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Engineering Education


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21st century calls for innovations in engineering education

Monday, 1 February 2016
3TU. Centre for Engineering Education looks back on very succesful CDIO meeting

Some 160 education professionals of technical universities from all over the world gathered to exchange knowledge and experience about innovations in engineering education at the European Regional  Meeting of the CDIO network on 25 and 26 January. The theme was “ Inventing tomorrow’s engineering education”.  Aldert Kamp, CEE leader of TU Delft looks back on a very successful conference with many enthusiastic participants. Innovations in engineering education are badly needed to prepare the new generation of students for the rapidly changing changing needs of the 21st century, as was stressed by all four keynote speakers. More attention must be paid to multi- and interdisciplinairy thinking, cross-sectoral collaboration, creativity and innovation skills in both Bachelor and Master education. These subjects are leading themes in the educational research that is done by 3TU. Centre for Engineering Education, the event organiser. Participants intensely worked with these themes in fully booked interactive workshops. The conference took place at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft, member of the CDIO network.


President & CEO Govert Hamers of Vanderlande Industries, a hightech company with 4000 employees worldwide, called for more entrepreneurship, (intercultural) communication and management skills in the curriculum, and to pay more attention to the “common sense” in industry: dealing with risks, when is good, good enough? Obviously technical expertise remains crucial, but disciplinary knowledge alone is not discerning anymore: additional skills are necessary to succeed in the future industry. As was acclaimed by Prof. Sabina Jeschke of Aachen University: “There needs to be more room for entrepreneurial skills in the curriculum; specialist knowledge becomes out of date quickly”. The question remains how to fit these in an already crammed programme. Furthermore, attention is also needed for  ethical requirements besides functional and performance requirements to create responsible innovations, according to Prof. Jeroen van den Hoven of TU Delft. Yvonne van Sark of Youngworks indicated that mainly intensifying the ‘attention span’ amongst youth is an educational challenge. To do so students need to have intrinsic motivation. She outlined possibilities for education on how to stimulate this motivation by paying attention to competence, co-creation, relatedness and autonomy. Presentations of keynotes and workshops are available here.

About 3TU.Centre for Engineering Education

The 3TU.Centre for Engineering Education (CEE) is set up to support and research educational innovations that are taking place at the three universities of technology in the Netherlands: Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and University of Twente. It’s main goal is to jointly innovate engineering education, and share expertise on all of its educational innovations to enable our teaching staff to continuously push the quality of our engineering education to a higher level, to assure that our young graduates are optimally prepared for coping with future engineering and societal challenges. Check out to learn more about the engineering education innovations at our three universities.

About CDIO
Engineering education and real-world demands on engineers have in recent years drifted apart. Realising that this widening gap must be closed, 129 leading engineering schools in the USA, Europe, Canada, UK, Africa, Asia, and New Zealand formed the CDIO Initiative: A worldwide collaborative to conceive and develop a new vision of engineering education. CDIO is based on a commonly shared premise that engineering graduates should be able to: Conceive – Design — Implement — Operate 
complex value-added engineering systems in a modern team-based engineering environment to create systems and products in interdisciplinary teams of engineers, designers, system architects, clients, marketeers and business managers. CDIO members regularly get together to exchange ideas and experience on innovations in engineering education.