Faculty perspectives on Future Engineering Education

Henrik Worm Routhe, Maiken Winther*, Marie Magnell, Lena Gumaelius, Anette Kolmos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

New societal challenges have emerged, and the Sustainable Development Goals present a concise summary of the engineering grand challenges (National Academy of Engineering, 2007). Further, the global society face challenges such as digitalization, future sustainable development and industry 4.0 engineering education is expected to respond by educating engineers with the relevant knowledge and competences useful in dealing with these complex problems both in terms of technology, climate and society (Kolmos, 2021). Engineers need to see themselves as global citizens embracing the human challenges, and engineering institutions need to prepare graduates to be able to work on solutions to these complex problems. Future engineers need to understand the impact of new technologies both on an individual level as well as at a systemic and societal level. Not least to understand how technologies can contribute to solutions for future complex societal problems.

The question is how engineering education will respond? What are the strategies for developing the academic disciplines and the future engineering competence profiles, and which changes emerge in curriculum when adapting to future emerging technologies and complex problem solving? Five Nordic Universities have participated in this study (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden). From each university four professors have been interviewed. The professors represent four different engineering disciplines: mechanical engineering, civil engineering, biotechnology and energy engineering. These disciplines are
common engineering disciplines, offered at the selected universities.

All engineering education in the Nordic countries follow the Bologna structure with three year Bachelor and two year Master education. The aim of this study is to study and compare how different faculties anticipate and predict future changes within their discipline.

The findings indicate that there are differences among the four disciplines. The engineering programs with a more core science component such as energy and bio technology anticipate less differences in the future curriculum compared to mechanical and civil engineering. All disciplines anticipate that emerging technologies such as big data and AI will influence the curriculum, and especially production/mechanical and civil engineering also point out new learning objectives like systems understanding.

Having in mind that engineering education is a broad field the aim of this study is not to highlight a single coherent outcome but to highlight approaches and understandings for how to prepare future engineering education from an engineering faculty perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of REES AAEE 2021 The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, 2021
Number of pages10
PublisherAAEE - Australasian Association for Engineering Education
Publication date7 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2021
EventResearch in Engineering Education Symposium & Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference - Perth, Australia
Duration: 5 Dec 20218 Dec 2021
https://rees-aaee21.org/

Conference

ConferenceResearch in Engineering Education Symposium & Australasian Association for Engineering Education Conference
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityPerth
Period05/12/202108/12/2021
Internet address

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