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I am honoured to have been elected President of SEFI for the two-year term 2017-2019. SEFI is a wonderful and strong community of scholars and supporters of excellence in engineering education within Europe, and indeed across the world, and I am delighted to be a part of it. While I am excited about these coming two years as President, I am also humbled to take up this responsibility. I have large shoes to fill in following on from our past president Prof Martin Vigild, and I am hugely grateful to him for all the support and encouragement that he has given me over my past year as President-elect. It also gives me great confidence for the two years ahead returning from our hugely successful Annual Conference in Terceira, a conference at which the deep community spirit of our engineering education community was evident, and the importance of SEFI as a wonderful network of collaborators was clearly visible.
The goal for my term as President will be to continue the agendas established by previous SEFI presidents, in particular Martin and his predecessor, Prof Kamel Hawwash of the University of Birmingham. Under their leadership, SEFI has begun to focus on more visibly connecting a number of its important activities. I will continue to work actively with our Board of Directors as we collectively and individually take active roles to address the opportunities and challenges to which an organisation such as SEFI is presented. Earlier this year we revised our statutes, and I am delighted that we now have two Vice-presidents on our Board. Congratulations to Prof. Yolande Berbers of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, who was elected as Vice-president at our 2017 SEFI Annual Conference; and I am delighted to have the continuing support of Prof. Dr. Luis Manuel Sanchez Ruiz of Universidad Politecnica de Valencia in Spain. I would like to take this opportunity to say a personal thank you to the members of the SEFI Board who have completed their mandate. These are Prof Anne-Marie Jolly (Polytech Orléans), Prof Ludo Froyen (KU Leuven), Prof. José Carlos Quadrado (ISEP Porto), Prof. Katrina Nordström (Aalto University) and Prof. Alain Rivière (Supméca Paris). In addition, I look forward to working with our continuing and newly-elected Board members. Their details are available on our website here.
In particular, I will strive to ensure the continued development of the SEFI Working Groups as a vibrant forum for our members to participate and collaborate.
I would also like to emphasise that we will continue our international cooperation with key European and global partners and stakeholders, which includes a number of exciting projects with our institutional SEFI members on topics such as attractiveness of engineering and engineering ethics.
We will continue to work closely with our publisher Taylor & Francis to grow the reputation of our European Journal of Engineering Education. In the months ahead we will see a smooth transition as our long time Editor-in-Chief Prof Erik de Graaff of Aalborg University retires and we welcome our new Editor-in-Chief Kristina Edström of KTH in Sweden. The SEFI community owes a huge debt of gratitude to our friend and colleague Erik de Graaff, and when he retires he will be sorely missed. But we are also very excited by the ideas that Kristina will bring to this role.
I am delighted that Prof Martin Vigild has taken on the role of Chair of our European Engineering Deans Council, and will seek to ensure the continued development of our Deans Council, and the success of our annual Deans Convention in partnership with CESAER.
Engineering education is more necessary and vital than ever. It is a force for good in a challenged world. I look forward to working with you all to ensure that it is SEFI that provides the recognised European forum for positive and constructive discussion, collaboration, research, and networking on engineering education, and the issues most relevant to us.
Prof. Mike Murphy
SEFI President 2017-2019
Dublin Institute of Technology