Comparative Analysis of the Curriculum of Mechanical Engineering Program in Poland and the United States
Purpose: The aim of this paper is comparison of the Curriculum of Mechanical Engineering Program in Poland and the United States. One of the institutions is The Pennsylvania State University (PSU), in the United States (USA). The other institution is Politechnika Opolska (PO), in Poland. Design/methodology/approach: Desk Research Method is used. Paper is based on Politechnika Opolska' documents and The Pennsylvania State University' documents. Findings: The paper addresses the similarities and differences in both curricula. It also addresses the positive and negative aspects of both curricula. The strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of the future career development of graduates is also being addressed. Both Mechanical Engineering programs are striving for excellence in preparing students for engineering jobs in industry, but the philosophy of those programs is very different. The Mechanical Engineering program at PSU is providing the student with a stronger theoretical background. Graduates from the PO program are well-trained in application-focus current industry practices. They are not going to require on-the-job training after entering industry. There are also suggestions and recommendations for both programs from the perspective of identifying the best practices. Originality/value: The article contains a comparative analysis of the curricula of the Mechanical Engineering program at The Pennsylvania State University USA and Politechnika Opolska, Poland. The comparison of the curricula was done using the most recent catalogs of both programs. The authors of the article have had experience as faculty at their respective programs. The comparative analysis was done for the purpose of identifying the best practices and subsequent follow-up. The article addresses the similarities and differences as well as the strengths and weaknesses of both programs. The article also contains suggestions and recommendations for both programs. (original abstract)
- 1. Bairaktarova, D.N., and Pilotte, M.K. (2019). Person or thing oriented: A comparative study of individual differences of first-year engineering students and practitioners. Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 109, pp. 230-242.
- 2. Bennedsen, J., Rouvrais, S., Roslöf, J., Kontio, J., Georgsson, F., and McCartan, C.D. (2018). Collaborative quality enhancement in engineering education: an overview of operational models at a programme level. European Journal of Engineering Education, pp. 1-20.
- 3. Brand, B.R. (2020). Integrating science and engineering practices: outcomes from a collaborative professional development. International Journal of STEM Education, Vol. 7, Iss. 13, pp. 1-13.
- 4. Cameron, I., and Birkett, G. (2020). Journey Making: Applying PSE Principles to Complex Curriculum Designs. Processes, Vol. 8, pp. 1-13.
- 5. Czerwińska-Lubszczyk, A., Grebski, M. and Jagoda-Sobalak, D. (2019). Współpraca uczelni z przemysłem - finansowanie i realizacja prac naukowo-badawczych w Polsce i w USA. Systemy Wspomagania w Inżynierii Produkcji, Górnictwo - perspektywy, zagrożenia, Vol. 8, Iss. 1, pp. 35-50.
- 6. Duever, T.A. (2019). Data Science in the Chemical Engineering Curriculum. Processes, Vol. 7, pp. 1-7.
- 7. Durrans, B., Whale, J., and Calais, M. (2020). Benchmarking a Sustainable Energy Engineering Undergraduate Degree against Curriculum Frameworks and Pedagogy Standards from Industry and Academia. Energies, Vol. 13, pp. 1-32.
- 8. Epure, M. (2017). University-business cooperation: adapting the curriculum and educational package to labor market requirements. Proc. of the International Conference on Business Excellence, Vol. 11, Iss. 1, pp. 339-349.
- 9. Gunasekera, M., Ahmed, S., and Khan, F. (2019). Integration of process safety in equipment design: A framework for academic learning activity, Education for Chemical Engineers, Vol. 30, pp. 32-39.
- 10. Hoven, J. (2019). Ethics and the UN Sustainable Development Goals: The Case for Comprehensive Engineering Commentary on "Using Student Engagement to Relocate Ethics to the Core of the Engineering Curriculum". Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 25, pp. 1789-1797.
- 11. Jordan, S.S, Foster, C.H., Anderson, I.K., Betoney, C.A., and Pangan, T.J.D. (2019). Learning from the experiences of Navajo engineers: Looking toward the development of a culturally responsive engineering curriculum. Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 108, pp. 355-376.
- 12. Litster, J.D., Michaels, J.N., and Jacob, K.V. (2020). Particle technology education in the 21st century - Outcomes from the IFPRI sponsored workshop in Sheffield, April 2017. Powder Technology, Vol. 366, pp. 144-149.
