IGIP Newsletter - Issue 01 - 2020

14th April 2020

IGIP Newsletter - Issue 01 - 2020

Editor Column

By José Marques and Teresa Restivo

We are all going through the experience of a lifetime. It came unexpectedly, it developed at lightning speed, and it brought many changes to our daily routines. The educational community has been able to respond very quickly and managed to reset in novel ways all teaching activities.

It is perhaps too early to engage in a deep and thorough analysis of how the whole process has imposed such a swift and dramatic modification to so many things that we used to do without a second thought. This reappraisal will come later, after enough time has elapsed to provide us with sufficient perspective.

Life is indeed a precious gift and now we all come to realize how easy and deceptive it is to take so many things for granted. This very special Easter will be remembered for many years …

President´s Column

By Hanno Hortsch, President of IGIP

Dear IGIP Community,

I hope you get the messages from our IGIP newsletter in good health.

In recent weeks, people's lives have changed a lot in many countries due to the effects of the COVID-19 virus. Many educational institutions, including universities, are still closed or are starting their new semester with great delays. These are major challenges for the students, but also for the teachers, particularly in engineering and natural sciences, where the integration of academic face-to-face events in universities, work in the laboratories and, of course, industrial or business-related research, is essential.

We should understand together that the negative is always accompanied by the positive. Perhaps we should use this difficult time, which in particular severely limits our social contacts with students and colleagues, to think about other ways of teaching and studying. It is also an opportunity to recognize new organizational forms and methods of studying and learning not only as modern, but as necessary. "Flipped Classroom" is just one of the ways in which simple means can be used to create a knowledge base for further in-depth study leading to qualifications. Many of the universities have set up portals for lecturers and students or learning groups, which can now be explored and used even more precisely according to their educational potential.

Please, look at the results of the IGIP Workgroups. Perhaps it will also become clear, for example, that the results of the work of the "Information Technologies in Engineering Education" working group have a lot of potential, especially for the current situation at universities. Take part in the work of our working groups. In this difficult time, let us look for new opportunities that we should definitely discuss in our next conferences.

We should also keep in mind that students are currently facing extremely difficult situations. Perhaps the planned internship was not or only partially realizable, or exams that have been prepared for a long time have been postponed and other things. Such conditions often have a strong demotivating effect. Let us also turn to the students on a social level - perhaps even closer than usual.

Unfortunately, the EDUCON Conference in Porto had to be completely organizationally changed. It has been decided to organize EDUCON 2020 as an online event during the same period of the planned physical event scheduled to Porto, from April 27 to 30, 2020. It was a very difficult but necessary decision by the organizers of the conference. Everything was prepared and then everything will be completely different.

At this point, I would also like to express my personal thanks, on behalf of the IGIP Executive Committee, to all those who have certainly prepared this conference excellently and who would have welcomed the conference participants from many countries with the typical Portuguese friendliness. Special thanks go to Prof. Fátima Vieira, Vice Rector of the University of Porto, who supported the IGIP visions and the goals pursued with engineering education.

We wish the virtual form of the conference much success and fruitful discussions and publications.

Dear IGIP community, please stay healthy or recover very quickly if this virus reaches you.

Executive Board Column

By Teresa Restivo, Past President of IGIP

We are living in uncertain and frightening times since COVID-19 arrived to Europe and suddenly exploded to the rest of the world. We receive constant news and images full of suffering. Nearly everywhere, most of us are in isolation, in quarantine state, while doctors and nurses work to exhaustion trying to save lives. Grocery stores, supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies keep their doors open providing essentials.

Knowledge about the COVID-19 virus and the urgent answers and discoveries are the world focus, linking all countries in order to curtail this outbreak, and then to prepare humanity for future outbreaks. Economists and policymakers are devising measures to mitigate the subsequent recession.

And what about the engineering educators?

In a close and constant contact with many colleagues and friends everywhere, facilitated by today’s communication tools, I realize that we are all together responding firmly and promptly to the closure of our educational institutions. We are engaged to carry on our teaching activities and I have been receiving an excellent feedback on the students’ commitment with new approaches of the learning process and teachers’ efforts.

