Europeans) you decide your program/major from day one as
a
freshman. Now this does not help the indecisive, because once you get
going
if you change your mind you have to start all over. But this means a 4-5
year engineering program is 4-5 years of engineering classes. A guy at
work
is from Scotland and completed this type of program, in Building
Engineering. I feel he was better prepared at Day One at work then I
was.
How can you not be? I could boil my relevant structural classes down to
5-6
classes out of the 50 that I took in college. Now I believe most
European
countries have licensing requirements similar to ours, I know in the UK
they
do with the Charter system, where you work 3 years then take an exam.
Perhaps in countries like India, even though they do not have a system
of
registering professional engineers for licensure based on experience,
education, and examination, they have an education better suited to
producing technically sound engineers...

No system is perfect, and the US has a great thing going, but everything
can
be better!

Just some thoughts...

Andrew Kester, EI
Longwood, FL



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