IGIP Newsletter - Issue 03 - 2019

23rd December 2019

IGIP Newsletter - Issue 03 - 2019


Editor Column

By José Marques and Teresa Restivo

This Newsletter comes at the end of another busy year of fruitful academic and professional activity for the IGIP community, which we hope will be continued and successfully extended along 2020.

We now suddenly realize that three full years have been completed as Editors of the IGIP Newsletter.

A taste of accomplished mission is also mixed with a feeling that the IGIP community now believes that this is a good way to get us together all over the world, by offering some valuable content and also highlighting upcoming events, as well as conveying the latest news.

Moreover, this is possibly the right time to ask you all – do you really consider this Newsletter as an important tool for our Society?

Leaving you with this question and hoping to get your opinion in the near future, we wish you the best for this special Season – Christmas time – and for the coming New Year.

President´s Column

By Hanno Hortsch, President of IGIP

First of all, I would like to wish you, dear IGIP community, the best of luck and good health at the turn of the year 2019. This year, like so many years before, was over too fast. This sense of time, which you have during the year, is of course very subjective. It is most likely generated by our diverse activities in our professions, in IGIP and, of course, in and with our families and friends. And that's good!

Our common efforts for the realization of the mission and the vision and goals of our Society were again successful in 2019. Worth mentioning was and is the high quality scientific appearance of our members at conferences. We are in demand as a keynote speaker, as a workshop leader, as a discussion partner, but also in the scientific-organizational area. The best evidence for this statement is the variety of publications that emerged as a result of the conferences. But we should also appreciate the results of our active working groups, which are mostly published in the highly respected e-Journal of IGIP, "iJEP".

This respect, which our IGIP is experiencing, is also evidenced by the creation of three new National Sections in 2019. We therefore warmly welcome our colleagues from Argentina, Chile and Thailand!

Of course, we must also state that there is still enough work for 2020 and beyond. We urgently decided to approve the new Prototype curriculum in April next year and provide help for our training centers.

Let me give you all the wishes for the New Year 2020 with some fun, but certainly also with instructive sentences. This is very German oriented, please forgive me.

With Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, (1742-1799), German physicist and master of the aphorisms, I would like to formulate on the year 2020:

„Ich kann freilich nicht sagen, ob es besser werden wird wenn es anders wird; aber so viel kann ich sagen, es muß anders werden, wenn es gut werden soll.“ (Lichtenberg, Sudelbuch K, 1793-1796. [K 293])

Of course I cannot say whether it will be better if things change; but that much I can say, it must be different if it is to be good.”

Even our (German) philosopher, scientist and poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) should inspire us with his optimistic views into the future:

„Das neue Jahr sieht mich freundlich an, und ich lasse das alte mit seinem Sonnenschein und Wolken ruhig hinter mir.(Goethe, J. W., Briefe. An Johann Kaspar Lavater, Ende Dezember 1783)

“The New Year looks at me kindly, and I leave the old one behind with its sunshine and clouds.”

In this sense, let us use the year 2020 to come one step closer to our visions, which we have defined together with our society, but also to our personal goals and wishes. I hope for another good year for you all and for our International Society for Engineering Education.

Above all, stay healthy!

Executive Board Column

By Teresa Restivo, Past President of IGIP

This is the Christmas issue of the IGIP Newsletter and the 10th time we get in touch since the start in 2017.

I would say this issue is almost dedicated to Doru Ursutiu, our colleague from Transylvania University of Brasov, Romania, honoured by IGIP in 2019 with the Nikola Tesla Chain.

We also have other topics addressed by IGIP members and friends who have been working along the year (and along the years) with the IGIP Newsletter, particularly Susan Zvacek, Tiia Rüütmann, Axel Zafoschnig, Teresa Larkin, James Wolfer, and our President, Hanno Hortsch. To all I want to express my sincere thanks!

I am very happy to welcome a new contribution from Luis Adriano Oliveira, a full professor in Fluid Mechanics at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. He has chosen to talk to us “About teaching scientific writing in Engineering Education”. Moreover, when he says, “Part I – Priority to the reader”, this is also a clear indication that there will be, at least, a “Part II”!

The present Issue promises to be longer than usual, due to the substantial amount of last minute contributions. With all these friendly efforts dedicated to the International Society for Engineering Pedagogy, its Newsletter has been able to survive. We need to be reaching cruising speed soon, in order to “achieve a painless editor life”.