This unexpected disruption in the teaching-learning process will bring changes. Therefore, from many of these experiences we need to learn to innovate our future as engineering educators.

I think that the IGIP Newsletter can provide a point of convergence for many contributions from your experiences during this period and in the near future. I am inviting you all to share many of your fears and outcomes with the IGIP community and with the world, in this freely accessed Newsletter.

To finish I would like to share with you this idea: “The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic are – and will be – defined by choices. Those choices should be based upon values, not value: compassion, courage and cooperation”.

IGIP/ICL 2020 Annual Conference in Tallinn, Estonia

By Tiia Rüütmann, ICL 2020 Conference Chair

The conference ”Educating Engineers for Future Industrial Revolutions“ will be held on September 23-25, 2020, at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) Mektory, Estonia.

Mektory (shorthand for “Modern Estonian Knowledge Transfer Organization foR You”) is TalTech's own Business and Innovation Centre, and a celebrated international hub visited yearly by numerous individuals and delegations looking for collaboration with Estonian universities and businesses. Mektory is located at the campus of Tallinn University of Technology.

This interdisciplinary conference aims to focus on the exchange of relevant trends and research results, as well as the presentation of practical experiences in Engineering Pedagogy and Interactive Collaborative Learning.

The conference will provide an international forum for collaboration between academics, professors, researchers, industrial engineers and teachers. The objectives of the conference are to improve the quality of teaching and learning engineering, to modernize teaching and learning and to support collaborative and interactive learning.

All necessary preparations have been started, including the publication of all accepted and presented papers by Springer.

Due to COVID-19, not later than 01 June 2020 the organizers will inform about the final scenario of the conference: either a fully online conference or a 'hybrid' scenario (in case some of the participants can travel, others not). In any case, all Authors will have the possibility to give a remote presentation.

Please feel free to disseminate this information to your colleagues.

We look forward to meeting you in Tallinn!

IFEES Peace Engineering and Sustainability Declaration

The International Federation of Engineering Education Societies has recently issued an important document, the IFEES Peace Engineering and Sustainability Declaration, which is signed by Michael Auer (IFEES Past President), Ramiro Jordan (President), Alaa Ashmawy (President Elect), Soma Chakrabarti (First Vice President), Uriel Cukierman (Former President) and Hans Jürgen Hoyer (Secretary General).

The opening paragraph of the Declaration is transcribed below and the full text is available at http://www.ifees.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/IFEES-Declaration-5-February-2020.pdf.

At the WEEF-GEDC 2018, the First Global Conference in Peace Engineering, we defined Peace Engineering as the intentional application of systemic-level thinking of science and engineering principles to directly promote and support conditions for peace. Peace Engineering works directly towards a world where prosperity, sustainability, social equity, entrepreneurship, transparency, community voice and engagement, ethics and a culture of quality thrive. Engineers have the power to play a vital role in the creative solutions that can radically transform and improve the wellbeing of people and other living systems, day to day.

About teaching scientific writing in Engineering Education - Overcoming the writer’s block

By Luis Adriano Oliveira, Professor, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Within the context of scientific writing, the aptly named writer’s block may be viewed as someone facing a blank page, feeling unable to start writing. As I mentioned in Part I of this text (IGIP Newsletter - Issue 03 - 2019), such an uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing, condition may catch even the best of you unawares. To address – and hopefully overcome – it, the following paragraphs contain a number of practical suggestions.

When you build up your contribution to scientific knowledge, this means following a thorough procedure, in which you: (i) start by selecting the scientific area and choosing the main subject (a theme you are keen to work upon and that is socially relevant); (ii) then, carry out a literature review (reading popular articles, books, papers in scientific journals etc.), with the aim of refining – and regularly updating – your awareness of the state of the art (i.e. how far the scientific community has reached in terms of published information and what are the main gaps in knowledge still remaining open as questions); (iii) among those problems that are still unanswered, select the one you will adopt as the central question (that will be pivotal in your own contribution to knowledge); (iv) design a methodology (a strategy, or prospective way of finding an answer to your central question) and choose the method(s) (experimental, numerical, field measurements, questionnaires…) that you will use as tools to implement that methodology, in order to produce meaningful results; (v) validate the results obtained (i.e. check their reliability) and, once you are confident in them, explore, physically interpret and discuss them; (vi) as a corollary of the discussion, formulate conclusions that address and – at least partially – resolve the central question.

