The first meeting of the Committee that has been identified was held in Monte Carlo, on 1-3 December, 1970 with the sponsorship of UNESCO, that provided the funds for travelling and lodging expenses of the participants. Besides, this Organization was present at the meetings through the Director, Engineering and Technology Division Dr. Alexander Evstafief. The Members of the Committee, by the end of 1970, participating in this meeting were prestigious educators from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany (F.R.), France, India, Italy, New Zealand, Panama, (representing UPADI), Poland, Rumania, Switzerland, USSR, United Arab Republic, UK and USA.
Dr. J. M. Ham (Canada), was elected President of the Committee and Eng. L.M. Nadeau as Secretary, with Headquarters in the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, Ottawa, Canada.
The treatment of the Agenda, proposed by WFEO and UNESCO, produced the following conclusions:
The Committee itself considered it convenient to hold annual meetings and proposed a meeting towards the end of 1971.
The Second Meeting of this Initial Period of the Committee took place in London in the Headquarters of the institution of Civil Engineers, the National Member of WFEO, on 29, 30 November and December 1, 1971. also in this case, UNESCO provided the funds necessary to hold the meeting and was present with the participation of Dr. Alexander Evstafief and Eng. Alan S. Goodyear.
With the presidency of DR. J. M. Ham from Canada, and the Secretariat in the hands of Eng. L. M. Nadeau, discussions continued on matters dealt with at the Montecarlo Meeting such as:
- Cooperation between educational institutions and industry in the formation of engineers;
- Activities performed by engineers in the industry;
- Methodology for the curricular design;
- Information systems for developing countries;
- Communication network between the WFEO Education Committee and regional and national committees on engineering education;
- Continuing education;
- and an approach to engineering education by means of computer engineering.
Besides these subjects, the Committee reviewed the work performed to date and the plans for future activities and approved a concrete constitution that would serve to govern its operations. It is also approved the installation of a permanent Regional Committee in Engineering Education in South east Asia as proposed in a recent seminar held in Indonesia.
This meeting was attended by the same members that were present in 1970, with the addition of representatives from Egypt, Finland, Germany (D. R.) and Venezuela.
The final result of the deliberations was to establish four Working Groups to perform studies and provide reports:
- Group I: Cooperation University-Industry
- Group II: Methodology for Curricular Design
- Group III: Information System for developing countries
- Group IV: Approach to engineering education by means of systems Engineering.
All the Working Groups were to produce reports before the end of July 1972, in order to evaluate them at the next meeting of the Committee, to be held in August 1972, when in Helsinki, Finland the FEANI-UNESCO Seminar on Continuing Engineering education will take place.
THE COMMITTEE BEGAN TO SHOW A STRONG PRESENCE IN 1976
The decision of the Institution of Engineers in India, to host the WFEO Committee on Engineering Education and Training, meant contributing to this Committee, an institutional and economic support that was the initial basis for growing development and an internationally acknowledged and valued activity.
The Presidency was entrusted to Dr. Eng. Amitabha Bhattacharyya a renowned educator that had earned the confidence of the institution when he was its President and also as a production Engineer and university professor. Not less important was the function of the Secretary, assumed by Colonel Eng. Baguan Nagrani, who was also secretary of the Institution.
The initial task that both president and secretary imposed upon themselves was to organize from the bottom, an authentic Committee, formed upon by relevant engineers, educators with a vocation for working together internationally, that were also representatives of the academic sector of their countries.
THE FIRST MEETING
When the president of the Committee summoned a First meeting in the Headquarters in New Delhi on 24-27 April 1976, the following members were incorporated:
- A. Blazej (Czechoslovakia),
- V. Bolotin (URSS),
- J. Brown (U. K.),
- I. Gerendas (Hungary),
- L. P. Grayson (USA),
- J. E. Jansson (Finland),
- J. Karni (Israel),
- M. Latiri (Tunisia),
- T. Osakate (Japan),
- V. Yackovlev (Venezuela),
- M. Woelde-Amiak (Ethiopia),
- D. Mordell (Canada)
- and A. Evstafiev (UNESCO).