Therefore, my final words in 2019 go to all the IGIP Community and to its friends with a personal request: please contribute to the next Newsletters by sending short and diversified contents. Only the diversity and your active cooperation will continue to make this a useful tool.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year. I hope to meet many of you during EDUCON’20, in Porto, Portugal, in April.

Laudatio for Doru Ursutiu

By Michael E. Auer, General Secretary of IGIP

Professor Doru Ursutiu was born in 1951 in the Lazuri village, in the Satu-Mare County in Romania. He graduated in a special class of physics in high school in 1970. Afterwards he studied Physics at the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj–Napoca, graduated in 1974 and was afterwards a high school teacher.

In 1977, he started his career at the Transylvania University of Brasov. In 1990, he completed his PhD thesis on “Noise and fluctuation studies for some amorphous and poly-crystalline materials used as circuit components”. In 2016, Doru Ursutiu obtained the Habilitation. For many years now, he is a full professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Department of Electronics and Computers.

Typical in Doru Ursutiu’s work is the close cooperation with industry and so he has obtained in time other specializations for example in: IDEAS, AutoCAD, Lola, LabVIEW, AFM/SNOM, DAQ, NOVA 5000, special vacuum equipment, etc.

Doru Ursutiu is member of some International Organisations as: Executive Committee member of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), EURODL, EDEN, IAOE, CEDEFOP. He was one of the founders of IAOE and was two times elected as its President. Now he is one of the Vice-Presidents of this organization.

Furthermore, he was and is member of many Scientific and Program Committees (RILW, REV, ICL, IMCL, EOARD2008, WeLearn2009 and many more) and member of the Editorial Boards of Journals (iJOE, iJIM, ijSoTL, etc.). Starting this year, he is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education.

As a recognition of his outstanding didactic activity, Doru Ursutiu was invited as a guest professor to many international universities: EPFL Lausanne (Switzerland), University of Patras (Greece), University of Lisbon (Portugal), Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (Austria), INSA Lyon (France), University of Deusto (Spain), to name but a few.

In recognition of his pedagogic activities in Engineering Education, he has been honoured with awards from the industry and international organizations. I would just like to name two:

- The Silver Booklet from Agilent for his contribution to the development and testing of the equipment produced by the Basic Instrument Division BID Malaysia;

- The title of International Engineering Educator (ING.PAED.IGIP), awarded Honoris Causa by the International Society for Engineering Education for his outstanding activities in educating generations of Engineers.

Doru Ursutiu is also a scientific manager. Apart from being a leader in international associations, he is:

- Executive President of CVTC (the department of his university for coordinating research with external partners);

- Coordinator of the Noise and Fluctuation and Creativity Laboratories;

- Coordinator of the Thin Films and Nano-systems Laboratory;

- Executive President of the CISCO Academy at Transylvania University of Brasov, and also of the Microsoft Academy and NI LabVIEW Academy.

Doru Ursutiu published his scientific research results in 23 ISI papers, 144 BDI papers, 79 papers in Proceedings of International Conferences, 20 books and book chapters with more than 600 citations in ISI, Google Scholar, Research Gate and Scopus.

At this point, let me say some personal words. I know Doru for more than two decades, in which we made a lot of things together and I learned much from him. We are close colleagues and good friends. What makes him so outstanding? Again let me highlight only two examples.

Firstly, Doru Ursutiu is a visionary. Online Engineering, or more generally Online Technologies, are today the core of many fields of Engineering (if not the whole society). In 2004 (the Internet was just 10 years old), a small group of visionaries with Doru Ursutiu started this endeavour. At that time, we didn’t know about IoT. Cloud computing and cloud storage and many other technologies were not invented or known. And in 2005, Doru Ursutiu organized in Brasov the first REV Conference. Since then, every year specialists in the field of online technologies meet at these conferences. Last year in Düsseldorf, this year in Bangalore, next year at the University of Georgia, USA.

Secondly, Doru Ursutiu’s work is inseparably connected with industry. He successfully managed to keep a balance between the academic community and the industrial world, acting with the sucesses during the organization of conferences in attracting large firms in their real support. This vision has led to the creation of many links between companies and universities.

