Dr. Z’s Corner

Dr. Z

Ahmet Zeytinci, P.E., Ph.D., Fellow-NSPE, Fellow-ASCE is an award-winning professor, structural engineer, author and mentor living in Washington, D.C. Since joining academia, "Dr. Z", as he is known by his students and colleagues, has distinguished himself on campus and beyond. He is passionate about engineering, gifted in teaching, and is a true champion for professional licensure. Dr. Z. has extraordinarily high standards; has produced award-winning designs; is prolific in professional service; and infects others with these same values. He is the recipient of numerous local, regional and national awards, including recent national awards from the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Since 2014, he has been regularly writing monthly articles for “Dr.Z’s Corner “ and offering hundreds of engineering problems, for free, every month for students, engineers and engineering educators worldwide. Dr. Z. also offers pro-bono Saturday classes for students and engineers; his free classes are open to all in the greater Washington metro area and cost nothing, nada, zilch! Starbucks coffee is always a must have for Dr. Z.

Dr. Z's Corner

Dr. Z’s Corner (201905)

Advice to Engineering Students/Engineers:
How to Advance and be More Marketable in the 21st Century

You thought that graduating with a BS would open every door, but are surprised that the value of the degree has not kept pace with societal transformations. Quite often students and engineers find themselves in this situation and ask for advice.

Market developments, decaying infrastructure, cost overruns, schedule delays, new technologies, changes in legislation, scope changes, lack of data, loss of reputation, and cyber incidents are a few reasons why engineering organizations around the globe brace themselves against an era of greater uncertainty.

Engineering organizations need professionals trained in the risk analysis sciences to be prepared to respond to this risky environment. Fortunately, an online Master of Science in Risk Assessment and Management is offered at Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU). NDMU MS in Risk Management is a fully online program in Risk Management comprising ten 3-credit courses in the risk analysis sciences. The program has a post-baccalaureate certificate (six 3-credit courses). These stackable credentials are designed for engineering professionals who desire further professional qualifications in the emerging and fast-growing field of Risk Assessment & Management. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has chosen this program to educate its leaders since 2015. I invite you to learn risk management where USACE does.

I recommend the NDMU MS in Risk Management because I know the qualifications of the people running the program. This program is unique among risk management programs in its focus on risk analysis science (Aven, 2018), rather than on a more-narrow discipline-based approach to risk management. This assures that engineering professionals from any community of practice will gain practical, insightful, useful, and adaptable knowledge of risk analysis science including risk management, risk assessment, and risk communication. The MS in Risk Management provides students an in-depth education that prepares them to become risk management experts. Students are also empowered to introduce the practice of risk management into their organizations or to contribute in substantial ways to organizations that already practice risk management.

The program enables its graduates to:

  • Introduce the best practice techniques of risk management and risk analysis science to their organizations;
  • Acquire the skills required to manage risks to avoid loss and to take prudent risks for potential gain;
  • Build qualitative and quantitative risk assessment skills;
  • Communicate effectively in crisis and risk situations that threaten your organization or its constituents and stakeholders;
  • Conduct one’s self-ethically in situations where systems breakdown and rules of conduct are challenged; and,
  • Introduce a risk management framework to risk-management naïve organizations or to enhance the effectiveness of existing risk management practices.

Working online with other professionals from around the nation and world, students learn the principles of risk management, risk assessment, and risk communication in eight-week courses. Graduates will become risk experts in their chosen fields and may find new career opportunities that include Risk Management Director, Risk Assessor, Risk Manager, Risk Analyst, Risk Management Consultant, Risk Control Supervisor, Director of Corporate Risk Management, and Chief Risk Officer.

Courses are taken one at a time where the recommended sequence begins in the fall with Risk Management followed by Risk Assessment, spring courses are Uncertainty and Quantitative Risk Assessment. The two summer courses are Risk Communication and Ethics and Risk Governance. This sequence completes the certificate. The second fall comprises Enterprise Risk Management and Managing Together followed by Adaptive Leadership and Decision Making Under Uncertainty during the second spring to complete the MS.

Professor Charles Yoe, Ph.D., Director of the Risk Management program, has over three decades of domestic and international experience working on risk issues in over two dozen nations. He was a principle trainer for many U.S. FDA and Department of Agriculture risk analysts and is the author of a popular textbook, Principles of Risk Analysis Decision-Making Under Uncertainty, second edition. His experience includes work on over 50 risk-based engineering projects and over 25 years of teaching risk analysis methods to engineers. Program faculty have an industry-leading domain of experience in risk.