All of them also participated in the UNESCO “International Conference on Education and Training of Engineers and Technicians” that was held in New Delhi between 20-26 April 1976, which meant an attraction for those that had accepted Dr. Bhattacharyya’s invitation to become Members. The Conference was highlighted by the amount and quality of the conclusions and recommendations approved, many of which became objectives and aims for the first Working Plan of the Committee.
A modality that was put into practice at this meeting in New Delhi consisted in dividing the deliberations into two Sessions; one open to the participation of non-member experts who were able to express their points of view and discuss them with two members. Afterwards, these open meetings were transformed into Round Tables, seminars and symposiums. The other Session was restricted to the Members to allow them to elaborate recommendations and strategies for action and propose the performance of studies and works.
The first meeting of the Committee decided to create two Task Forces to deal with; 1) The evaluation and mutual recognition of engineering qualifications awarded in different countries and 2) building up a suitable educational and training pattern to suit the challenges and tasks of the engineers of the next century.
After this meeting, the president, with the support of the headquarters decided to invite to form part of the Committee, educators from other countries, proposed by the Member organizations of WFEO. During the first months of 1077, J. Tymowski (Poland), A. Ferrari-Toniolo (Italy), M.A. Yadarola (Argentina) were incorporated.
THE SECOND MEETING
Warsaw, June 18-20, 1977 was the venue for the second meeting of the Committee. The Polish Federation of Engineering Associations (NOT) was the Member Association of WFEO that hosted the Committee as well as the 6th general Assembly that deliberated between 20 and 23 June.
In Warsaw the report on the work performed by the two Task Forces was received and discussed taking up one of the Sessions. In the other Working session the papers submitted by the members, concerned with the co-operation between industry and university were discussed. The Recommendations approved expressed the concern of the Members, in the face of the reality existing in an evident lack of co-operation between the two sectors. It was decided to prepare a comprehensive report with suggestions of corrective measures. Dr. Donald Mordell and Dr. Vladimir Yackovlev were in charge of this report.
Unanimously the Members decided to privilege Africa for the next Annual Meeting and accepted the offer of the Member Organization of WFEO for Libya to hold jointly in Tripoli, two round tables and a Seminar.
A SPECIAL MEETING AT THE INVITATION OF UNESCO IN PARIS – APRIL 11-14, 1978
The president and the Secretary of the Committee were invited by the Director General of UNESCO to participate in a meeting of the officers of international and regional non-governmental organizations concerned with the education of engineers and technicians. Also invited to this meeting was Prof. M .A. Yadarola in his position as president of the UPADI Committee on Engineering education. Prof. Yadarola at the time, was also president of the Argentine Federation of Engineering Societies (UADI). UN Specialized Agencies such as UNIDO and ILO, plus as observers: ICSU and IAU also participated.
The objectives of the meeting were:
- Review of objectives, structure and activities of participating Organizations,
- Review of the educational system for engineers and technicians in countries and regions. Trends for the future
- Review of UNESCO programs on technological education and research,
- Ways to improve the co-operation of UNESCO with the NGO’s: Funding regional meetings and newsletters – Organization of short term courses on education and industry Co-operation – Better teaching methods – Methodologies for Curricular design – Increase Regional Programs for the exchange of professional Students – role of research,
- Promote the creation of Registration Boards,
- International Co-operation between participating Organizations.
The report of the WFEO Committee was presented by Col. B. T. Nagrani. Dr. Bhattarcharyya was elected Vice president of the meeting that was chaired by Prof. K. Ovensen (SEFI).
WFEO and CEC were the only NGO’s with a worldwide scope. The rest of the participations were representing regional organizations.
The reports were presented by; CEC Mr. M. W. Leonard, FEANI Prof. U. Mocafico, UPADI, Prof. M. A. Yadarola, FAE Dr. A. El-Erian, FACE Sr. M. Selim, CEEMA Dr. S. Talitwala, AEESEA Dr. Ki Jun Lee, COPISEE DR. A. Protopapas, SEFI Mr. G. Fragniere.
