Representatives from New Zealand institute of technology visit Louisiana Tech

Oct 17, 2011 | Engineering and Science

Development and engineering leaders from the Wintec Waikato Institute of Technology in Hamilton, New Zealand, visited Louisiana Tech University last week to investigate and learn more about the College of Engineering and Science’s innovative methods of teaching. The Wintec team chose to visit Louisiana Tech due to their interest in the College’s integrated learning curriculum and “Living with the Lab” program.  During their visit, they met with engineering professors, interacted with students, and explored labs to learn more about the integrated learning approach.

From left - Rosemary Wyborn, Kelly Crittenden (LA Tech), David Hall (LA Tech), Graeme Ward, Jane Hill, Gordon Hassett, Ray Anderson and Chris Stuart

Louisiana Tech was one of a select number of universities that Wintec selected to tour. Other institutions toured included Stanford University, MIT, as well as universities in Singapore and Germany. Dr. David Hall, associate professor and program chair of the mechanical engineering department at Louisiana Tech, noted that the College’s approach to learning is unique. “While a number of schools around the country are using portions of our first-year engineering curriculum, we were honored for a university in New Zealand to pick up on what we are doing here at Louisiana Tech and to put us on their short list of places to visit.” Wintec is one of New Zealand’s largest institutes of technology/polytechnics (ITP) and delivers high quality, vocational and professional education.  The university will incorporate information gained on this trip in redeveloping its undergraduate engineering curriculum and development of new environments for hands-on learning. Hall said that the New Zealand university learned about Louisiana Tech’s “Living with the Lab” program online.  “If we put high quality educational materials on the web that others can use, there’s a chance that what we are doing will catch on at other places and bring recognition to Louisiana Tech and our ‘Living with the Lab’ team.” Louisiana Tech’s “Living with the Lab” program is a six-hour course sequence that engages first-year students in service to the community and hands-on projects.  The projects are designed by the students using their own curriculum-required equipment and tools.  This program is supported by funding from a National Science Foundation Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement Program grant and is maintained through faculty dedication. Louisiana Tech is one of 14 universities affiliated with the National Academy of Engineering through its Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education. Written by Brandy McKnight –