Exciting moments at the automotive department of the engineering institute
Without a doubt, the calendar year 2020, and the year 2021 to date, are among the most difficult years in MCAST history. This is most evident in professional departments such as the Automotive department, where practical sessions are an integral part of the course being taught.
Despite these abnormal times, during the academic year 2020/21, all the courses offered by the Automotive Department were taught in their entirety. The MQF level 3 courses, namely the Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and the Diploma in Auto Repair (Bodywork and Painting) were taught on campus while the MQF Level 4 course – Advanced Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance – started online, with hands-on sessions delivered on campus starting in the second semester.
During the current 2021/22 school year, all three study programs are delivered on campus, while adhering to guidelines from health authorities on COVID-19. Currently, over 100 full-time students are pursuing a degree program related to the automotive industry.
While the pandemic dramatically increased the degree of logistics planning, the automotive department was also busy planning and formulating an undergraduate degree (MQF level 5) in automotive electronics and electrical theory. This diploma is offered on a part-time basis over 2 years and is aimed at qualified and experienced auto mechanics wishing to deepen their knowledge of electric and hybrid vehicles. The degree contains 60 credits, but offers the learner an exit route after 30 credits, with the possibility of obtaining an undergraduate certificate in automotive electronics and electrical technology.
Starting in the 2022/23 academic year, this study program will be offered as a one-year full-time course for students of the Automotive Department who have successfully completed the Advanced Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance. .
The course also offers hands-on experience
Students who take the undergraduate degree, start from the fundamentals and concepts of electrical and electronic systems. Thereafter, they are then gradually introduced to the advanced theory of automotive electrical and electronic control systems and microprocessor control systems. The course deepens the theory of electric and hybrid vehicles, including electric machines, power electronics and the different energy sources available on the market.
The course also provides hands-on experience using diagnostic approaches that help students resolve potential integration issues. Learners are also encouraged to work with various electronic equipment and become familiar with various computer controlled systems, diagnostic software test equipment and tools.
At the end of the program, the learner will be able to service and maintain electric and hybrid vehicles. They will be familiar with the fundamentals and concepts of electrical and electronic systems, be aware of health and safety requirements and the use of tools when working on an EV or hybrid. The learner will also be able to differentiate between different EV control systems and power sources, gain excellent knowledge of microprocessor systems, power sources and electrical machines.
The entry requirements are an MQF level 4 certification in electrical and electronic or automotive engineering. Mature students, who do not have the required qualification, can also apply under the maturity clause.
Exciting times are ahead of us. In addition to plans to offer additional courses in electric vehicles and hybrids, the automotive department is also looking to offer elective courses related to motorcycles, marine engines, heavy vehicles and agricultural machinery to students who complete the advanced degree. in maintenance of light vehicles. More information can be obtained at www.mcast.edu.mt
Ing. Longino Dingli is Deputy Director, MCAST Institute of Engineering and Transport
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