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Faculty Perspective on Academic Equivalency: Dale Thomas, ESEP

Sep 01, 2022
Mrunmayi Joshi

Here is an interview with Dale Thomas from University of Alabama in Huntsville which talks about his experience and perspective as a point of contact of the academic equivalency program. Happy SEPtember! 

Dale Thomas        

This interview was done in 2022.

Q1. What is your role related to INCOSE’s Academic Equivalency?

» I am the point of contact for academic equivalency at University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Q2. What is one of your proudest professional achievements?

» I led systems engineering & integration for the International Space Station.

Q3. What skills do you think a systems engineer should develop during their education?

» General systems skills (Systems Thinking, requirements elicitation & development, test & verification) complimented by discipline engineering skills relevant to the systems domain (aerospace, IT, etc.) in which the engineer works need to be developed by system engineers during their education.

Q4. What was your university’s motivation behind joining the academic equivalency program?

» Student ASEP certification are viewed very positively by area employers, this motivated University of Alabama in Huntsville to start an academic equivalency program.

Q5. What do you see as the benefits of the academic equivalency program for a university and a student?

» Academic Equivalency establishes a common benchmark of Systems Engineering skills for students and aids the university in curricular development.

Q6. What methods do you use to teach SE courses effectively?

» I illustrate SE principles with actual examples from my own experience and from the literature. It requires SE case studies of graduates and group project to write a SEMP for undergraduates.

Q7. How do your SE courses help students to deepen their understanding of systems engineering?

» Our SE courses help students deepen their understanding of Systems Engineering by requiring the students to think about principles of systems engineering in application for the case studies (graduates) or group projects (undergraduates).

Q8. What is your advice for universities or institutes considering applying for academic equivalency?

» It's a lot of work. Be diligent and deliberate in preparing the application.

Q9. How can we reach out to you?

» You can reach me at : https://www.linkedin.com/in/dale-thomas-5a0a40108/

Know more on academic equivalency here.


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