Jamaica News: The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, has opened a new Faculty of Engineering, with the hope of training more professionals to satisfy the growing demand of Jamaica’s booming construction and industrial sectors.
The new faculty was launched on September 12 at the Mona’s Visitors’ Lodge in St. Andrew.
Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Paul Aiken, said the university is aware of the high demand for local engineers, and wants to help with satisfying this demand, thus the reason they decided to make this investment.
“I can’t graduate enough for [our] industry. Engineering has the advantage over medicine and law, where our programmes are seeking international accreditation. It means that our students, upon graduation, can work anywhere in the world,” Dr. Aiken told JIS News in an interview following the launch.
“I know the banking sector is hiring our Computer Systems engineers. They are hiring Electronics engineers. They are saying banking is an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) company now, because of all the technologies involved. Civil engineers go to firms, to companies with electronics, telecommunication, manufacturing [and] all industrial sectors in Jamaica,” he added.
Dr. Aiken said the Faculty of Engineering will offer Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Power Engineering and Electronics Engineering.
“They are three-year degree programmes with foundation courses in Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science [for full-time students]. We have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering, but we are about to merge that with Electronics, because the graduates tend to go into the same sector,” he noted.
Dr. Aiken said the faculty will be open to train students with basic high school education up to the fifth form level, who are interested in pursuing a career in the area of engineering.
“For students who find it a little hard to be qualified to go into these Bachelor of Science programmes, we do have the preliminary engineering [course]. It’s a one year qualifying period that we pretty much take you from fifth form, as long as you have English, Mathematics [and] Science. We mold you, we transform you and get you ready to take on the three-year Bachelor of Science
Engineering programmes,” Dr. Aiken said.
In addition to the training that will be offered by the Faculty of Engineering, he said the department will be responsible for research on behalf of the University, with regard to engineering.
“We have research in all engineering programmes. We have research partners that are willing to give us access to their multimillion dollar laboratory facilities, and we intend to be involved in cutting edge research, and we are going to transform Jamaica,” he said.
Source: JIS News