Let me finish at this point. These few lines are not enough to completely present a long scientific life. But I hope that now you all know a little bit better who Doru Ursutiu is.

The 2019 IGIP/ICL-Conference – A Taste of Bangkok

By Axel Zafoschnig, Vice-President of IGIP

From 25 to 28 September 2019, the 48th IGIP International Conference on Engineering Pedagogy and the 22nd International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning took place in Bangkok with the title “The Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Engineering Education”. IGIP President Hanno Hortsch and ICL Director Michael Auer could welcome about 200 interested participants from 39 countries and all five continents. For IGIP and ICL, for King Mongkut University North Bangkok, as well as for the International Association of Online Engineering, the International E-Learning Association and other co-organizers, this conference - with excellent keynote speakers and highly qualified academic presenters - has once again proved to be an extremely successful event.

From the first day on, IGIP EC and IMC Members networked intensely with the organizers from King Mongkut University, with IFEES and IEEE representatives, with academic and industrial partners, and, above all, with all other IGIP members and with the Thai students as young and promising members of the future engineering education community. After a first interesting workshop day and following the opening ceremony on Thursday, September 26, four innovative keynote presentations on the topics of “Entrepreneurship Education for Engineers”, “The Situation of Engineering Education in Thailand,” “The Romanian Example of Affective Education and New Technologies” and “Dassault’s Learning Centers” were given to an attentive audience. One highlight of the first day was certainly the keynote talk by Stefan Vorbach from the Graz University of Technology on “The Importance of Entrepreneurship Education for University Graduates”, in which he talked about the necessity of equipping students with appropriate entrepreneurial skills and a liking for innovation processes.

In the afternoon, the IGIP EC Meeting took place and the next conferences in Tallinn 2020, Dresden 2021 and Vienna 2022 were confirmed as definite future IGIP events. In parallel, the IGIP-ICL parallel sessions dealt with interesting topics of teaching and learning, as well as with accreditation, curriculum development, AI and VR.

The high attendance in all sessions, as well as the constructive feedback that was given by the competent audiences to the presenters and speakers focusing on the latest technological developments and their impact on teaching, has shown that not only a great number of IGIP members from all around the world have enthusiastically contributed to the discussions of the interesting topics that were presented, but has also proved that the global engineering education community took a great interest in getting together with the engineering pedagogy experts of IGIP.

Later that day, the IGIP annual general meeting took place and an impressive number of IGIP members met the IGIP Executive Committee with President Hanno Hortsch (whose Presidency was extended for two more years), General Secretary Michael Auer, Vice-President Axel Zafoschnig, Vice-President Tatiana Polyakova, Teresa Restivo, James Wolfer and István Simonics, there. All IGIP members present were pleased about the work of the IGIP leadership and expressed their hopes that the IGIP Executive Committee would be working as successfully as before in the next four years.

The highlight of the Thursday was, however, the IGIP Awards Ceremony which featured the presenting of the famous IGIP Nikola Tesla Chain to an excellent engineering pedagogy expert, namely to Doru Ursutiu from Romania. He was honored with the golden chain for his outstanding achievements in the field of engineering pedagogy and for his long-term, highly reputed contributions to the ICL and engineering education community. Apart from that, two other IGIP EC members, namely Tatiana Polyakova, IGIP Vice-President IGIP and a long-standing member of IGIP, and Teresa Restivo, our esteemed IGIP Past President, received the 2019 Adolf Melezinek Meritorious Service Award for outstanding achievements and longtime active work for IGIP. Finally, Prof. Stefan Vorbach and Dassault Learning Center Manager Xavier Fouger received the honorary title of “IGIP International Engineering Educator / ING.PAED.IGIP”. After that, the whole ceremony, including two excellent laudatory speeches, was concluded in a highly festive atmosphere.

Thus, the second day has definitely left a sustainable impact on both IGIP, as one of the key players in engineering education, and on the audience that realized how important IGIP is as an academic and pedagogical body for setting trends in engineering education. Interesting follow-up discussions were also carried out during the elegant IGIP Awards and Gala Dinner at the Great Ballroom in the evening. There the hosts also provided magnificent Thai dancers and musical performances.