The meeting agreed on important recommendations addressed to UNESCO and others aimed at strengthening the co-operation between the different NGO’s concerned with the education of engineers.
MEETING IN TRIPOLI OPENS THE DOORS TO THE CONCERNS OF AFRICA
The Third meeting of the WFEO-CET was held in Tripoli, Libya between September 6-10, 1978, hosted by the Libyan Association of Engineers and Technicians, that took upon itself all the local expenses of the participants and also contributed support for traveling expenses to several of them.
It was not the first time that WFEO was present in an African country because in June 1975, the 5th General Assembly had met in Tunisia and science then an eminent Tunisian engineer, Sadok Ben Jemma had assumed the presidency of the organization.
Contemporaneously with the Annual meeting of the Committee, a seminar and two Round Tables were performed that were honored with the presence of several educational leaders from Africa. Dr. S. B. lswakabamba (Tanzania), Dr. M. M. Aswed and Dr. M. H. Elwany (Libya), C. Ntambi (Uganda), A.S. El hakeem (Sudan), K. F. jean (Ivory Cost), F. O. Kwami (Ghana). Also from Asia, Dr. Mazahr Ali Khan Malik (Pakistan) and R. Venkataramani (India).
The Seminar discussed papers presented on the General theme, “Improving the Indigenous Engineering Capabilities of Developing Countries”. Important Concluding Remarks were registered by the Rapporteurs Mr. Alan Goodyear (UNESCO), M. Leonard, D. Mordell and M. A. Yadarola which could be considered as programs for the educational institutions and the professional societies for strengthening indigenous technological and engineer capabilities and the role of engineers in each country, not only in Africa, but in many developing countries.
Round Table I was held under the chairmanship of the minister for Planning of Libya and focused the discussion on “Mechanisms of assistance to African countries from UN and WFEO in Engineering Education”. The participants also stressed the importance of cooperation among the nations in Africa.
Round Table II dealt with the “Mechanisms of reporting significant trends in Engineering Education from different countries”. It was chaired by Dr. M. M. Aswed, Dean of Engineering, El-Fateh University, Tripoli.
Finally, at the WFEO Committee Meeting the progress reports of the two Task Forces were reviewed and an analysis was made of the way of involving the Committee in:
- Multilingual Glossary of Terms related on the education of engineers. A project was endorsed to the member V. Bolotin,
- Guide of NGO’s professional institutions and their activities on Education and Training. Prof. A. Ferrari Toniolo with the help of UNESCO,
- Survey of conditions of employment of young engineers at the point of entry to the profession. Prof. J. Tymowski was entrusted with the task of preparing a questionnaire,
- Role of mathematics in the contemporary engineering education and training. Dr. V. Bolotin, responsible to develop this project suggested that a special Seminar could be organized by VSNTO in the USSR in 1979 simultaneously with the meeting if the Committee.
The social events organized by the Libyan engineers were unforgettable and allowed starting off authentic comradeship between the members of the Committee: a formal dinner and another with Arab dancers and a lunch with everyone seated on silk carpets under the shade of olive trees in the midst of a desert.
TWO MEETINGS OF THE COMMITTEE IN ONE SAME YEAR: TASHKENT AND JAKARTA
1979 was a very busy period for the Committee, because a first meeting was held at the proposal of DR. V. Bolotin in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, USRR on May 13-15. the second one, had to coincide with the general Assembly in Jakarta, Indonesia in November.
The Meeting at Tashkent coincided with the deliberations of the “Seminar on mathematical Education of engineers”. The organization and all the lodging and traveling expanses of the members of the Committee from Moscow to Tashkent, were kindly financed by VSNTO the federation of engineering representing the USSR in WFEO.
The following members Participated: A. Bhattacharyya (President), Col. B. T. Nagrani (Secretary), D. Mordell, J. Tymowski, M. A. Yadarola, A. Ferrari Toniolo, V. Bolotin, A. Blazej and the new Members: Lazlo Felfodi (Hungary), Eric Storr (Australia). There were also several engineering organizations of Tashkent.
