The Agricultural Systems Engineering Graduate Program (PPGESA) for Master’s and Doctoral degrees was implemented at ESALQ/USP in 2011. The PPGESA grew out of the perception that three strongly related programs (GP in Physics of the Agricultural Environment, Irrigation and Drainage and Agricultural Machinery) should be joined, to maintain sustainability.
In 2016, the PPGESA celebrates its fifth year; this report refers to the 2015 evaluation cycle. The PPGESA currently consists of 22 faculty advisors (Permanents and Collaborators), 9 (41%) of which have formal training abroad; six in post-doctoral activity and three PhDs. Thirteen (59%) are CNPq Productivity Scholars, eight at Level 1 and five at Level 2. Only 36% of ASPG Permanent Faculty is Level 1 or higher CNPq Productivity Scholars. The majority of the PPGESA Faculty is CNPq Productivity Scholars, an indication of the quality of ASPG’s Faculty Members.
The PPGESA stands out with high level Permanent Faculty with extensive academic activity, supporting students engaged in research. The quantity and quality of scientific articles published, papers presented in congresses, intense editorial activity with national and international journals, international visits received, and international exchanges established, are indicators of PPGESA’s prominence.
In December 31st of 2015, there were 108 students, 48 (41%) at the Masters level and 70 (59%) at the Ph.D. level. These students come from almost all the states in Brazil. In addition, there are nine international students in the PPGESA: Argentina (2), Venezuela (2), Colombia (1), Costa Rica (1), Ecuador (1), Spain (1) and Peru (1).
The goals of the PPGESA are mainly related to social development and internationalization of the program:
1) To collaborate with other Graduate Programs to improve the educational level and competence of the country’s human resources;
2) Alumni follow up;
3) To support research projects that awake and encourage interest for scientific research activity in various fields of knowledge, as well as to define areas of professional interest of students from the public system and the approximation of the University to the High School System and 4) to further internationalize the program.
The ASPG is aligned with USP’s thrust towards internationalization. Thus, all students are required to be proficient in English, allowing them to be exposed to, and integrated into, the international scientific community. There will also be efforts to establish partnerships with internationally recognized universities.
The Program’s general objectives are focused on the development of human resources, by promoting excellence in graduate education and research in agricultural engineering systems. In addition, the Program seeks to enhance the comprehension and quantification of the physical principles that drive the functioning of agricultural systems that fall under the ambit of Agricultural Engineering, with the aim to utilize this knowledge in the many different aspects of agriculture. Specific objectives are to: 1.) offer full time Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Science; 2. to facilitate students acquiring knowledge of the environmental, management or technological aspects of agricultural and bio-systems engineering; 3.) supervise dissertations and thesis in areas covered by the Program and 4.) contribute to the sustainable development of agricultural systems.
Master and Doctor in Sciences, major in Agricultural Systems Engineering
The graduate program in Agricultural Systems Engineering is accredited by CAPES, a governmental organization which is responsible for assessing and accrediting higher education institutions in Brazil, with a grading scale ranging 1-7, where 7 is the maximum score. In the most recent triennial assessment (2010-2012), the Agricultural Systems Engineering program scored 5.