Technical Writing & Presentation Workshop 2013

“Your success as an engineer will be directly proportional to your ability to communicate!”

—Charles K. Alexander, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Fenn College of Engineering, Cleveland State University(Alexander, C & Sadiku, M 2009, Fundamentals of Electric-Circuits, 4th edn. Mcgraw-Hill)

Engineers are trained to solve real life technical problems and communication holds a significant role in doing so. Through technical reports and presentations, engineers communicate with different interested groups.  To enhance professionalism and to promote communication skills among the would-be engineers, ChemicalBUET Group, the largest online congregation of Chemical Engineers of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), organized a workshop on May 3-4, 2013 at the Department of Chemical Engineering, BUET.

The workshop titled ‘Technical Writing and Presentation’ was designed for the students from the senior years who are on the verge of becoming professionals. Dr. Mohidus Samad Khan, a promising young Bangladeshi researcher currently working in McGill University, conducted the two day long workshop containing four modules.

Module 1 covered general aspects of technical writing, addressing critical issues and common errors of writing technical reports, classification and differences between different types of articles – scientific articles, review articles, short communications, letters, and news articles. The instructor explained the necessity of proper referencing and the negative aspects of plagiarism in technical and scientific writing. Participants were also introduced to the different referencing software out there.

Module 2 was solely based on Journal Publication, its necessity, types, impact factor, general guidelines and standard approach for publication in a journal. The fact that- ‘Conducting an excellent research is all that matters, Publications are its logical consequences’ was well explained and established in this module.

Module 3, the richest of all in terms of content, included discussions on Patents, Conferences and Thesis Writing.

Besides the general explanations of the contents of Module 3, different contemporary critical patent cases were shed light upon.

Tips for facing the Question-Answer sessions at a Conference and strategies for preparing a well-written Thesis-Paper Work were shared in this module.

It is a common scene among senior year students trying to figure out which grad schools to apply to and how to apply for funds. To ease out the dilemma, Module 4 of the workshop was based on the University Ranking, Admission and Scholarship.  Parameters and methodologies of the different ranking systems including QS World University Ranking, Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, Academic Rankings of World Universities and Webometrics, along with National Ranking systems of Canada, USA and Australia were discussed in Module 4. Limitations of different ranking systems were also discussed in this module.

The module also explained the importance of publications for admission and scholarship application. At the end of the workshop, an evaluation was conducted; recommendations were also suggested by the attendees.

The workshop aroused a sense of awareness among the attendees, who are the future Chemical Engineers, and its success is marked by the participants who are now better educated and confident. Their appreciation is easily understood from the words they shared during the feedback session. “The workshop has been very useful. Now I can use smart tricks to prepare a better technical report,” said Hasib Al Mahbub, a third year student. Raka Islam, a student from the graduating batch said, “I liked the session on Technical Presentation most. The tips on slide preparation and facing Question-Answer session are marvelous.”  Unaiza Mannan, another participant from the graduating batch shared, “Many of us intend to pursue graduate studies from internationally renowned universities. This workshop dealt with many such issues regarding graduate admissions; I appreciate the initiative.”

The workshop came to an end with the distribution of certificates and a big fat photo session of workshop participants, volunteers and the instructor.

Workshop Evaluation

Number of students participated in the Workshop = 52; Number of students participated in the Workshop Evaluation = 48

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