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Faculty Perspective on Academic Equivalency: Paul B. Martin, ESEP

Sep 13, 2022
Mrunmayi Joshi

Here is an interview with Paul B. Martin from University of Maryland Baltimore County - Office of Professional Programs Systems Engineering which talks about his experience and perspective as a point of contact of the academic equivalency program. Happy SEPtember! 


This interview was done in 2022.

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

» I developed SYST 660: Systems Engineering Principles class in accordance with the INCOSE knowledge exam learning objectives. I helped in filling out the learning objectives spreadsheet, as well as provided scoring rubrics and course syllabus to the Certification Advisory Group. 

Q2. What is one of your proudest professional achievements?

» When I was able to capture all 31 processes within the INCOSE SE Handbook into one diagram

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

» There are two aspects of the Systems Engineering profession I try to explain via my courses. (1) In my “SYST 660: Systems Engineering Principles” class I teach the context of Systems Engineering in relation to the 31 processes within the INCOSE SE Handbook. Systems Engineers work within a vast and complex machinery of processes, project purposes, and personnel. It’s nice to know where you fit. (2) In my other Graduate level courses at UMBC, I like to provide students with an introduction to the tools of the trade. So I cover N2 Chart reduction methods, Trade Study techniques, Ishikawa diagram, Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), etc. Learning when and where to use these tools would greatly benefit a working Systems Engineer. 

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

» Woodrow Winchester III, Ph.D., former graduate program director of UMBC’s Professional Engineering programs, really wanted to create a Triple Threat Systems Engineering Graduate. In other words, a graduate that not only has a graduate degree but also has work experience and an industry-recognized credential. INCOSE’s Academic Equivalency program was key to meeting this goal.

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

» Woodrow Winchester III has stated, “This is important to UMBC students because it provides an employer indication of the depth of the student’s systems engineering knowledge. At this time, employers are asking for this credential for systems engineers. This INCOSE certification is listed in job postings oftentimes, especially if it’s in the government, government contract work, or defense aerospace. It provides a value add to UMBC graduates along with a differentiator from their peers.” So UMBC’s Professional Engineering program is a better value for students considering a Systems Engineering degree, so they’ll inevitably choose UMBC over other universities. 

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

» I mainly use my proprietary comprehensive Process Flow diagram, by walking the student through all 31 Processes from the SE Handbook. 

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

» My goal is to provide context to the Systems Engineering Processes. I emphasize the fact that the Systems Engineering Technical Processes operate within the envelope of the Project as dictated by Agreements set forth by an Organization.

Q8. How do your SE courses differ from those at other universities?

» UMBC teaches a more practical applications of/ practical approach to Systems Engineering. All the courses are taught by practicing Systems Engineers, with an emphasis on the tools and methods seen in the real world of Systems Engineering. 

Q9. What is your advice for universities or institutes considering applying for academic equivalency?

» Being part of INCOSE’s Academic Equivalency program makes a university more competitive. 

Q10. How can we reach out to you?

» You can reach me at : https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-b-martin/ 

Know more about Academic Equivalency from here


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