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Kicking off the SEFI 2023 conference in high gear, the 7th SEFI Doctoral Symposium in Engineering Education Research was held on Sunday, September 10. A record number of 37 PhD students used this opportunity to share and discuss their PhD work and build their professional networks. During an intensive full day with 27 established scholars, the PhD students not only received valuable feedback and new ideas regarding their PhD-studies but could also experience the welcoming atmosphere of the engineering education research community. Although SEFI is a European organization, PhD students and seniors from Africa, Australia, and South- and North America also participated.

In the doctoral symposium, different working formats are used to create a rich experience:

  • Short pitches of the seniors, to get to know the well-established researchers,
  • Small group discussions focusing on each student’s PhD project,
  • Speed-dating activities to grow each student’s network,
  • Presenting take-home-messages, to ensure valuable lessons are learnt and shared.

The growing number of participants is not only an indicator of the success of the SEFI Doctoral Symposium but also of the growing maturity of the engineering education research field. The organizers were also delighted by the willingness – even eagerness – of the seniors to participate in this event. These well-established researchers reported feeling honored to share their experience and expertise with more junior researchers and appreciated the networking opportunities to spot new talent and strengthen their connections with other seniors.

The happy faces of the participants, and the positive feedback received, strengthen our enthusiasm and resolve to keep on organizing the Doctoral Symposium in the future. 

The Doctoral Symposium was proudly chaired by: 

  • Jonte Bernhard, Professor Emeritus, Deputy Editor of the European Journal for Engineering Education
  • Shannon Chance, Professor, Deputy Editor of the European Journal for Engineering Education
  • Tinne De Laet, Associate Professor, Chair of the SEFI SIG Engineering Education Research
  • Kristina Edström, Associate Professor, Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal for Engineering Education
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