Engineer Responding to Industry Demands
As a metropolitan university, UALR has always sought to respond to community needs with innovative programs and offerings. So when central Arkansas businesses saw a need for an increase in the number of trained technical employees, the Universityâ€™s Donaghey College of Information Science and Systems Engineering responded with help from Associate Professor Kamran Iqbal.
In his five years with UALR, Dr. Iqbal has worked to develop 14 new undergraduate and 13 new graduate courses â€“ all in response to industry need. These classes came together to form the core of the systems engineering program, and the curriculum establishes the University as responsive to an important constituency. With his efforts, the department has introduced electrical and mechanical options into its systems engineering program.
Dr. Iqbal teaches almost all the courses in the systems engineering curriculum and aims to integrate unique learning opportunities â€“ like the three-dimensional Virtual Reality Center â€“ into the coursework designed to prepare students for real-world work. He engineered changes by merging telecom and computer option senior design courses into one capstone design course and led the restructure of course sequencing and pre-requisites for all courses in the curriculum. In addition, he leads the introduction of a new masterâ€™s degree program in systems engineering Â¬â”€ a milestone in the departmentâ€™s strategic plan.
â€śIn order to meet the needs of area industry, we solicit their advice on our curriculum advisory board,â€ť Dr. Iqbal said. â€śWe have learned from relationships with Southwest Power Pool, Acxiom, and other companies that they need more engineers. These students should have engaged in more hands-on courses, more modeling and simulation, and our offerings in these areas allow us to stand out in regard to other programs.â€ť
Dr. Iqbal earned his bachelorâ€™s degree in avionics engineering from NED University in Pakistan, and he completed requirements for two masterâ€™s degrees â€“ in electrical engineering and business administration â€“ from Ohio State University. He earned his doctoral degree from Ohio State in electrical engineering. He has been elected as a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and is a member of Sigma Xi, scientific honor society, and the Pakistan Engineering Council.