Westlawn's future

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

  1. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    I am sorry if someone does not like to consider Dave Gerr a Professor of Naval Architecture. I gave him that title. That is what he is. That is what he does. That is what he has been doing for many years.

    As far as I can find, there is no statute that restricts the use of that title.

    I had several Professors who do not have PhDs. Its not at all uncommon. The title reflects a role, not what is hanging on the wall. In many places (England, Germany, Switzerland, ...), if someone has a PhD and is a Professor, one uses both titles -- Dr Professor Smith (or Professor Dr Smith, I forget) -- instead of just Professor or Dr.

    As far as I can find, there is no statute that defines the use of Naval Architect.

    People who perform that role use many titles, including Naval Architect, Yacht Designer, Sailboat Designer, Boat Designer, Marine Engineer, and so on. I have been messing around with boat design for half a century, and have never discerned a consistent distinction. Naval Architect has been the term I personally have found to be the one most widely used, and not restricted to only big ship design. YMMV. Maybe its a regional thing, different in Spain and in Asia.
     
  2. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    DCockney: I would never say that Westlawn is "equivalent" to any other course. Westlawn is focused on yacht design. It includes a large number of hands-on, complete boat designs. It is rooted in best practices, with theory used to embellish the material. Many engineering programs at universities are the opposite -- they stress theory, and go very light on the best practices.

    This practical bent to the Westlawn instructional material seems to be what bothers Alik, but it is also what makes a Westlawn education so valuable: you can go out and be productive well before earning the diploma.

    In my opinion, Westlawn's course is as technically demanding as an engineering degree from one of the California State Universities, which are similarly focused on actually doing engineering.

    In my opinion, Westlawn's course is fundamentally different from the same engineering degree from one of the University of California campuses, which are focused on the theory behind the engineering.

    In my decades of engineering experience, the students that get degrees that are focused on doing engineering tend to be very productive, whereas the students that get degrees that are focused on research tend to hate their jobs and change careers. Research is not engineering.

    The people who get excellent value from research universities (theory based learning) are those that go on to be graduate students and then professors of graduate students.

    Everyone else seems to get fundamentally greater value from learning how to do engineering. And that is what Westlawn is all about.
     
  3. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Of course, much of what you say in Spain is not applicable. Not to generalize as much as you do.
     
  4. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

  5. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    The qualification obtained in ETSIN is "Naval Architect and Marine Engineer", both at a time.
    I do not see how you can know better than me.
    In Spain each can be called whatever he wants, as elsewhere, but to practice that profession, to sign a project, you need to have this degree and also to be registered in the Colegio Oficial de Ingenieros Navales y Oceanográficos.
    In Spain you can not teach in college if you do not have an official title recognized. The term "profesor" means "one who teaches" the same in a kindergarten than in the Institute for Scientific Research.
    For just over a year or so, this has changed to match the Spanish degrees to European and now there is a mess that no one knows what it is.
     
  6. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    I hate to wade into this, BUT....Sorry this is misinformation too.

    Accreditation (what ever that truly means - it also does not say accredited anywhere on the RINA website) does not automatically mean students are "fully eligible" to become full members of RINA. To become a full member of RINA still requires academic training that is above the course taught by Westlawn. The course taught at Westlawn may assist in 'adding' credits as such that work towards becoming a full memeber, but it is not on its own sufficient as the academic rigour of the course is insufficient. This is very clear if you look at all the requirements.

    More info can be found here:
    http://www.rina.org.uk/Maritime-Courses-Directory
     
  7. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Or....in my case, recognised by another institution. Since I had to fly to Portugal for the day, many years ago, to sign off on the launching of one of our designs being built locally. The shipyard NA was too nervous to sign it off (since he was qualified) as he'd never performed launching calc's for a catamaran before!
     
  8. cmckesson
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    cmckesson Naval Architect

    I was intrigued by this discussion, and was surprised to read the text on this RINA page: http://www.rina.org.uk/careers_in_naval_architecture.html

    It appears that the UK Engineering Council does look to RINA as the accreditation body to determine whether courses "partially or fully satisfy the education requirement for IEng and CEng registration. " (engc.org.uk) The RINA link then goes on to explain that a Westlawn diploma will contribute toward satisfying the requirements for IEng registration, but by implication probably not for CEng.

    I didn't realize that RINA had this authority. This is not the case in the USA: ABET accredits Naval Architecture programs, and SNAME has no role in that.

    However, in the USA the use of the title "Naval Architect" is indeed regulated by law in some states. I am licensed to use that title in the State of Washington, by right of examination and sundry credentials and experience rules. I do not know which other states in the USA regulate the use of that title. I thought that California and Oregon both did, but I could well be wrong.

    Finally, as regards the difference between "engineering" and "research", which Mr. Smyth raised: Yes I agree, and this has been a core consideration in the two schools I have worked at; the University of New Orleans and the University of British Columbia. I myself spent 30 years as a practicing naval architect on the basis of a Bachelor's degree from Michigan. I am not a researcher. When I chose to "give back" to my profession by teaching a future generation of naval architects, I found that I needed an additional credential and so I completed a Ph.D in naval architecture from UNO. But I am ... and my colleagues at UNO and UBC both ... clearly focused on the practical art of ship and boat design, more than upon the creation of future researchers.

    Just my tuppen'orth!

    Chris
     
  9. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Yes, it may contribute, but by itself is insufficient.

    "... These studies should lead to qualifications satisfying the entry requirements for either an accredited masters degree (MEng) course if proposing to become a Chartered Engineer, or a degree (BEng) course if intending to become an Incorporated Engineer..."