In the morning of the third conference day, Friday, September 27, IGIP offered a range of five most interesting parallel sessions on the topics of collaborative learning and research in engineering pedagogy, as well as on knowledge management, industry-university partnerships, or new learning technologies, and managed to successfully gather interested audiences again. At the same time, many other IGIP EC and IMC Members chaired sessions and gave presentations so that the conference was a great success for IGIP, particularly, because there were so many interested colleagues and students from KMUTNB present.

The highlight of that day was definitely David Guralnick’s talk on “How technology can improve critical thinking skills”, in which he pointed out that in work and in life we – more than ever – have to make difficult decisions, gather our own information, have to know what to question and what to believe, as well as use what we know to perform tasks. For that purpose, technology can allow us to build engaging learning experiences that help us to facilitate the development of critical thinking skills.

The afternoon sessions once again focused on the cooperation between IGIP and ICL, whereby the parallel sessions provided most interesting information on new teaching methods, on diversity programs, and on learning culture as well as on digital and online engineering education.

In conclusion, IGIP - as the International Society for Engineering Pedagogy - can draw a very positive balance of the 2019 Conference on the topic of the “4thIndustrial Revolution” in Bangkok, because it has not only managed to intensify its international cooperation with new participants dedicated to engineering education, but it has also left a sustainable impact on the global engineering education community through its professional speakers and presenters who provided new and attractive information on innovative trends and tendencies in engineering pedagogy.

IGIP has also presented itself highly successfully as the only engineering pedagogy institution across the globe that offers individual accreditation of engineering educators, namely with the title of ING.PAED. IGIP, the “International Engineering Educator”. Many individual but also institutional members of the engineering education community have approached IGIP because of this program and wanted to become either IGIP individual members, IGIP cooperate members, or IGIP Training Centers. This is why it may rightly be said that the 2019 IGIP/ICL Conference in Bangkok has been another milestone in the development of IGIP as a successful globally active engineering education society.

A Few Facts about the 22nd ICL / 48th IGIP Conference in Bangkok

By Tatiana Polyakova, Vice-President of IGIP

The Conference was hosted by King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok. There were more than 200 participants from 29 countries. On the pre-conference day, 5 workshops were organized by representatives of 5 countries: Cyprus, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and the USA. Prominent educators from Austria, Thailand, Romania and France made plenary presentations that attracted everybody’s attention.

At the parallel sections, the leading position belongs to Thailand (42), Russia (41) and Austria (12). Then come Senegal, Ecuador, the USA, Sri Lanka, Japan, Hungary, Greece, Malaysia, Mexico, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Israel, Chile, India, China, Romania, Germany, Spain, Kazakhstan, Canada, Korea, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan and France.

There were 13 poster presentations, made by Russia (10), Japan (2) and Spain (1).

ICL’19 Best Paper Award and “Outstanding Contributions” at TaT’19

Talking about Teaching (TaT’xx), has been an IGIP Special Session on Best Practices in Engineering Education, within the Annual IGIP and ICL Conferences, since 2011, creating its own goals and works acceptance criteria.

Since 2016, it has been naturally associated with the IGIP Working Group, Teaching Best practices. A few groups of authors have been helping to carry on this SS by staying with it and submitting works of high standard. During ICL 2019, TaT’19 Chairs were surprised when the ICL’19 Best paper was announced to be the work “Students Engagement through Community Building: Making the Case for a Team-based Approach to Learning Physics,” authored by Teresa Larkin, from American University, US, accepted to presentation to TaT’19. This result clearly recognizes the standard that TaT’19 organizers have been trying to support.

Meanwhile, During TaT’19 Special Session, two Meritorious Service Awards for the “Outstanding Contributions” to the Special Track TaT’19 have been also attributed to the work authored by Teresa Larkin as well as to the work of James Wolfer “An Updated Model Supercomputer for Parallel Computing Pedagogy”, reinforcing every year a constant work quality.

We hope to continue to work for contributing with high quality papers for both Annual Conferences of IGIP and of ICL.

Professor Doru Ursutiu and Music

By Teresa Restivo, Past President of IGIP

In addition to what has been said in this Newsletter about Doru, I would like to emphasize another feature - his relation with music.

Doru has been promoting music therapy dissemination in our community; this is the inclusion of engineering studies using music in therapy processes. The most well know application of music therapy is in relaxation. Nevertheless, its effects are well known on physical, emotional, physiological and spiritual perspectives. Presently, the use of online embedded systems is frequent in health areas. Therefore, associating them to adequate online music resources became also possible, as well as recording the possible relevant effects.

