Ashesi University College School of Engineering
The engineers tasked to solve society’s problems need a broad range of skills that will allow them to tap into ideas beyond one engineering field; they have to be entrepreneurs who can see through challenges and find solutions within a local context. They must be ethical and responsible, and see the short and long term effects of their decisions on society and the environment. They also have to be leaders who can communicate their ideas and work with teams to solve problems.
Ashesi’s Engineering Programme is designed to train such engineers. In addition to engineering specialties (computer, electrical and electronic, or mechanical), there will be a strong emphasis on foundational concepts, systems thinking and problem-solving that cross traditional boundaries. Ashesi’s Engineering graduates will bring the trademark Ashesi strengths—strong ethics, leadership skills, and a commitment to positive change— that will help create a new era of progress in African industry and infrastructure.
The goals of Ashesi’s engineering programme are:
- Give students broad engineering skills that will enable them solve the challenging problems of our society, and core entrepreneurial skills to think about how to transfer their solutions to the marketplace.
- Enable students to be creative and critical thinkers to find the best solutions to the problems of our society, even in situations they have never encountered before. Instill in students ethical and responsible behaviours that place doing the right thing for society and the environment above personal or professional gain.
- Give students strong leadership skills that will enable them lead in solving the problems they encounter, and prepare students with excellent communication skills to enable them to communicate their knowledge and ideas to supervisors, colleagues, customers, and society at large.
Introduction to Engineering
This course will introduce students to engineering by using practical problems and products from their surroundings. The course will challenge students to analyze the design and function of systems by using principles from different engineering fields including computer, electrical and electronic, and mechanical engineering. Students will study the contribution of material engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering and computer engineering in making everyday objects, and the manufacturing processes needed for small and large-scale production. Students will also critically evaluate selected products from diverse perspectives: design/usability/utility, energy/environmental view, recyclability/waste/breakage, etc., to begin the conversation of the engineering profession’s responsibility and contribution to society.
Instrumentation for Engineering
This course continues the concept of measurement and measurement error that is introduced in the Physics sequence. Students study measurement systems, instruments, and measurement errors, and the use of probability and statistical analysis to design and execute experiments in the presence of measurement errors. An emphasis of the course is the design of instrumentation for experimental problem solving in real systems.
Third Year Group Project and Seminar
In their third year, engineering students will participate in a one year group project that ideally cuts across multiple engineering fields (electrical and electronic, mechanical and computer), to revisit the design process at a higher level, to deepen teamwork skills, and to reinforce system level thinking. Part 1 of the third year project is implemented through Leadership 4 for Engineers, which will address leadership, service learning, and responsibilities of the engineering profession to the community. Projects undertaken will include a service-learning component. Students will consider more than technical feasibility in their solutions, but also the desirability and sustainability of their solution to the community and the environment. In the course Third Year Group Project and Seminar, a weekly seminar that will facilitate group meetings and coordinate milestone completions, as well as provide a forum for discussion regarding professional issues and system level design. Students will also be required to reflect on their teamwork experiences, their own learning, and their completed group project, and present their project in a public forum. Learning objectives for the Third Year Group Project and Seminar include a maturing of design thinking and creative thinking skills, consideration of qualities such as environmental and societal impacts of their design, deepening of system-level thinking, project management experience, teamwork and communication skills development.
Students will apply a broad range of mathematical tools to systems represented by linear, lumped-parameter models. Many physical domains are considered, including translating and/or rotating mechanical, electrical, thermal and fluid systems. Planar motion of rigid bodies will also be studied. Analysis techniques include both transfer function and state-space representations. Time and frequency domain analyses are included, along with a brief introduction to Control Theory. This course includes a laboratory.
Students will model dynamic mechanical systems in planar motion, and use computer simulations to study them. Students build on the modeling and analysis techniques from System Dynamics to analyze and design controllers for linear systems. Practical examples from different engineering fields will be discussed. Students will analyze and design control systems in both continuous and discrete time, using both classical and modern techniques. Non-linear dynamic models are introduced.
