Westlawn's future

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

  1. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    At some universities in the US everyone on the faculty in a full/associate/assistant professor position use the title professor even if they have a doctorate.
     
  2. Qvox
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    Qvox Junior Member

    People will work to their limits. Regardless of titles. Building a large ship is an expensive proposition. I'm confident builders of such ships aren't reckless about which designs they commission.

    Naval architect is just a title, nothing more.
     
  3. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Qvbox, I so agree with you that I will use the same reasoning: if a naval architect "is just a title, nothing more", imagine what is someone who is no naval architect. This follows from your reasoning because I respect everyone.
    Among small boats and large ships there is a wide range of boats that are not easy to design. Begin to enter in the game some rules and conventions that must be met and that not everyone is able to understand and apply.
     
  4. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    This is a title conventionally associated with certain skills. The skills which are not given at Westlawn. So don't confuse the people, don't mislead Your students - Westlawn is not a naval architecture school, and Gerr is not a professor of naval architecture.

    Today, international industry will not agree to refer a distance-taught lubber, who does not know what section modulus is, as 'naval architect'. And rural apothecary can't be called a professor.
     
  5. vkstratis
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    vkstratis Marine Designer

    Alik, with all respect I feel that you over-react to any Westlawn related thread. In my opinion, every professional, formally qualified or not, is subject to both any regulatory authorities and market competition. In Europe for example, every boat designed and built for recreational purposes must pass the CE certification process. So, any boat either designed by a Westlawn graduate, a graphics designer or a naval architect should comply with the relevant ISO standards in order to be sold within EU. I am sure that similar requirements exist in US and other countries. Larger vessels are required to comply with class rules and flag requirements. At the same time, since boat design and manufacturing is not a state controlled, 'closed market', market competition is driving bad professionals out of it, being either naval architects with postgraduate degrees or self-taught builders.

    In other words, I think that Westlawn is what it is. It fits several people for several reasons and co-exist with formal education institutions. Professionalism, quality of service, compliance with engineering and science and innovation is what distinguish individuals, not degrees and diplomas. I have met dozens of formally qualified "naval architects" who do not know what section modulus is.

    Therefore I dont see any problem with having boat designers with no formal (university) qualifications, if they can show professionalism in their work. It is the market (the customers) and the relevant regulatory bodies that rule out bad professionals or accept the good ones. It is not boatdesign's forum or Alik's comments.

    On the other hand I fully agree with your comments on titles. One should be careful when calls him/herself Professor of Naval Architecture. There is no need for building myths and misconceptions.
     
  6. BMcF
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    BMcF Senior Member

    I have to heartily agree with that. And in the 30 years I've been involved in the design, construction and testing of advanced marine vehicles, I've seen precious little direct correlation between successful outcomes and the titles and degrees held by those that were on the project teams.
     
  7. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    This is what I am for - clear definitions. We know that some alumni of Westlawn design great boats, no doubt.

    But don't over market Westlawn as 'naval architecture' education, and don't call Yourself 'professor of naval architecture' if You are not. This just devaluates other colleagues professionals who spend years of full-time study and research work, and worked hard for those officially recognized titles.
     
  8. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    I believe, a person calling himself professor of naval architecture should at least know how differential equation of roll looks like... But evidently here is not.
     
  9. BMcF
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    BMcF Senior Member

    Even if, just for example, his entire area of expertise and instruction is in propulsion?

    I could easily teach "university level" courses on ship motion control theory and systems, but I'm not going to be teaching hull structural design, or even hydrodynamics.

    Of course, there have always been people who place a very high importance on having that piece of paper, or not. Probably always will be.
     
  10. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Yes, areas of expertise can differ. But this is very simple basics.

    If one knows such basics, he will never write that aluminum alloy is anisotropic material. But this is exactly what is written in Westlawn's student's guide...
     
  11. CDBarry
    Joined: Nov 2002
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    Alik

    I can't speak for SNAME as regards qualification of individuals or programs, but my personal view is that such actions would be a conflict of interests, inappropriate for a technical society. Some organizations, notably ABYC and NACE, (I have qualifications from both) as well as AWS and others have some very specific qualifications in areas where there is a solid body of standardization, but this has to be done within a very specific process and is generally quite narrowly defined.

    As noted, ABET was specifically created to assess technical programs at universities, but organizations are free to obtain accreditation through any organization - or none - with the idea that people will consider the accrediting organization.

    Note also, by the way, that non-law school grads can generally take the bar exam and become practicing attorneys. This is more common is some specific areas such as IP, where persons with a technical degrees can (and commonly do) sit the federal patent bar without law school. In some states such as California, you have to take the "baby bar" first, but you can still become an attorney without law school (noting here that the CA bar is very hard to pass even with law school).

    Before everyone jumps on, note here that SNAME never advocated for or against P.E. licensure per se, (not that it has any standing to do so anyway), it only helped NCEES write the exam, and developed a prep course, both of which are well established roles of technical societies, most notably ASME, and a service to those members of the society that needed P.E.s.
    This was initially done in response to two states (LA and TX) that decided that P.E. registration for NAME was appropriate and began taking steps to implement it. They approached NCEES to develop the test, and NCEES approached SNAME to help.
     
  12. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    So much mis-information by Alik and Tansl that it is hard to tell where to start, other than just ignoring their posts on this subject.

    Alik and Tansl, you often seem to provide very useful information in these forums, but your ignorance on this matter is rather amazing, especially following our email discussions, Alik. If you two want to continue to spout misinformation, I won't and can't stop you.

    The Westlawn course in yacht design is a very tough, comprehensive course in the fundamentals of boat and yacht design. It is an online, work-at-your-own-pace program that takes an average of 3200 hours of student work. To graduate, the student will design several boats in wood, glass, and metal.

    Graduates earn a Diploma, not a bachelor's degree. This is intentional, as we have no interest in providing the general education courses that are generally part of a bachelor degree.

    Our boat design course is accredited by RINA, Royal Institute of Naval Architects. Upon graduation, alumni are fully eligible to become full members of RINA. As full members, graduates are automatically eligible to become Incorporated Engineers which is very useful in the EU and other regions internationally. US alumni often become SNAME members, and pass exams to become Professional Engineers.

    Westlawn also offers continuing education courses required to maintain PE certification.

    Westlawn has over 50,000 alumni, which is fundamentally greater than any other naval architecture program. Boat design and building firms all over the world, including Alik's, employ Westlawn alumni.

    There is a reason so many boats are designed by Westlawn alumni, and I think that is because we focus on boat and yacht design, and everything required to do boat and yacht design. The results speak for themselves.
     
  13. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Alik: cold rolled metals are anisotropic. I think that you need to qualify your statement. Any engineer knows about grain elongation through deformation.
     
  14. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    u4ea32, I don´t know Westlawn and therefore, I do not have judged its teachings.
    I guess all you say is true and, if so, that's fine.
    If I said something specific that is not true, I beg you to tell me. Nothing more to say.
    Cheers.
     

  15. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    David, how would you compare the Westlawn curriculum to a bachelor's degree course in naval architecture and marine engineering or other engineering field in the US accredited by ABET? Do you consider the Westlawn course to be equivalent other than the "general education courses"?
     
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