Additionally, Doru also has been a kind of ambassador for his University of Brasov helping to promote young musical talents. In a friendly cooperation, Doru brought a flavour of his Faculty of Music as an offer to the expat’19 academic community.

The expat’19 Conference, June 2019, in Madeira Island, Portugal, presented to its participants a Piano Concert provided by the Transylvania University of Brasov. The 23-year old pianist Botond Szöcs, a student at the Faculty of Music of Transylvania University of Brasov under the guidance of Professor Stela Drăgulin, offered a wonderful “Chopin Evening” interpreting Ballade No.1 in G Minor, Op.23, Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op.38, and 24 Preludes Op. 28, at the Salão Nobre do Conservatório - Escola das Artes da Madeira.

This was a rich cultural event for the engineering community at the Conference, an unforgettable evening in Madeira.

The Fabric of Course Planning

By Susan Zvacek, Ph.D., Susan@SMZteaching.com

Most of us, if asked, would agree that we’d like our students to learn how to solve problems, apply theoretical understanding to real-world challenges, and evaluate dubious claims with a skeptic’s lens.  However, if we then examined our course syllabi with those goals in mind, it may be difficult to see when and how our courses facilitate such types of learning. And, if that isn’t depressing enough, looking for evidence of how our day-to-day teaching behaviors support those lofty aspirations can be an exercise in frustration.  Planning our course design, resources, and teaching to support all of the educational goals we have for our students is known as alignment.

The components of a course can be visualized as a series of threads in varying colors.  These threads can end up tied in knots, broken off, and hopelessly tangled… or, if they are aligned effectively, can become a functional, attractive fabric.  To continue this analogy, let’s assume that each learning outcome is a thread that continues throughout the duration of the course.  If one of my unit objectives is to predict the chance of a landslide on a given slope (problem solving), then there must be learning activities, assignments, readings, and one or more assessments that are compatible with students demonstrating mastery of this competency.  So, maybe I’ll choose an online simulation as the learning activity, incorporate feedback from peers and myself, select a relevant textbook chapter with supporting information, and require students to calculate the landslide likelihood, resulting in a collection of worked examples.  Any activities (or resources, assessments, etc.) that don’t align with the objectives can be eliminated.

Here’s a concise way to look at alignment:

1.       What should students be able to do?  (“Predict landslides”, for this example.)

2.       What activities should they engage in that will result in this predicting ability?

3.       What kind of feedback will help to improve their predicting ability?

4.       What resources do they need to support those learning activities?

5.       How will you know if they’ve developed the ability to predict landslides?

6.       What evidence (products) will be generated that are evidence of that ability?

Again, anything extra that doesn’t point students toward the goal (predicting landslides) can be eliminated.  Conversely, if there are course elements that don’t seem to have a “match” in your list of outcomes but you remain convinced of their importance, perhaps the outcomes themselves should be revisited.

In case this seems like a lot of work, be assured that the up-front labor can pay off in the long-term and result in benefits worth the effort.  In addition, although the most important reason to align your course components is to see improved learning outcomes, you may also find that this process saves time when choosing textbooks or other resources, scoring students assignments, or answering student questions about course activities, for example.

Ultimately, an intentionally-designed fabric is more functional and beautiful than a random tangle of threads and so it goes for well-aligned courses.  If your course threads resemble my chaotic sewing box, it may be time for a change.  Identify the colors for your own course tapestry and weave a purposeful series of learning experiences to ensure that the most important goals aren’t loose threads.

About teaching scientific writing in Engineering Education – Priority to the reader

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

In my experience as a teacher of Engineering, I have often been confronted with the following students’ remark: “Dear professor, I am learning Engineering, not literature, so please let me focus on the quality of my project, rather than wasting time on scientific writing perfectionism”. In my view, this is a dangerous approach!

In fact, although a good text does not ensure scientific quality of the work it is intended to report, a bad write-up can completely spoil high quality scientific work.

It is therefore paramount to draw students’ attention to the importance of producing texts that reflect the quality of the reported content. For that purpose, engineering education should include a solid component directly addressing scientific writing. Here are some examples of recommendations aiming to help students improve the quality of their written texts.