Senior Project 1
In their final year, engineering students will undertake an individual or small group project (no more than 3 students) as a capstone experience to further their expertise in system level design, application, and the practice of the profession. These projects are supervised by faculty and sometimes by a professional from industry in addition to the faculty. The projects are designed to demand the application of skills the student has learned throughout the four years of the programme. Group projects are expected to cut across engineering disciplines and be more substantial in scope and effort than individual projects. One option for the senior project will be working with a corporate partner on a real-world engineering design and application project, called an Ashesi-Corporate Project. In these projects, students from different engineering majors and/or other disciplines (e.g. Computer Science, MIS, or Business) will work together on a project under the direction of both an Ashesi faculty member and a corporate partner, with funding provided by the corporate partner. Participation in Ashesi-Corporate Projects is competitive, and is not guaranteed.
Senior Project 1 runs concurrently with Project Management and Professional Practice, which will serve to guide the project management timeline of the project. In addition, students will meet with their project supervisors regularly, and their project work will be assessed at the end of Senior Project 1.
Learning objectives include a maturation of design and system-level thinking, project management expertise, and a deep understanding of professional issues such as certification, professional boards and oversight, communication, ethics, and responsibility to employers, customers, society, and the environment.
Senior Project and Seminar 2
This is a continuation of Senior Project 1. In Senior Project & Seminar 2, a one hour per week seminar provides a discussion forum for technical writing, ethics and social responsibility, and other topics, and will also serve to guide the project management timeline of the project. At the end of the senior project, students will write a summary of their work and do a public presentation of their work. To reinforce professional writing, each member of a senior group project will write-up their own supporting documents.
Learning objectives for the final year capstone project and seminar include a maturation of design and system-level thinking, project management expertise, and a deep understanding of professional issues such as certification, professional boards and oversight, communication, ethics, and responsibility to employers, customers, society, and the environment.
Project Management and Professional Practice
In this course students will learn to plan, strategize and execute an engineering project. The course will develop students’ skills to manage projects and build on leadership skills and ethical reasoning they have acquired in core courses. Student will learn about environmental, safety and health issues that have to be considered during the implementation of a project. Students will also learn, discuss, and reflect on professional issues such as social responsibility, ethics, licensing, and regulatory reporting.
Introduction to Environmental Science and Engineering
This course begins with a discussion of the local and global environment, environmental compartments and their relationship, pollution in these compartments, and basic descriptors. Systems analysis for environmental problems in areas such as water pollution, air pollution, solid and hazardous wastes, water and energy supply, and resource depletion are discussed, with an emphasis on the design of technological solutions. Students will work on projects in areas as varied as: renewable energy technologies, water quality, air quality, generators, increasing efficiency of appliances, urban planning, and cooking stoves.
Applied Programming for Engineers
This course will build on students’ existing computer programming experience, and teach students how to use computers to solve engineering problems. Students will use the modeling skills they have gained from their mathematics courses and apply it to develop engineering simulations. Students will gain experience in writing applications in languages commonly found in engineering, such as C or Python. Students will also learn how computers represent real numbers, especially insofar as they affect precision and accuracy of calculations.
Digital Systems Design
In this course students will study the principles of digital systems and computers. They will learn digital system theory and design techniques, including Boolean algebra, binary arithmetic, digital representation of data, truth tables, gates, flip-flops, finite state machines, memory, and timing issues. Students will gain experience with several levels of digital systems, from simple logic circuits to microcontrollers, in order to design, simulate and implement digital systems. They will also learn how processors and microcontrollers are used for control by interfacing sensors and actuators.
This course will cover the design and implementation of embedded systems from a hardware and software perspective. Students will go through the design process of embedded systems for specific applications and analyze the tradeoff between a hardware and software implementation. They will be introduced to fundamentals of digital system design using HDL (such as Verilog or VHDL), simulation, validation, synthesis and implementation. They will also learn software development techniques unique to embedded systems such as real time operations, I/O operations, and communications. They will have hands on practical experience using programmable devices like FPGAs.
Circuits and Electronics
In this course students will study the principles and workings of electronic components and design circuits common in electronic systems like amplifiers and filters. Students will learn how to develop mathematical models for electronic circuits and find solutions in time and frequency domain. At the end of the course students should have learnt how to model and design simple analog electronics systems.
Introduction to Electrical Machines and Power Electronics
This is a hands-on course that introduces students to the fundamental principles underlying electro-mechanical machines and devices, their design, and their maintenance. It provides a treatment of transformers, synchronous generators and motors, induction motors, DC motors, speed and torque control, protective devices, an introduction to power electronics, electrical (regenerative) braking.
Students will learn the working principle and design of modern wired and wireless electronic communication systems. The course focuses on basic principles in the analysis and design of modern communication systems, the workhorses behind the information age. The treatment of analogue communications serves as a necessary background for understanding digital communications. At the end of the course, the students will have an introduction to electronic communication systems and their building blocks.