The Seminar concluded that engineers should be formed with strong knowledges in mathematics, allowing them to:
- Explain the nature of maths as a logical mental structure, using symbolized language, and to explain the concept of maths model;
- Present natural and technical phenomena with maths models, and to use them in planning and in describing production processes and their effect;
- Perform guide, control and plan maths solution models in cost estimation, planning, quality control, forecasting, etc.;
- Choose an appropriate numerical method;
- Explain the general nature of natural and technical sciences, and to describe the main characteristics of the methods used by them
The reports of those responsible for the Task Forces and the projects identified in Tripoli were dealt with. Also talks were commenced there on: Mutual Recognition of Qualifications, the performance of a World Conference on Engineering Education for the Future, the preparation of a Reference Book on the Constraints and Restraints of professional Practice of Engineering in different countries and the coordination with UNESCO Working Groups on Engineering Education.
The Meeting of the Committee took up 13 and 14 May, together with technical visits, social and tourism activities. Unforgettable was the visit to the legendary Coty of Samarkand, that in the XIV Century was the Capital of the Empire of Tamerlan. Visits to the Mesquite of Telka Kare and the constructions made in the IV century by the renowned astronomer Ulugs Beg.
The Meeting of Jakarta, Indonesia was held between 7-9 November, 1979 and was sponsored by the Persatuan Insinyur, Indonesia, a Member organization of WFEO and took place contemporaneously with the WFEO 7th General Assembly that was held with the sponsorship of H. E. the President of the republic of Indonesia.
The relevant aspect of this 7th GA was a series of Round Tables and technical Seminars that were organized separately by the three Technical Committees of WFEO: Engineering Information, transfer of technologies and Education and Training. The simultaneous nature of these technical meetings and also the annual meetings of each WFEO Committee, allowed a very fruitful interrelationship towards a well coordinated task in many subjects in common.
A round Table o “Education and Training Problems of Interest to Indonesia” had as a basic paper an extraordinary presentation by Dr. A. Bhattacharyya, that reflected the problems of the Developing Countries in general. This presentation was published in a pamphlet that was widely diffused.
Prof. M. A. Yadarola, member of the Committee on ET participated in the meetings of the WFEO Executive council and in the 7th General Assembly, in this case as President of the WFEO Member for Argentina, UADI trying to make a new WFEO Committee to be created, Engineering and Environment be hosted by Argentina with the presidency of the eminent engineer Conrado Bauer. This was achieved as also that the 8th General Assembly be held in Buenos Aires in 1981.
The Committee on education and training was invited to hold its meeting in Jakarta at the Palace of the ministry of education of Indonesia with the Participation of the Ministry himself at the Opening Session.
The deliberations concentrated on the analysis of several subjects:
- Glossary of technical terms. A first version in English, French and Russian languages was presented and discussed,
- Constraints and Restraints to Professional Practice,
- Guide Book on NGO’s concerned with EE,
- The first answer to the questionnaire on survey of the conditions of employment of young engineers
- and the organization of a World Conference on EE in Buenos Aires, that was entrusted to the Committee Member for Argentina, Prof. M. A. Yadarola.
THE FIRST MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE IN THE AMERICAN CONTINENT
Programmed to be held in Caracas, Venezuela under the sponsorship of the “Colegio de Ingenieros de Venezuela” it took place between 10-11 October 1980, contemporaneously with the meeting of the WFEO Executive Committee that year.
The first of the sessions in Caracas started on the morning of October 10 and was honored with the presence of the president of WFEO S. Ben Jemma, the president of the “Colegio” Eng. J. L Garcia Gonzales and several Engineering deans from the country. Representing UNESCO was Eng. Carlos Nones Sucre. Also present was a large group of engineers and professionals from the universities, attracted by the open session at which all the present could express their opinions regarding the subjects of the Agenda of the Committee. The session lasted all day, having heard several opinions that were registered by the Secretary Col. B. T. Nagrani to be used as a starting point for the session of the following day.