Scientific writing is, above all, a communication process. The five main agents of this process are: (i) the message (content to communicate); (ii) the message sender (the text’s author); (iii) the message receiver (the reader); (iv) the propagation channel (physical support of the message transfer – such as a sheet of paper, or a computer file); and (v) the communication tool (instrument used to formulate the message – scientific writing, in the present case).

Communication can be hampered – or even fail! – because of conditioning circumstances (either physical or psychological). Take the following situation. Characters A and B are separated by a high, thick wall. A asks B: “how can I get to the other side of the wall?” B replies: “Why so? You are already on the other side of the wall!”. This simple case illustrates the importance of adjusting the references between sender and receiver: if the author ignores the reader’s point of view, communication will never work!

Therefore, a rule of thumb has to be strictly observed: absolute priority must be given to the reader. In other words, put yourself in their place. This implies respect for the reader’s time, intelligence and interest.

·      The reader’s time is respected by making the text as brief, clear and concise as possible. The most important information must be highlighted (headings and subheadings are useful). Ask yourself what you wish the reader to know or do, as a result of reading your text. Any additional information/justification that is not strictly necessary to follow the main argument should be deleted or transferred from the body text to “complements” (annexes, links, notes or suchlike).

·       The reader’s intelligence (and culture) is respected by ensuring your argument matches the way the reader thinks (and feels). Like in a relay race (the baton must be passed on), each argument stems from the previous one and legitimizes the next. Make your text simple and digestible for a wide range of people. Specialized nomenclature should only be used when indispensable, explaining the meaning of each new term when using it for the first time (the same applies to acronyms).

·       The reader’s interest is respected if you focus on what they need or wish to know or do, after reading your text.

Emotional reading could also be considered, using illustrations from daily life: the reader identifies with, therefore adheres to the text. Abstract and arid theory may be precious, but can put the reader off. Indifference is exactly what you wish to avoid! Finally, the power of visual aids (images, diagrams, pie charts, bar graphics, etc.) should be fully exploited. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words” (and numbers, I would add). If possible, use a graph, rather than a table.

Fulfilling this wide range of requirements may seem challenging. Sometimes, a blank page can even be daunting. In fact, the aptly named writer’s block may catch the best of you unawares. I shall address this important topic in the near future.

International Accreditation of Engineering Programs - The challenge in Latin America and the Caribbean

By José Carlos Quadrado, Chair, LACCEI International Standing Committee on International Accreditation

Higher education institutions (HEIs) develop academic programs with the purpose of training competitive professionals that meet the demands of the society and the labour market. In this academic work, HEIs must comply with quality assurance standards, that are evaluated through self-assessment processes, which facilitates the identification of strengths and aspects to be reviewed in order to establish continuous improvement actions.

The international accreditation of a higher-level engineering program is the public recognition that an internationally recognized accrediting organization grants, in the sense that it meets certain quality criteria and parameters. It also means that the program has social relevance. The mechanisms envisaged to ensure the quality of education are the diagnostic evaluation leading to the registration of the program and international accreditation.

The accreditation carried out by internationally recognized engineering accrediting organizations in the engineering domain is the result of a process, whose purpose is to publicly and formally recognize that the engineering education program meets quality criteria and also encourages continuous improvement through the recommendations that the accrediting organization makes after the evaluation.

The international engineering accreditation done with seriousness, in addition, has a validity of not less than three years and not more than six years; then, the programs are re-evaluated. This new evaluation takes into account the recommendations made during the previous process, in order to verify an authentic and pertinent continuous improvement of the educational program.

International accreditation of engineering programs is advantageous for different stakeholders of engineering education programs, that is, for students, graduates, teachers, employers, and Higher Education Institutions.

For HEIs, the international accreditation of their engineering programs allows to increase social recognition and their presence as institutions of academic prestige, as well as to contribute to the formation of satisfied graduates at their academic level and with greater security to face the challenges of exercising an increasingly global engineering profession. International accreditation facilitates, and in some situations is critical in leading to the conclusion of cooperation agreements with other institutions of national and international higher education, positioning HEIs on an equal foot or even at an advantage when compared with others in the world, with the consequent benefits for the academic institution and its students

 

The support on the international accreditation of LACCEI in the region

 

For years, LACCEI has been concerned with supporting Higher Education institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean on the international accreditation process. That is why LACCEI assumed from the first hour to have workshops available to the Higher Education Institutions for assisting in the international accreditation process.