Advanced Electrical Machines and Power Electronics
This is an advanced class that provides students further principles governing the operation of electro-mechanical machines and devices, their design, and their maintenance. There is also a treatment of special purpose motors such as variable reluctance machines and stepping motors. It provides an advanced treatment of power electronics, synchronous generators and motors including transients, induction motors (with topics including determining circuit model parameters etc), induction generators, DC generators, parallel generators, transformers, single-phase and two phase motors, speed and torque control.
Digital and Analog Signal Processing in Telecommunications
This course includes the study of signal processing and technology used in the telecommunication industry. Students will study various digital and analog signal processing techniques. Starting from the basic definitions of a discrete-time signal, through Fourier analysis, filter design, sampling, interpolation and quantization, more advanced tools are studied to aid the study and design of digital communications systems. Note: CE and EE students wishing to work in the telecommunications industry are advised to take Digital and Analog Signal Processing in Telecommunications as one of their electives.
Mechanical Machine Design
This class will introduce students to the common components of machine design.
Mechanics of Materials / Structural Engineering
This course is the study of static mechanics of deformable bodies, and introduces the design of engineering structures. Students will study the concept of stress and strain at a point, stress-temperature relationships, force and deformation analyses of bodies under axial, shearing, flexural, torsional and combined loadings, shear and bending moment diagrams, and Euler Columns. This course focuses on the application of static mechanics on engineering materials and structures. Students will learn how to model and simulate structures with distributed loads, thermal loads and torsional loads using software, scaled models and others for analysis and testing. At the end of the course students will be able to analyze integrity and stress of common engineering structures.
Fundamentals of Thermal Fluid Science and Heat Transfer
This is an integrated course of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics theories and their application to engineering systems, and the study of heat transfer by conduction, convection, and radiation. The course will look at the application of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics principles in systems like engines, refrigeration cycles and pumps. Students will study in detail the basic sciences behind thermal and fluid systems.
Thermal Systems & Applications
This course teaches students about design and analysis of thermal systems. Students will study the operation of different kind of thermal engines, heating and cooling systems. They will apply thermodynamic and heat transfer principles to study thermal systems in different application including power generation.
Fluid Mechanics and Applications
This course is the application of fluid mechanics in engineering and industrial processes. The course will discuss theories and principles of fluid dynamics and statics using engineering applications as examples. They will learn how to design and analyze fluid systems like hydraulics, pneumatics, pipes, and pump systems. At the end of the course students should be able to design and analyze different fluid systems.
This course is the study of electrical energy generation and use in various industries. The course will look at how electrical energy is generated from and converted to other forms of energy. Students will study power generation systems, transmission, distribution systems, electrical components, electric power utilization and power quality. Students will also study how to strategically bring together power technology to make needed energy available by considering need, the environment, and sustainability. Note: EE and ME majors wishing to work in the power systems industry are advised to take Power Engineering and Power Systems Analysis as their two electives.
Power Systems Analysis
This course is a study of advanced topics in electric power distribution systems planning and operation. In this course, students will learn how to analyze flows on power networks and their applications to real systems. It provides students with a working knowledge of power system problems and computer techniques used to solve some of these problems. It also provides a technical treatment of the general problem of power system stability and its relevance. They will learn how to strategically bring together power technology to make energy available to industry by considering need, environment and sustainability. Note: EE and ME majors wishing to work in the power systems industry are advised to take Power Engineering and Power Systems Analysis as their two electives.
Engineering Students Entry Requirements
- West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE): Three core subjects including Mathematics, English and Science, and three elective subjects including Elective Mathematics and Physics, with a C6 or better in each of them.
- A-Level: Three A-Level passes (A-D) including Mathematics and Physics, and six IGCSE (G.C.E. O-Level) passes including Mathematics, English, and Science are required for admission to Ashesi. A grade of D or better in Further Mathematics instead of Mathematics is also acceptable for entry as a prospective engineering major.
- International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: For prospective engineering students, Mathematics SL with a 5 or better, or Mathematics HL with a 3 or better is acceptable to fulfil the entry mathematics requirement; similarly, Physics SL with a 5 or better, or Physics HL with a 3 or better is acceptable to fulfil the entry physics requirement. However, Mathematics HL and Physics HL are expected to be a competitive engineering applicant.