All these tasks must be described when the completed work is reported (scientific writing), thereby sharing your contribution with the scientific community and with society, in general.

The whole procedure requires time, considerable effort, deep reflection and a huge amount of information to be stored, for later use. Please believe me: even if you think you are gifted with “the memory of an elephant”, you are not! In order to retain all the necessary information, you should take notes of each and every meaningful detail, rather than relying solely on your mental capacity. This involves all the tasks referred to in (i) to (vi) above. Of course, you may use a wide range of available (physical or virtual) methods to store your notes. Consider post-it notes, as an example. By the way, to be on the safe side, do not forget to regularly backup all this precious information.

Now, suppose the time has come to start writing, and you face a daunting, blank page, desperately lacking the inspiration to compose even the very first sentence of your report. Do not despair; there is no reason to panic! Rather, take all your post-it notes and randomly stick them onto the blank page. Suddenly, the page is no longer blank! Moreover, a single page will not suffice for all your notes: no problem, you may use as many (initially blank) pages as you need. Next, reorder all the post-it notes, regrouping those referring to each of the different steps in (i) to (vi) above: by doing so, you are implicitly dividing your future report into separate chapters. Finished? Not yet!

A wall that is built by simply stacking loose bricks will fall apart when hit by the slightest gust of wind. Cement is needed to connect and bond the bricks, ensuring the necessary integrity of the wall. Similarly, a succession of sparse notes is not sufficient to stack up as a written report. Text is needed to “cement” each of the notes, linking and relating them through logical argument, ensuring that the final document is grammatically accurate and scientifically consistent. Once the basic structure is firmly established, fine-tuning is required to reach the report’s final version. Some relevant advice for this latter phase was presented in Part I of this text.

One final remark to highlight is the importance of time management, addressing your personal balance. In practice, the temptation to continually refine your scientific work can compromise the time necessary to report it.  This is a real danger: the danger of transforming the pleasure of writing into a serious source of anxiety. Writing is an ongoing activity, not a last minute rush! It takes time, but is definitely worth the time you spend on it. Time that should be realistically allocated from the very first moment, when you set out to define the whole work.

When you have finished, celebrate! This is not just about enjoying a well-deserved and rewarding moment of achievement: it is an important contribution to the process, balancing your efforts, and reinforcing your willingness and motivation to face future challenges.


Untraditional: an engineering approach to the digitalization of performative arts

By Mario Bochicchio and Simona Corciulo, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Innovazione, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy

“Men at some time are masters of their fates: the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

It’s a classic. William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), a playwright and a poet (not exactly a stranger), gifts a new life to the emperor Julius Caesar (101 BC – 44 BC), one of the most influential figures in history.

More than a thousand six hundred years divide the Roman emperor from Shakespeare and his masterpieces but, since the first staging [1], millions of eyes have been attracted by those venerable characters and millions of minds have learned, by the vitality of movements and words, something that they would never forget again.

Through the performers, theatrical dramas can touch our souls and educate us in a unique and profound way, as an intense emotional relationship binds the audience to the events represented on stage.

Should not, these ideas, be deeply embedded in our class on “Digital Skills for Performing Arts” at our DAMS School? Should not, this, be a great opportunity to reconsider how performers, at the beginning of their career, can find a right motivation to invest in rock-solid digital skills?

Seeking to change anything in the “magic” of a company of Shakespearean actors performing in the perfect atmosphere of an Elizabethan theatre can appear as a sacrilege. On the other hand, great artists have been able to achieve the same “magic” by mastering the light, the sound and the space of the scene trough technologies. The digital transformation of Arts can stimulate even more the creativity of talented artists to explore their dreams and intuitions in these directions; mastering digital skills must be, for them, as mastering the piano technique for a piano player.

For these reasons, we decided to adopt a top-down approach that, starting from the analysis of high quality digital performances of great artists, explains which digital skills are needed, how they can be developed/trained, how students can put their hands on the right tools/technologies and which concepts are needed to understand and control the desired technologies.

