FAR - Results from the Mechanical Engineering Programme

References

  1. Royal Military College of Canada Institutional Quality Assurance Process Manual v1.1
  2. Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board - Accreditation Criteria and Procedures, 2012
  3. Aeronautical Engineering - CEAB Questionnaire, Oct 2012
  4. Chemical Engineering - CEAB Questionnaire, 5 Oct 2012
  5. Civil Engineering - CEAB Questionnaire, Oct 2012
  6. Computer Engineering - CEAB Questionnaire, Oct 2012
  7. Electrical Engineering - CEAB Questionnaire, Oct 2012
  8. Mechanical Engineering - CEAB Questionnaire, Oct 2012
  9. Report of the Visiting Team on the Accreditation Visit to RMC, 12 Dec 2012 (received 7 Feb 2013).
  10. RMC Response to the CEAB visiting team report on the visit to RMC 18-20 Nov 2012, 4 Mar 2013
  11. CEAB Visit Chair's response to Dean's comments, 11 Apr 2013
  12. CEAB Accreditation Decisions for RMC, 17 Jun 2013
  13. Dean's response to CEAB Accreditation Decision Letter, 22 Jul 2013.
  14. CEAB response to Dean's response of 22 July, 23 Jul 2013
  15. Aeronautical Engineering - IQAP report, 11 Mar 2013
  16. Chemical Engineering - IQAP report, 18 Feb 2013
  17. Civil Engineering - IQAP report
  18. Computer Engineering CEAB - IQAP report
  19. Electrical Engineering CEAB - IQAP report, Apr 2013
  20. Mechanical Engineering - IQAP report, 4 Mar 2013
  21. Summary of IQAP-CEAB Comments, 26 Jul 2013.

Important Comments and Deficiency for Mechanical Engineering

Significant Strengths

Comments from both the CEAB (Ref I) and IQAP visitor (Ref T) were generally very positive. In particular, The IQAP visitor cited Faculty members who praised the Department Head for his leadership. Students singled out the Dean for his communications either through monthly meetings and Facebook site. The CEAB visitor stated that the Faculty members were very enthusiastic and engaged. He also had very positive comments on the course curriculum and undergraduate labs. The CEAB has thus given the Mechanical programmes the maximum six year accreditation (Ref L).

Opportunities for Programme Improvement and Enhancement

Official feedback from the CEAB was provided to RMC by its Accreditation Board in its June letter (Ref L). It made two "comments" that are related to the Mechanical Engineering programme. These comments are considered by the Dean to be Priority 1. They are discussed in Ref U and summarized below:

  • The board commented that it believes the pace of data collection for graduate level expectations (DLE) will need to be accelerated for all programmes to be fully compliant with this CEAB requirement by 2014. The Graduate level indicators and assessment techniques were developed by the Faculty of Engineering in 2011. They were rolled out to the Faculty and other players (Training Wing, Arts Faculty and Physical Education Department) in 2012. Data collection began in the winter of 2013 and will continue. Tools for collating DLE assessment data were developed by the Faculty office during the summer of 2013.
  • One comment was related to the Aeronautical Engineering programme but is also applicable to Mechanical Engineering. The board also commented that the Aeronautical Engineering programme's "understanding of what constitutes design" is not always consistent with that of the CEAB. The comment is related to the open-endedness that the CEAB requires be associated with "design". Furthermore, the board commented that the design methodology in Aeronautical Engineering is introduced too late in the programme. Although these design-related comments were addressed to the Aero programme, the Dean strongly believes that these remarks should also be considered by all other programmes. To address this comment, all courses claiming to have "engineering design accreditation units" must include at least one open-ended design assignment or project where appropriate. In addition, design methodology will be introduced in first year engineering graphics GEE/IGF167.

Comments

All comments from the IQAP reviewers are discussed in Ref U. Most of the comments raised are related to general management issues that are currently under discussion with the new Commandant, Principal, and DGSR. These are therefore classified as Priority 2. Important and common themes are summarized below. Note that the implementation plan for these comments is summarized in Ref U (Appended):

  • The DLE related to "knowledge of international affairs" is currently not met in the current curriculum. This DLE must be removed from the RMC's IQAP document.
  • Issues related to the UT promotion process need to be resolved.
  • RMC needs to improve the quality of students admitted into its undergraduate programmes.
  • The absence of a VP Academic and support staff in the Principal's office make it difficult to deal with the increasing bureaucracy.
  • Civilian graduate students are important for DND research, and retaining UTs.
  • Military Faculty members should be able to have their professional engineering license reimbursed.
  • The loss of ARP funding and reductions in NSERC grants (related to civilian graduate student reductions as well as recent changes in the way Discovery Grants are assessed) will significantly reduce academic research output.
  • The IQAP/CEAB assessment techniques developed by the Engineering Faculty will likely need to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they remain relevant and useful.
  • The Math-Assist Programme is a good idea but will need to be monitored to assess success.

Conclusions

A concurrent IQAP and CEAB cyclical review of Engineering's six programmes was held during the period Nov 2012 to June 2013. The Mechanical Engineering programme received the maximum six year accreditation. Comments from both the IQAP and CEAB reports have been assembled and action-steps identified to resolve those outstanding concerns. The collection of assessments for DLE's will continue on an annual basis in order to meet CEAB requirements for continual improvement.

 

Prepared for: Dr. Pierre Roberge (Acting Vice-Principal Academic)
Prepared by: Dr. Phil Bates (Dean of Engineering)
Verified by: Heads of Department (Faculty of Engineering)
Date: October 2013

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