120 Projects by University of Malta Students in Engineering and IT The Minister of Education, Hon. Dr Louis Galea and the Rector of the University of Malta, Professor Juanito Camilleri, inaugurated the annual exhibition of the projects of the final year students in Engineering and in Information Technology.

Prof. Ing. Paul Micallef, who also spoke for the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Robert Ghirlando, said that this was the last year that he was giving a speech as Chairman of the Board of Studies for IT, following the setting-up of the new Faculty of ICT.

Prof. Micallef said that there were also plans by the two faculties to offer programmes of study over a three-year period, instead of four, in keeping with the Bologna Agreement. “However, the goal of this University to stand amongst the best is surely not going to change”, said Professor Micallef.

New technologies are altering the ways in which one looks at the technological systems that have been in operation for some time now. The generation and transmission of energy, industrial machinery, engines used for transport systems and many other applications should render a good and lasting service. In today’s world, new technologies in communication and informatics make it possible for every type of machinery and mechanism to be designed, monitored, applied and controlled with efficiency, precision and speed, while at the same time becoming ever smaller in size.

These technological advances have also brought about a complete change in our lifestyle, through the use of mobile phones, computers, the internet and e-commerce. Nowadays, amongst other things, people want to work in comfort, to communicate with friends and family, to enjoy a pleasant environment, to be informed about what is happening in the world and to have access to appropriate medical services.

Professor Micallef said the students’ work followed the philosophy that technological education was there for the service of the community. Many of this year’s projects are in fact linked to the creation a tool, an aid, a product or a new design that forms part of our daily lives.

In total, there are 120 projects, 77 of which are by the engineering students and 43 by the students in IT. The number of female students following courses in Engineering and IT is steadily rising. During academic year 2006/7 there were 10 female students and 38 males following the IT course, while 15 females and 62 males followed the Engineering course.

“The vast majority of the projects is based on the research or ideas of academic members of staff and our collaboration with industry. Each project is based on the lecturer’s inspiration but is then developed by the student through his or her ability to exploit, improve and add on to our ideas”, continued Prof. Micallef.

Professor Micallef said that firms in electronics or informatics-based services, companies dealing with the manufacturing of software products and mechanical products, and many other enterprises have set up operations in Malta, precisely because they have found that the graduates of the University of Malta are able to learn quickly, they are flexible, capable of making good technological and managerial decisions and are capable of delivering a high quality product.

He congratulated the students on their success and emphasized that with a degree from the University of Malta they would be able to further their studies in Malta as well as in any other university abroad. At present, there are numerous students who are continuing their studies both in Europe and the United States.

The exhibition is open to the public on Thursday 5 July and Friday 6 July between 5.00pm and 8.00pm. The Final Year Engineering Projects Exhibition is also open on Saturday 7 July between 9.00am and noon.

More information may be obtained on the web sites: www.eng.um.edu.mt/exhibition2007
and www.home.um.edu.mt/bosit/exhibition2007

Professor Juanito Camilleri, Rector, during the opening of the exhibition

The Hon. Dr Louis Galea during the opening of the exhibition

From left Dr Ing. Carl Debono, Chairman of the Engineering Exhibition Committee, Professor Juanito Camilleri, and the Hon. Dr Louis Galea during the guided tour of the exhibits