There are only two global international accreditation agreements in engineering in the world, the Washington Accord and the ENAEE Accord. The first is supervised by the International Engineering Agency (IEA) and the second by the European Network for Accreditation in Engineering Education (ENAEE) that protects the EUR-ACE seal.

These agreements are followed by several international accreditation agencies: at the moment there are more than thirty agencies who are admitted to grant international accreditation. Of these, only 4 agencies meet the criteria of the two agreements: AEER - Association for Engineering Education of Russia; EC - Engineering Council, UK; EI - Engineers Ireland; MÜDEK - Association for Evaluation and Accreditation of Engineering Programs, Turkey.

Aware of this fact, LACCEI began to have international accreditation training in all its events. Be that of the peer friends’ development, the ABET seal and the EUR-ACE seal. The latter does so in an agreement with AEER for the above-mentioned reason.

The EUR-ACE accreditation training focuses on preparing quality accreditation experts for engineering careers. Participants successfully concluding this workshop are ready to prepare the international accreditation of courses at the university (including but not limited to the EUR-ACE certificate). Participants who successfully complete all tasks during the training will receive a certificate and the title of Expert Candidate from one of the European accreditation agencies. After the candidates participate in an audit process for accreditation (accreditation visit to a university as observers participating in the Evaluation Committee), they become active experts and will be part of the database of European agencies that will be required for international accreditation processes.

This training is offered by certified experts, as evaluators and trainers, in the Spanish language and in the English language.

This workshop is conducted in the form of training offered to the faculty and managers of engineering education programs, who are interested in developing and updating the learning outcomes of corresponding programs, namely to scholars of higher education institutions (professors, associate professors, heads of research and academic departments) responsible for the contents and organizational aspects of academic processes, as well as to those who carry out the work and supervise the accreditation process in programs in the areas of engineering and technology.

The said workshop is based on the European Accreditation of Engineering Standards (EUR-ACE) and designed to be an experience of active and creative work. The involvement of each one of the participants contributing with their experiences, arguments and commitment is fundamental for the success of the workshop. The added experiences, the conceptual elements, the reflection and the group discussions help to generate new points of view and better solutions than those existing at the time of initiation. The whole time of the workshop is divided into several sessions, with different types of work.

LACCEI opted for this training as the basis of international accreditation because it allows the critical mass of experts in Latin American countries to be raised and thus lead to the creation / strengthening of the agencies of the countries of the region and to allow them to acquire the same statute of the 30+ full international agencies that exist in the world. It is worth noting that among these, only one Latin American agency participates as a full member: the accreditation agency of Peru, ICACIT.

It should be mentioned that LACCEI is ready to support the efforts of all the Latin American HEIs to take on the challenge of international accreditation, and is also available to train international experts on international engineering accreditation that can help develop accreditation agencies in the Latin American space.

I would like to finish by challenging the colleagues interested in actively participating and cooperating with this process of increased skills development, which the accreditation of engineering programs brings to the Latin American region, to contact me.

The Chilean National Section of IGIP

By Diego Gormaz Lobos, Executive Director of CIEI

The cooperation agreements established between IGIP and the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Talca (Universidad de Talca, Chile), were the base for the formation of the Chilean National Section of IGIP and for the recent creation of the International Center for Engineering Education (www.ciei.utalca.cl). The Center is the first of this type in Chile, with the specific objective of strengthening educational processes within the Faculty of Engineering. The formalization of the National Section was carried out on September 3, 2019 at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Talca and was subsequently presented during the annual IGIP Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, on September 25.

The IGIP Section is formed with the participation of Dr. Ing. Claudio Tenreiro Leiva as President (Vice-Chancellor), Dr. Ing. Javier Muñoz Vidal (Dean, Faculty of Engineering) and Dr. Phil. Diego Gormaz Lobos (CIEI Executive Director). The main tasks of the IGIP National Section are to ensure the quality of the training offer for teachers of engineering faculties based on the IGIP curriculum, in particular for quality management system for awarding the International Engineering Educator title on the basis of the IGIP Prototype Curriculum, as well as the organization of IGIP regional conferences and workshops that seek to enhance educational processes within these areas.