To support this strategy, the learning path, after a short introduction on arts and Information Technologies, starts with 3D animation and motion capture (with lab activities on Trimble Sketchup and Blender 3D), moves to digital scenography (with lab activities on digital video mapping) and completes with digital video/audio (with lab activities on audacity and Adobe Premiere Rush). Digital tools (email, elearning, collaboration, …) and techniques (streaming, digitalization, compression, file management, …) are routinely used for assignments and lab activities.

The learning outcomes of this experimental approach will be evaluated, trough student assessment and questionnaires, at the end of this class, on June 2020. At the moment, however, the feedback is excellent and the level of participation is more than 90%.


SHAKESPEARE W. Julius Caesar. Edited by David Danniel. London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 1998.

[1] As reported by D. Daniell: «Julius Caesar was begun in the first half o 1599 (when Henry V was being finished), and finished by the late summer of 1599 (when Hamlet was already on the stocks), for a performance of it seen by Platter at the new Globe on 21 September 1599».

Siemens and Industry 4.0

By Melanie Spare, Manager, OEM Marketing, Siemens AG

Since its inception in 1847, Siemens has undergone and, in many ways, helped to shape the various industrial revolutions of our past, from the introduction of the assembly line to the automation of our factories and now to our present state, the age of Digitalization or Industry 4.0. As we continue to embark on this journey towards digitalization, we know that our manufacturing, design, and engineering landscape is evolving rapidly and the need for highly skilled technical specialists is at an all-time high. We also realize that many of these jobs worldwide are going unfulfilled, which is creating a growing skills gap. Siemens is committed to empowering the next generation of digital talent with the skills employers need.


The pace of innovation and the ability to disrupt are the key success factors to the Industry 4.0 enterprise. Digitalization is the enabler to the disruption that is changing age-old business models seemingly overnight. The pivotal challenge for Industry in this new age is to continually innovate to remain competitive. In this era, companies are required to take advantage of the technology trends that are transforming Industry and shaping the digital enterprise.


The challenge for academic institutions is to provide an industry-driven curriculum and challenging real-world experiences that prepare future engineers to be innovators and disrupters within the digital enterprise. As the 4th Industrial Revolution continues to unfold, business leaders across all industries will be called upon to formulate comprehensive workforce development strategies that are ready to meet the challenges of this new era.


As we look at our customers' digital enterprise, we see 3 critical components: Ideation, Realization, and Utilization. We must transform engineering and manufacturing education to teach industry best practices across these disciplines. That is what the digital enterprise is all about. It is a new world where data is gathered, leveraged and coming from many different directions. This new world is about unobtrusive connectivity and service at all times. Our solutions and the training of these solutions must reflect this integration. Adopting transformative technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing, and allowing traditional boundaries between engineering disciplines and these new technologies to dissolve is the only way to truly realize the disruptive and competitive edge that the digital enterprise provides. Our Digital Innovation platform is a set of domain solutions connected on a collaborative platform that empowers everyone in an organization to contribute to the innovation process. Our goal is to give schools and students early access to our innovative tools and solutions to equip them with the skills industry needs.


Siemens is committed to empowering the next generation of digital talent through a global strategic initiative. Today the academic partner ecosystem empowers more than 1 million future engineers and technologists at more than 3,000 academic institutions globally to provide a strong pipeline of talent to our more than 140,000 commercial customers. Our global academic partner program provides industrial-strength software covering the entire value chain, real-world projects and STEM competitions for applied skills, and comprehensive online training and resource center for students and faculty.


Collaboratively we can break boundaries across major engineering disciplines through industry and student-centered learning. Let us help get your students Industry 4.0 ready! More on our Academic Partner Program at https://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/global/en/our-story/partners/academic/

University Corner - Technology in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

By Pavel Andres, MIAS, CTU, Prague

The Covid-19 corona virus epidemic now illustratively shows how important it is to offer education in a globalized society through online courses in a virtual classroom. In such situation, the classroom that we access through a computer, tablet, or smart phone is the only one we can use without being forced to lose valuable weeks of the academic year. Learning Management Systems, Office 365, 3D models and simple and sophisticated animations combined with virtual reality allow teachers to explain to students the basic concepts and principles of the subject. Among other things, thanks to the Masaryk Institute of Advanced Studies (MIAS), graduates of CTU programs Specialization in pedagogy are equipped with a wide range of competencies (not only technical ones) and are ready to respond to similar challenges as the global epidemic may bring.