The Meeting of the WFEO Committee on E. T. was held on October 11.
Analyzed there were the following themes:
- Electronics and concepts of Environmental Engineering as Core Subject of the degree level in Engineering,
- Exchange of Experts to Improve Engineering Curricula,
- Correspondence Courses for practicing Engineers who cannot afford continuing Education,
- Research for innovative types of Continuing Education for practicing Engineers,
- Project-Oriented learning Schemes at graduate level,
- Development of guidance and Pre-college Systems approach,
- Career Training programs as a pre-requirement for practice.
MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE AT THE GLOBAL SEMINAR IN NEW DELHI
Summoned by The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), The Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) and the Indian National Science academy (INSA), during December 1-5, 1980 a “Global Seminar on the role of Scientific and Engineering Societies (ES) in Development” was held.
The Global seminar had the following objectives:
- Analyze successful (and non) activities of ES and present current of thinking regarding their contribution to development,
- Identify activities that ES can contribute in each country for development,
- Cooperative areas iv) Planning a few high priority projects
- Energize ES not yet involved in Development.
Dr. Bhattacharyya was invited to present a paper on: “Monitoring access mechanisms for higher scientific and technical education”. The Secretary, B. T. Nagrani “Technical Information – the Vital Element of all development”, finally Prof. M. A. Yadarola “Schemes for the Strengthening of Professional Societies as an Active Part of the Scientific and Technological Infrastructure of the Countries”.
WFEO sponsored the Seminar and was present in the words pronounced by the Secretary Mr. Claude Herselin “Role of Engineering Societies”.
The Seminar produced a select group of recommendations whose diffusion was requested to organizations of a world wide scope ICSU and WFEO. The meetings in New Delhi allowed the Members of the Committee present and offers of the WFEO ExCo to exchange ideas on how to strengthen Member Societies and Technological Committees.
SECOND MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE IN LATIN AMERICA – BUENOS AIRES
The 8th WFEO general assembly was decided upon unanimously in Jakarta, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina between 15-20 November, 1981, together with the WFEO technical Committees, two Seminars, two Round Tables, the First World Congress on “Engineering and Environment” and the “World Conference on Education Engineers for the Next century”. The direction of the organizing Committee of the Conference was entrusted to Prof. M. A. Yadarola who was also elected president of the conference, together with Dr. Bhattacharyya and Prof. T. Osake who acted as Vice Presidents.
At the Conference 42 papers were submitted and exposed that were analyzed by more than 200 participants of which 38 were from other countries. At the Opening Ceremony, renowned speeches were hear from the Minister of Education of Argentina, the President of the Rectors Council, the President of the Committee, Dr. Bhattacharyya, the Director of the Engineering Education Section of UNESCO, Paris Dr. Alan Goodyear and the President of the conference, Prof. Yadarola.
The conclusions and recommendations were the fruits of the participation of experts from 24 countries that elaborated knowledgeable criteria within the scope of the four Topics identified to discuss the main Theme:
- Education of Engineering in the Cultural and Socio-Economic Context of the XXI Century,
- Characterization of Twenty First century Engineers,
- Teaching Institutions of the Next Century,
- Training of Teachers for the Next Century.
THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE was held on November 18 with the following Agenda:
- Education and industry,
- Education and role of technicians in the Engineering Workforce,
- Comparability of Engineering Qualifications and Practice,
- Policy for Future Engineering Education Conferences,
- World Scale Alliance for the development of Scientific and Engineering Education.
The discussion of this last theme was performed on the basis of a similar proposal that the Member for Argentina, Prof. Yadarola had presented in 1980 to the US Council of Engineering Deans in San Antonio, Texas where he was invited representing UPADI Committee on Engineering Education.
