Westlawn's future

Discussion in 'Education' started by DCockey, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    I can echo that remark. I started the course in 1975. I had the opportunity to make a detailed revue of their course material in the late 90's and it was vastly improved and much more thorough. Since then they have continuously upgraded the courses.

    As for "Professor Gerr" yes he has degrees, and he is a Chartered Engineer in the UK which is the UK equivalent of a Professional Engineer in the US. I suppose since they are now affiliated with a university (Drexel) the title fits.
     
  2. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    C.Eng is not a degree, but registration in Engineering Council of UK, probably via RINA as it is linked to membership. In bio it does not mention any University degree for Gerr, though his practical experience and popularizing boat design can not be doubted, this is not a professor level.

    Then, for professor position, usually Ph.D. is required, not a bachelor. I also never saw any paper by Gerr in peer-reviewed scientific magazine or conference. Only in popular magazines. Not common for professor, right?

    So what I am trying to say. They teach 'alternative naval architecture' there, and sometimes transfer mis-concepts to the students. We saw plenty of it in books and on this forum. Now, with new appointed 'professors', they will be even more confident going this way :p

    It should fairly said that they teach boat design, not pretending on more... at least at present level. Just make fair statements and You will succeed!
     
  3. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

  4. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Knife holder. For kitchen :p
     
  5. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    My understanding is that Westlawn has no links to Drexel other than one individual now involved in Westlawn is also on the Drexel faculty.

    No legal regulation in the US on who can use title of "professor". It is frequently used in the US for individuals who are on faculty of post-secondary (beyond high school) institution. No particular degree requred.

    This is different than in the UK, and may be different than in Germany.
     
  6. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Thanks for clarification David.

    So this individual called himself 'naval architect' without having any degree, and now started calling himself 'professor of naval architecture'. How this is possible? Wonderful school this Westlawn... why not just make fair statements?

    In most of countries, professor is regulated title... One needs Ph.D. and few years of academic experience, research publications and textbooks approved by ministry of education, plus supervision of master and Ph.D. students.
     
  7. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Anyone can call himself "Professor" but in any country in the world he may be pursued by professional intrusion.
    One of the "fault" of internet is that anyone can say whatever he wants, his claim quickly reaches everywhere, and it is difficult to prove the veracity of this. People hide behind the internet to pretend what he is not.
     
  8. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    I think it is time to show up all the certificates and official degrees Westlawn staff have to the public. No fooling anymore. No self-named 'naval architects' or 'professors'. Peer-reviewed textbooks and study programs, no unsupported claims in marketing materials.
     
  9. cmckesson
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    cmckesson Naval Architect

    Professor

    In my institution the issue of who and what makes a "professor", is partially controlled by the accreditation process. In the USA accreditation of an engineering curriculum such as Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering is usually handled by ABET. The ABET process includes review of the credentials and titles of the instructors.

    Accreditation also affects students' right to sit the professional engineering exams. Students from non-accredited institutions have a longer row to hoe.
     
  10. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Alik, I very much agree. I have been studying many years to get my degree and I do not like someone, with a course of several months, studying only 8 or 9 subjects (and ultimately on line) claims to have the same qualifications as me.
     
  11. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Agree. Becoming naval architect takes minimum 4 years of intensive full-time study (before, in my country - 5 years), live tuition from professors and doctors with official degrees. Moreover, it takes work in towing tank and flow chamber, wind tunnel, materials testing laboratory, welding laboratory, ship launch-simulation tank, etc. This also includes students assignments such as development of software for hull surface generation by splines, hull fairing, hydrostatics, applications for CAD for surface unrolling, structural calculations using class rules, FEA tasks, etc. Naval architect is taught to conduct R&D work aimed at design of front-edge and efficient marine objects. Yes, and naval architects are also taught to design small and high-speed craft, there are such courses in most of universities now withing NA programs.

    It is a hard work not comparable to what is presented in correspondence course taught by self-named 'professors'. Level of complexity is different. Fair word for Westlawn would be 'boat design' instead of NA claims.
     
  12. CDBarry
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    Bob Bea became a professor at UCB without a PhD (or maybe even an MS, I don't recall), though he did have a B.S. and a P.E. Of course he was already one of the top offshore oil guys in the industry, having founded PMB, among others.

    And yes, anyone can call themselves a professor in the U.S. - google "The Music Man".

    It is important for the ABET that most of the faculty has advanced degrees and they look at the ratio of PhD, M.S., etc., which why the military instructors at the service academies usually have M.S. degrees at least and all of the civilians have PhDs. However Westlawn is not accredited by ABET.

    They could even grant a bachelor's degree if they wanted to.
     
  13. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Chris, question: is there any SNAME approved program for Small Craft Design course for NAs? If not, should we try to compile such?
     
  14. Qvox
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    Qvox Junior Member


    In the United States if a college professor has a Phd he typically uses the title "doctor". The term professor is basically a "teacher" of post-secondary education. They may only have a bachelors, or masters degree, and I know of a few cases where college professors had no formal education.

    In college, those with doctorates usually want to be called doctor (...and will let you know this very fast!), but as a student if we didn't know, or the college educator doesn't care, we use the term "professor". This may be different than in other parts of the world.

    I value my education and degrees. But I do not believe careers should be limited to those who have them. I think demonstrated knowledge and competencies should suffice.

    Not so long ago, in the U.S., many highly skilled professions didn't require a college degree to practice.

    Once upon a time autodidactism was common place. Many of the innovations today that we study about in colleges and universities, were created by those that never attended a traditional university.

    For example one could sit for and pass the bar exam to become a practicing attorney, without a college degree. A person could become a CPA (certified public accountant) without a college degree. A person can still become a Professional Engineer without a college degree, although the work experience required is long.

    When you consider the fact that 65% of the jobs that will exist in 20 years, haven't been invented yet, it's rather naive to assume that one can train or obtain all the education they'll need for a lifetime of employability with one stint in a traditional university.

    Then there is the fact that we're living longer. People will need to get use to the idea of working into their 70's and beyond. We must get over the idea that "degrees" and "credentials" can only be earned through expensive educational institutions, and that it requires years of impoverished dedication, and unemployment, to obtain it.

    Attending a traditional university is not an option for many people. The system isn't really designed for educating older students. In fact we even call older students "non-traditional".

    These are old outdated ideas. We need more distance learning, and we need to allow autodidacts the ability to gain entry into professions.

    The question stands, have people obtained enough knowledge from Westlawn to engage in the profession of designing watercraft? The answer is yes. Westlawn has educated many successful yacht designers. We need programs like Westlawn.
     

  15. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I guess when you talk of watercraft design refers to design of small pleasure craft. I do not know if the degree of Westlawn allows the design of ships or other floating structures. The term naval architect, who I greatly respect, in my opinion, includes many skills and do not know if all are available at Westlawn.
    In many countries a person with sufficient qualifications can design anything. A reliable way to demonstrate this qualification is to possess a degree of recognized solvency, not all titles sold in that market.
    Many famous architectural works have been designed by people who had not qualified as an architect. But few famous ships have been designed by people without the title of naval architect. And do not talk about America's cup and the like, as this is another world.
    Should properly delimit what each title, achieved in each school, lets you design because the danger is that with a title for boats intended design a bigger boat and as we well know (but many people are unaware), both worlds, both techniques, are totally different.
     
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