Within a short period of time, we were able to adapt to new conditions and set up distance learning using Microsoft Office 365 / Microsoft Teams. Cloud services have been deployed on a global scale and help us communicate during a pandemic, in terms of management level, as well as for educational purposes, organizing lectures, exercises and seminars. Starting from March 10, 2020, the so-called non-contact teaching methodology was introduced at the CTU in Prague, full deployment started on March 16, 2020, with 2,255 Teams established during the first ten days. The Computing and Information Centre opened up and filled these Teams approximately with 900 students and teachers on the basis of data available (identities) in the study information system. By 18 March 2020, approximately 50 Teams had been formed from two or more subjects (by merging), roughly 50 Teams were created according to timetable sheets (by splitting). The actual number of Teams is much higher. The data reported in Table 1 is based on the established methodology for MS Teams courses naming and does not take into account ad-hoc Teams based on actual needs, not only for teaching purposes but also for project management, lifelong learning courses, etc. Also, if the Team owner has changed the course name, these cases are not reported in the table figures. For example, approximately 150 MS Teams are currently being used at MIAS.

There were approximately 300 MS Teams before March 9, 2020, 2,200 were created between March 9, 2020 and March 19, 2020, and now the total number of Teams established is 4,400.

Table 1 - MS Teams created by faculty


March 18, 2020

April 7, 2020

FCE, Faculty of Civil Engineering



FME, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering



FEE, Faculty of Electrical Engineering



FNSPE, Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering



FA, Faculty of Architecture



FTS, Faculty of Transportation Sciences



BME, Faculty of Biomedical Engineering



FIT, Faculty of Information Technology



MIAS, Masaryk Institute of Advanced Studies



Remote laboratories to mitigate interruptions in Engineering Education due to COVID-19

By Pablo Orduña, CEO, LabsLand

LabsLand (https://labsland.com) provides universities with access to real educational laboratories for science and engineering so that students can do practices with real hardware, using only their web browser. Instructors have full control over those practices, which resemble hands-on lab experiences. This technology is used by universities across the world to reinforce their hands-on courses or to be able to provide practical but distance ones. With the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and university closures, being able to provide quality practices online becomes ever more important.

For this reason, and with the goal of mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on education, LabsLand is providing free access to all the laboratories until July to those institutions directly affected by the closures. More details in the LabsLand blog: https://labsland.com/blog/en/2020/03/12/schools-and-universities-closure-support/

Greetings from Athens, Georgia

By Nicola W. Sochacka, Associate Director, EETI, College of Engineering, U. Georgia, USA

Like so many of us, I’m writing these few words from a makeshift, home office – in my house I’m in the laundry with a washing machine and dryer to my left, and shoes and a coat rack to the right. These past few weeks have been an interesting juxtaposition of fast and slow living. For the teachers among us, the transition to online learning has been lightning fast. The news cycle also offers a relentless torrent of drama as the world comes to grips with the very real possibility of having to stay home for a period of months, not weeks.

And then spring is unfolding outside my window and the discipline of staying at home, cooking every meal, and getting and staying in touch with loved ones has reminded me of a time before the internet, before sore thumbs from scrolling on my phone, and before the option to click on “next episode” as I obsessively watch Downton Abbey.

Perhaps COVID-19 will make us all stop and listen to what’s important. Maybe the sudden disruption will fortify us for the disruptions that are necessary for us to put a stop to larger planetary dynamics. I hope the virus will teach us about the value of limits. I wish you all well from Athens, Georgia.

Fifty More!