FIRST WFEO INTERCOMMITTEE NEETING. The presence in Buenos Aires of all the WFEO Committee Chairmen, provided an excellent opportunity to analyze jointly the operation of these WFEO working forces. The meeting was held on November 20 and was presided by Dr. Robert A. Frosch with participation of Mme A. David, Engineering Information & Documentation. Dr. A. Bhattacharyya, Education and training. Eng. C. Bauer Engineering and Environment. Eng. Hakimi, Transfer of Appropriate Technology. Eng. S. Herrera, acting for Eng. Calvado, Energy.
The participants agreed that:
- In the creation and integration of any new WFEO Technical permanent Committee the G. A. must ensure that both the president as well as proposed members be experts with real interest in cooperating and participating in a continuous manner.
- The Members that nominate a representative in the Committees, should ensure appropriate support of the work and a reasonable stability in the representation.
- The Committee Chairmen wish to have more participation in the discussion on the allocation of funds to each Committee and the budgets are related to the activities that need financial support.
- Conscious coordination between the topics of Congresses and the subjects of works being undertaken by each Committee. The number of Congresses in coordination with the GA, should be limited.
- The number of Permanent Committees should be limited to areas where polices of WFEO are necessary in a permanent way.
- The rules for the operation of the WFEO Committees should be updated. Several suggestions were made to the GA.
The Participants expressed the convenience of continuing with these joint meetings because they allow WFEO to work in a coordinated manner on technical matters common to the themes of the Committees. Also, that in these meetings, members of the WFEO Executive Committees should participate.
THIRD INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION ON “ENGINEERING, INDUSTRY AND DEVELOPMENT”
Organized in the city of Buenos Aires and open to the public between 14-28 November, 1981. The visitors were able to appreciate important advances in the industries of several developed countries as well as in Latin American countries with special emphasis in the Argentine industries.
THE 1982 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE was held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, on October 11,12, 1982 organized by the Yugoslavian Associations of Engineers and technicians, a Member of the Committee and UBESCO and UNIDO guests. Prof. Zvonimir Radic in the name of the Association prepared a complete program for the working sessions and the cultural and social events.
Members of the Committee representing Argentina, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, India, Italy, Libya, Tunis, Yugoslavia participated. Representing UNESCO, Dr. Alan Goodyear and for UNIDO, Dr. Alexander Evstafiev.
At the meeting matters of interest were considered, contributed by several participants and an extensive agenda:
- Revision of the Rules and Procedures for the Committee,
- Regional UNESCO/UNIDO/National Engineering organizations Seminars,
- Identification and assessment of the education and training needs of industry and government in different countries,
- Proposal from Guyana to organize a meeting to analyze long-term objectives concerning education and training and the nature of help the developing countries would need. There was agreement that the definition of national long-term concerning education and training can no longer remain the prerogative of political or university powers. National Engineering and technical Societies ought to be consulted and then proposals should be taken into account. Furthermore, national development cannot be brought about by a simple transfer of “outside” technology, however adapted this might be. National development depends on policies defined by each State, drawing on the country’s own vital resources and the cultural, economic and social conditions. The Committee approved a project for the submission of this opinions to national and international organizations
- International mobility of engineers and the problems of reciprocity. The Committee decided to propose: – that a catalogue be drawn up, listing the conditions of access for engineering practice in each country member of WFEO and the existing restrictions for foreign engineers – that intergovernmental contacts be established under the sponsorship of UNESCO for the implementation of international mobility.
- Formation of tertiary consulting units in different countries to provide liaison between universities, industry and government. The Committee voted against this proposal considering that national engineering societies are the natural intermediaries for these three sectors,
- Use of educational technology in engineering education. On this point, the Conclusions and recommendations of the UNESCO-UPADI-UNSJ Seminar on New Methods for Engineering Education held a few days before in san Juan, Argentina (October 4-8, 1982) were very opportune. The Committee decided to propose that WFEO raise the interest of a National Engineering Society, member, to organize an international conference on the same main theme.
This history is incomplete. The author awaits the cooperation of people and institutions to obtain missing background information.
To be continued…
By Prof. Miguel Angel Yadarola,
Past President of the WFEO Committee on Education and Training