    Thus one need a degree from a recognised institution to become an IE. Westlawn does not provide the student with a degree, only a diploma, thus it can only provide partial educational requirements.

    Also to become a full Member and C.Eng..one needs a Masters Degree again from a recognised institution.
     
  10. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    :D :D :D
    Maybe somewhere in theory and on micro level - yes. But not in calculations of boat's structure. Read ISO12215-5.
     
  11. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    They problem is that fundamentals You teach contain misconceptions and errors, originating form ignorance of Westlawn's staff who call themselves 'naval architects' without having any recognized degree. Review of courses is needed, by professional NA's.

    As AdHoc explained, the accreditation is not exactly how You present it. Pls stop this dishonest marketing; You have many good things about Westlawn that You can present, first of all success stories of its alumni.

    Yes, as an addition to main degree.

    I myself studied with Westlawn (but did not complete) :D I would be careful to say that it is greater than any other NA program; this is again the sample of bent marketing. There are classic NA courses focusing on small craft in Russia, Turkey, China; I am not talking about Southampton here. In my Uni small craft design course exists since 1970-s, some of courses I know exist since 1930-s. So I seriously doubt such statements You use for marketing.

    50,000 alumni? Are You serious?? You just divide it by number of years Westlawn operates. Established NA schools I know have 50-100-150 graduates per year; You want to say You have about 700 who complete the course every year?? And this is managed by 2.5 instructors? Sorry I don't believe in such education, other than this is a diploma mill.

    Yes there are a lot of boats designed by Westlawn alumni, it is reputable course, but don't market it as NA or engineering course as it is not.
     
  12. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Professor is a title given by accreditation commission, not by a person. Look at real professors and how they get their titles - research, design, supervision over Master and Ph.D. students, peer-reviewed publications and textbooks, etc.

    Gerr does not qualify as professor of NA, no way. He has no even a bachelor degree in NA. Teaching misconcepts and amateurish stuff (tough I admit at high practical level) for many years does not make anyone a professor automatically. Or maybe the title 'Correspondence professor of alternative naval architecture' would be correct :D

    To wrap up, You might or might not ignore my posts or posts of other colleges on the subject. But don't turn this into a slapstick with 'professor' titles and teaching 'naval architecture'. If You want Westlawn to maintain reputation in the industry, of course.
     
  13. Qvox
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    Qvox Junior Member

    In the United States the title "professor" is a close synonym for "teacher".


    Typically, it's used for tenured faculty members of a college or university, but it is also used to address "teachers" or "lecturers" at the college, and occasionally high school level (At my high school we addressed our teachers, as professor).

    In the US it's not a "licensed" title. Addressing someone as "professor" doesn't necessarily mean that the person has obtained a PhD. They may be an assistant professor working on their PhD, they may have a masters, or bachelors degree. There are even rare instances where a professor has no formal academic degree, but teaches at the collegiate level, and is tenured.

    So I think the hang-up here is based on cultural or regional norms. But in the US, and other Anglo-Saxon western countries, Professor is not synonymous with doctor.

    We're off topic, but it is an interesting discussion.

    As to being successful at yacht design, as history has shown there are several avenues for people to take.

    No course, degree, or title is going to make a person successful. Some with the highest levels of formal academic achievement will not succeed, and some with the little to no formal academic achievement will thrive.

    Personally I hope that Westlawn continues to provide an avenue for education.
     
  14. CDBarry
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    Naval Architecture

    Washington and Oregon specifically recognize NAME. California does not.

    This is a bit complicated in that most U.S. states license into engineering in general, not a specific discipline. WA, OR, CA, and as far as I know, RI are exceptions, though there may be others. For example, I have a CA license in ME, a WA license in NAME and in ME and a MD license as an engineer. MD will allow applicants to take the NCEES P&P test in NAME, but the successful takers are just P.E.s because MD doesn't license by discipline.

    On the other hand, CA will not give the NCEES test in NAME because it doesn't have NAME as a named discipline. (It is also difficult to use certain aspects of NAME practice for experience for an ME license - they only accept experience in structure or ME for either the SE or ME licenses - and the SE exam is a bear in CA - there is a second whole day of seismic - go figure.)

    As far as I know, WA and OR are the only named discipline states that recognize NAME, and have for a long, long time, though at least in the past (due to the small number of registrants) they had a deal where WA did the NAME qualification process for both states and OR did the Timber Engineering (which has to do with timber harvesting, I am told) for both states, so you had to take the appropriate test and get registered in one state and then get the other by comity. Note that those states that require a degree (i.e. under the NCEES model law - not all do), the degree must be ABET accredited or a foreign equivalent. Some foreign equivalents that have been accepted include IIT and the various UK uni degrees like Southhampton, and UCL.
     

  15. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    So, You are saying that if salesman in grocery shop addresses You 'Sir', this means You have title of nobility? :D

    Agree, person without PhD can become a professor after many years of teaching, writing textbooks, supervision of masters, research work, etc. But how about a person without a bachelor degree, like Gerr?

    Here You are missing the point. Doctor and professor are different. The first one is a degree, the second one is academic title. Getting this academic title in most of cases needs doctor degree; not mandatory but needs at least basic education in the field!

    Yacht design did not need a degree for centuries; many of successful designers do not have any special degree. But with introduction of RCD engineering component has grown a lot and responsibility of designer has increased as well. We often receive requests from such designers, also from Westlawn alumni, to make engineering for them, or to make their design pass the Classification Society. In many cases those guys are just illiterate and do not understand the engineering basics. As I said, they do not know what section modulus is and what are the components of ship resistance... Maybe they can stay in business due to self-marketing and subcontracting all real job to others, who knows; but frankly speaking today they need better education.
     
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