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FINDING WAYS TO IMPROVE AN ENGINEERING SPECIALIZATION

G.M. Moraru

"Lucian Blaga" University of Sibiu (ROMANIA)
Due to the technological evolution, in the last two decades numerous new technical specializations have appeared in the engineering faculties. In the current context of sustainable development, environmental engineering specializations are becoming increasingly important. Unfortunately, representatives of the industrial environment are not always convinced of the importance of hiring the environmental engineering graduates in their organizations. Efforts related to the concern for the protection of the natural environment come voluntarily from the academic environment, but the representatives of the industrial environment manifest this concern most often only as a result of legislative constraints. The main purpose of the paper is to find ways to improve the specialization of Engineering and Environmental Protection in Industry in a Romanian faculty, starting from the opinions of one of the most important categories of stakeholders: the students. The research was mainly based on collecting their opinions through an online questionnaire distributed in early November 2021. One of the results of the research is that online teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the causes of respondents' declining interest in their specialization. Students made reasoned proposals to improve the curriculum, their relationship with teachers, and especially to increase their motivation to study this specialization. The paper opens new research directions on this topic, the most important of which is related to finding common approaches to this engineering specialization by all categories of stakeholders: employers in the industrial environment, the local community, students and academics.