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Friday, 10 December 2021, 12:00-13:00 CET

Introduction to SEFI Engineering Skills Special Interest Group. What is the contemporary engineering skill set and are we ready to teach it? Results from the 2021 SEFI Engineering skills survey completed by SEFI members at this year’s conference, plus guest speakers from the UK, Italy and Germany, and opportunity for discussion. Hosted at the newly opened school of engineering building at the University of Birmingham in the UK.

  • 0.00 Introduction to Engineering Skills Special Interest Group, its areas of activity and themes: Dr. Neil Cooke, SEFI Engineering Skills SIG chair. 
  • 0.05 The SEFI Skills Position Paper 2016 – 5 years on. Prof. Kamel Hawwash, Past president of SEFI In terms of overall themes, our discussion identified: reflection, project work, standalone modules, regional difference, technical/professional balance and progression models.

Then we have areas of interest for the SIG: skill inventories, embedding and evidencing from UK, Germany and Greece.

  • 0.10 Critical thinking – fieldwork (or lifeskills) – Dr Raffaella Manzini Universita’ Carlo Cattaneo – Liuc. Embedding these types of non traditional engineering skills within / across curricula / extra curricula. Engineering programs should be able to provide students with the desirable level of vertical specialisation, and also with multi- and inter-disciplinarity, non-traditional, horizontal competences and soft skills. To this aim, a “situated” or “embedded teaching” approach could be helpful. An example is reported in which such an approach has been applied to a bachelor and a master program in management engineering at LIUC Università Cattaneo.
  • 0.20 Design: CDIO Projects – Dr Gareth Thomson, University of Aston (project work / reflection) The use of design projects as part of the curriculum at Aston has been shown to provide a broad based and integrated approach to deep and practical learning. Much of this is focussed on blending the technical underpinnings, applications and the organisational, personal and interpersonal skills needed of the modern engineer. Initial experience showed that the non technical skills required a different approach, not just in the way these were embedded but also how the students appreciated and valued these elements. Encouraging and helping students to reflect on their own learning, drawing out the skills and competences attained and still needed have proved key. Surveys of graduates a few years into their careers have shown these reflective skills have been carried with them into their working lives.
  • 0.30 Interdisciplinarity: Transdisciplinarity / learning journals – Thies Johannsen, Technische Universität Berlin. (motivation / reflection) To address the grand challenges, stakeholders from all sectors of society must work together. Transdisciplinarity is an approach to include industry, government and civil society in research and academic education. In doing so, different perspectives come together. In such inter- and transdisciplinary processes, collaboration is constituted as a development with each other. As a process, this development can be distinguished into different phases. During each phase, every person involved needs to reflect on his or her own position and development. This reflection can be facilitated by appropriate assessment tasks. Learning journals have proven to be a suitable method to assist students in this process and provide feedback to educators.
  • 0.40 Networking opportunity:  Jenny Griffiths, University College London
    • What skills are there and how relevant/important are they?
  • 0.50 The 2021 SEFI Engineering Skills survey
  • 0.55 Joining the SIG & next event
  • 1.00 Close

LinkedIn Profiles of all speakers:

About the host:

School of Engineering:

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