By Lueny Morell and Uriel Cukierman, InnovaHiEd

Last January, InnovaHiEd Institute started the first phase of the International Engineering Educator Certification Program towards the Ing.Paed.IGIP certification in collaboration with the Chilean IGIP Section. This 3rd cohort was hosted by the Universidad de la Frontera in lovely and historic Temuco. The successful Chilean program, Ingeniería 2030, sponsored the event as part of the mission and strategies of this countrywide effort to transform engineering education in the country.

Fifty professors, deans and even a rector from three institutions enthusiastically began the journey of learning about engineering education pedagogy and immediately putting into practice what they learn through hands on or homework activities. In addition to the intensive 5-day program, students and instructors went out to have fun and dinner together, building memories and making friends with colleagues across Chile. The second and third phases of the program will kick off in March, when the teams of students will continue with learning/practice modules, implement a classroom innovation project, build up their teaching portfolios and publish a paper in a peer-reviewed journal or conference. We are all excited about the fifty students who will change their world and those of their respective students!

Teacher goes FH

By Hannes Rauchberger, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, Austria

The new IGIP member Hannes Rauchberger, together with Rosa von Suess, did a Workshop with the title “Digital & Innovative Storytelling”, which was designed for secondary school teachers. The aim was building competence in storytelling and in the development of media competence with specific formats and transmedia.

The training content was focused on: 1) Narrative structures in transmedia and serial formats for young target groups; 2) An analysis of the social media elements and digital media productions of successful youth formats; 3) The discussion of strategic storytelling for television, school, tourism and events.

The Workshop took place as part of the cooperation project "Teacher goes FH" of the NFB (Lower Austrian Research and Education Association) at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, in 20-21.02.2020.

Competences Model for Industrial Engineering in ULaM

By Mauro H. Vidal, Professor, UNLaM, Buenos Aires, Argentina

After having participated in the educational experience of IGIP during 2018 at Buenos Aires Argentina, the challenge was to motivate students according to a teaching model based on the development of skills.


Taking advantage of the knowledge and experiences shared during the IGIP course, students were motivated through the introduction of ICT resources. Using their cell phones as technological devices allowed students to approach their personal concerns, as well as to respond to different educational strategies, either by answering questionnaires, or by interacting with their peers through the assessment of student presentations.


Class moments were also used to carry out practical learning activities, where students must display and demonstrate the skills learned, as well as use the Moodle LMS resource, for learning through a constructivist model together with their peers, exchanging ideas in forums, using self-assessment and flipped learning tools, among other resources.


The experiences have been extremely satisfactory, and we continue to advance on the knowledge of the needs and expectations of engineering students, developing innovative educational strategies.


We believe that IGIP formation has contributed significantly to the improvement and interest of students towards the Industrial Processes course, where we deploy the new technological resources, prioritizing the skills training of future engineering professionals.

"Science and Technology for Society" award received by Prof. Gabriel Pinto

Prof. Dr. Gabriel Pinto, a member of IGIP since 1997, has received in January 2020 the "Science and Technology for Society" award from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM). The award recognizes his long career, aimed at bringing science and technology to the general public.

Doctor of Chemical Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid, he is Professor of Chemical Engineering at the E.T.S.I.I. of UPM, where he leads the Group of Educational Innovation in Didactics of Chemistry. His research includes optical and electrical properties of materials and, mainly, teaching and dissemination of STEM topics. He has developed educational resources with everyday aspects: cooling in ceramic containers, such as the "botijo" and “pot-in-pot”, CO2 emission by cars and domestic boilers, science in the kitchen, scientific toys, approaches to "science, technology, history and society", etc.

This work has been included in more than 200 papers, about twenty books (such as Química al Alcance de Todos, Chemistry for Everyone, edited by Pearson) and contributions in congresses. He has delivered about 250 conferences, courses and workshops in Spain and in a dozen countries (highlighting the Science on Stage festivals). He is a member of several editorial boards (such as the Journal of Chemical Education) and societies. In addition, he is Scientix Ambassador (a European project that promotes STEM education). His career has been recognized with several awards, including ten at the Science in Action festivals, several from UPM, EDUCA to the best teachers in Spain and J. M. Savirón for Science Outreach (University of Zaragoza, Spain).

Introducing New IGIP Members: VGTU Lithuania

By Vida Navickienė, Associate Professor, VGTU, Lithuania