Here what some students have said about the program:

"I had almost no background in this field. I now have resources and knowledge that can assist me in my current job and possibly applying for jobs that require this knowledge…"

"I now have knowledge of uncertainty that I can apply in making recommendations to Risk Managers, especially in the ability to resist giving a one-dimensional answer."

"One obvious measure of course value is if the material can or will be used on the job. Not only have I applied the lessons learned at work but also have shared what I have learned with co-workers."

"Relevant, challenging, timely, so aligned with job, use content at work on daily basis.”

For more information see https://online.ndm.edu/online-degrees/m-s-in-risk-management/ or contact Director, Professor Yoe This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Until next time,
Ahmet Zeytinci (Dr.Z.)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Z’s Corner (201904)

Importance of Setting Goals for Engineering Students

In this month’s column, we would like to talk about the importance of setting goals for success. All successful people and achievers in all fields set goals. Setting goals gives students long-term vision and short-term motivation. It helps them to organize their time and their resources so that they can make the most of their life.

Goal setting is fundamental to long-term success as well. After all, it’s difficult to get to a desired destination before you have clearly defined where that destination is. Goals help students to focus upon the journey to a collection set of achievements, meaning they allocate their resources and time more efficiently and can access motivation during times when they may feel like giving up.

From an academic perspective, goals improve performance by ensuring engineering students remain accountable for their own failures and successes, propelling themselves forward through a selection of small achievements designed to break down a larger purpose. What’s more, setting and achieving goals translates to feelings of success and confidence for students, which in turn leads to greater confidence and productivity.

Goals Keep Students Moving Forward

Writing a specific goal into a calendar or journal gives engineering students something to work and plan toward. When written down, these goals form an external representation of inner desires to get a higher grade or pass the FE exam. Written goals are a constant reminder of what a student wants to accomplish. Goal setting even fuels ambition and confidence by encouraging determination through difficult periods and offering a sense of pride when success finally arrives.

Establishing a goal creates a sense of clarity and correlation between the process of working hard and accomplishing something significant. Because of this, many students access the motivational energy that they need to work through periods where focus may begin to wane.

Goals Break Down Insurmountable Mountains

Most young adults have huge dreams that can seem impossible to accomplish at first. It’s easy for students to feel discouraged when they’re staring at a future that seems too large to achieve. However, proper goal setting can break those larger, more intimidating aspirations down into achievable stepping stones. Not only does planning toward smaller goals make it easier to formulate a plan of how one achievement can lead to another, but research suggests that achieving smaller milestones offers greater levels of motivation.

Students can be encouraged to work towards short-term and long-term goals that interconnect, giving them more focus on what they should be spending energy and time toward. Through the pursuit of those smaller goals, students learn more about themselves – their skills, weaknesses, and what they want to accomplish.

Goals Hold Students Accountable

Having goals makes students accountable for their actions, their efforts, and even their time management skills. Setting a goal obligates an individual to take action, regardless of the obstacles that may be in place. As such, it can encourage students to develop critical thinking skills, new problem-solving techniques, and a better understanding of how to overcome challenges.

What’s more, the accountability of goal setting encourages students to look back over their previous successes and failures, evaluating areas they need to improve. As such, it pushes them to tackle challenges head on and work on their weaknesses in order to produce better chances of overall success. It can also help engineering students to realize techniques that may not be working for them so they can seek out alternative routes to achievement.

Goals Make Students Want to Be Better

There are numerous experimental and correlational studies showing that setting goals increases success rates in almost every setting, including education. Part of the reason for this is that setting goals pushes young adults to articulate the things they want out of life, so they live more consciously.

Without goals, students subject themselves to a default or natural set of actions that are there to keep them feeling safe and comfortable, without offering any opportunity for growth. With goals, students can discover more about themselves and work towards becoming the best versions of themselves. In other words, goals allow engineering students to tap into their inner potential by giving them targets to strive toward.

Goals Prepare Students for Professional Life

Through goal setting, students discover a level of respect for the dedication and determination required to achieve further important goals in life. Not only is goal setting important for helping students get more out of their academic experiences, but it also means that they will continue to use the same skills in the future to apply for a high-paying job or achieve a new promotion. Furthermore, setting goals give engineering students an important tool to measure their progress through life by using their leadership skills, critical thinking, and determination.

We would like to thank army and navy academy for the permission to use their resources: (https://armyandnavyacademy.org).

Until next time,
Ahmet Zeytinci (Dr.Z.)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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