- 13. Martínez-Medina, R., and Arrebola, J.C. (2019). Analysis of Sustainability Activities in Spanish Elementary Education Textbooks. Sustainability, Vol. 1, pp. 1-14.
- 14. Martínez-Prado, M.A., Rodríguez-Reséndi, J., Gómez-Loenzo, R.A., Camarillo-Gómez K.A., and Herrera-Ruiz, G. (2018). Short informative title: Towards a new tendency in embedded systems in mechatronics for the engineering curricula. Computer Applications in Engineering Education, Vol. 27, pp. 603-614.
- 15. OECD, www.data.oecd.org, 20.11.2019.
- 16. Peña F.A.V., and Ballesteros J.H. (2016). University Internships in Spain: What is Missing for its Stakeholders? Revista de Ciencias Sociales, Vol. 11, Iss. 2, pp. 547-566.
- 17. Program description, Mechanical Engineering, B.S. (engineering), Penn State, 2019.
- 18. Rampersad, G.C. (2015). Developing university-business cooperation through work-integrated learning. International Journal of Technology Management, Vol. 68, Iss. 3-4, pp. 203-227.
- 19. Salovaara, J.J., Soini, K., and Pietikäine, J. (2019). Sustainability science in education: analysis of master's programmes' curricula. Sustainability Science, Vol. 15., pp. 1-15.
- 20. Sánchez-Carracedo, F., Moreno-Pino, F.M., Sureda, B., Antúnez, M., and Gutiérrez, I. (2019). A Methodology to Analyze the Presence of Sustainability in Engineering Curricula. Case of Study: Ten Spanish Engineering Degree Curricula. Sustainability, Vol. 11, pp. 1-27.
- 21. Saraiva, T.S., Almeida, M., Bragança, L., and Barbosa, M.T. (2019) Verification of the Adequacy of the Portuguese Sustainability Assessment Tool of High School Buildings, SAHSBPT, to the Francisco de Holanda High School, Guimarães. Sustainability, Vol. 1, pp. 1-21.
- 22. Schwab, K. (2018). The Global Competitiveness Report 2018. Geneva: The World Economic Forum.
- 23. Stammes, H., Henze, I., Barendsen, E., and de Vries M. (2020). Bringing design practices to chemistry classrooms: studying teachers' pedagogical ideas in the context of a professional learning community. International Journal of Science Education, Vol. 42, Iss. 4, pp. 526-546.
- 24. Study Plans and Programs, Mechanical Engineering, First Cycle Programme, Full-time studies, Politechnika Opolska, 2017.
- 25. Taebi, B., and Kastenberg, W. (2019). Teaching Engineering Ethics to PhD Students: A Berkeley-Delft Initiative Commentary on "Ethics Across the Curriculum: Prospects for Broader (and Deeper) Teaching and Learning in Research and Engineering Ethics". Sci Eng Ethics, Vol. 25, pp. 1763-1770.
- 26. Tejedor, G., Segalàs, J., Barrón, Á., Fernández-Morilla M., Teresa Fuertes, M., Ruiz-Morales, J., Gutiérrez, I., García-González, E., Aramburuzabala, P., and Hernández À. (2019). Didactic Strategies to Promote Competencies in Sustainability. Sustainability, Vol. 11, pp. 2-24.
- 27. Trevelyan, J. (2019). Transitioning to engineering practice. European Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 44, Iss. 6, pp. 821-837.
- 28. Vargas, V.R., Lawthom, R., Prowse, A., Randles, S., and Tzoulas, K.: Implications of Vertical Policy Integration for Sustainable Development Implementation in Higher Education Institutions. Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 235, Iss. 20, pp. 733-740.
- 29. Weng, S-S., Liu, Y., and Chuang, Y-C. (2019). Reform of Chinese Universities in the Context of Sustainable Development: Teacher Evaluation and Improvement Based on Hybrid Multiple Criteria Decision-Making Model. Sustainability, Vol. 11, pp. 1-23.
- 30. White, J.A., Gaver, D.P., Butera, JR., et al (2020). Core Competencies for Undergraduates in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering: Findings, Consequences, and Recommendations. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 48, Iss. 3, pp. 905-912