The University of Talca has been working together with TU Dresden since 2015 in the project "Engineering Pedagogy at Chilean Universities", funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), seeking to detect pedagogical, methodological and didactic needs of the academic staff in order to improve the teaching and learning processes in Engineering. With survey results and based on the IGIP Curriculum of TU Dresden, a training program was generated aimed at improving the pedagogical competencies of the academic staff of the Faculties of Engineering of three Chilean higher education institutions (Universidad de Talca, Universidad de Magallanes and Universidad Autónoma). With this experience and the joint work with two more Chilean universities (Universidad de La Frontera and Universidad del BíoBío) in the project "Nueva Ingeniería 2030" (New Engineering 2030), financially supported by CORFO (Chilean Government), the guidelines were laid out for the current activity of University of Talca in the field of Engineering Education.

REV 2020 “Cross Reality and Data Science in Engineering” - February 26-28, Univ. of Georgia, Athens (GA), USA

By Dominik May, University of Georgia

The International Conference on Remote Engineering and Virtual Instrumentation (REV) is the annual conference of the International Association of Online Engineering (IAOE) together with the Global Online Laboratory Consortium (GOLC).

REV2020 is the 17th in a series of annual events concerning the area of Online Engineering, Cyber-physical Systems and Internet of Things, including Remote Engineering & Virtual Instrumentation. For REV2020 the special focus lies on “Cross Reality and Data Science”.

In a globally connected world, the interest in online collaboration, teleworking, remote services and other digital working environments is rapidly increasing. In response to that, the general objective of this conference is to contribute and discuss fundamentals, applications and experiences in the field of Online and Remote Engineering, Virtual Instrumentation and other related new technologies.

REV also offers a set of interesting Special Sessions:

·         ‘Biomedical Engineering and Computing’ (BiomEC’20)

·         ‘e-Engineering courses - Where and when students need’ (e-Eng’20)

·         ‘Learning Objectives and Learning Analytics’ (LOLA’20)

·         ‘IEEE Std. 1876 - 2019 on Networked Smart Learning Objects for Online Laboratories – Laboratory Design and Implementations, Use Cases and Security Concerns’ (NSLOOL’20)

·         ‘Augmented and Virtual Reality in Engineering Education’ (AVR-ENED’20)

Please consult the homepage for further information as well as important dates and contribute!

EDUCON 2020, April 28-30, Porto, Portugal – “Engineering Education for the Future in a Multicultural and Smart World”

By Gustavo Alves, ISEP, Porto, Portugal

IEEE EDUCON 2020 will be held in April 28-30 at the Polytechnic of Porto - School of Engineering, Porto, Portugal, in a joint organization of University of Coimbra, University of Porto and Polytechnic of Porto.

Several pre-conference workshops will take place on April 27 and the following 7 Special Sessions have been accepted to be held during the conference:

      -  Games in Engineering Education (GinEE’20)

      -  Remote and Pocket Labs (RPL2020)

      -  Internet of Things Education (IoT-Edu’20)

-  Inclusion and Diversity in Engineering Education (IDEE’20)

- Online Laboratory Education 2020: Considerations of Methods, Tools, Results, and Insights in How (Not) to Improve Lab Work in Higher Engineering Education (OLA2020)

- Engineering Resources on the Web: Open Educational Resources and Courses (EngWeb’20)

- Active Learning Environments: Preparing Future Engineers for the 21st Century Workplace (ALEPFECW’20).

The initial submission phase was very successfully with a significant number of abstracts and proposals for Special Sessions, Panels and Workshops. For example, in the first phase 350 abstracts of about 500 submissions were accepted.

The deadline for submission of complete papers for the main conference (accepted abstracts), Special Sessions, Work in Progress and Student Posters is December 15, 2019.

CISPEE 2020, July 1-3, Lisbon, Portugal

By Gustavo Alves, President of SPEE

The 4th International Conference of the Portuguese Society for Engineering Education (CISPEE2020) is a unique opportunity for attending and being involved in the ultimate research on Shaping Engineering Education for the 21st Century.

IGIP Workshop on “Methodologies to Build Conceptual Questions for Assessing Important Misconceptions in Engineering Related Areas”

By Teresa Restivo, Past President of IGIP

Within the ICL/IGIP Conference, this Workshop, organized by Teresa Restivo and Diana Urbano, aimed to provide an overview on how to construct meaningful questions for evaluating conceptual knowledge in engineering related areas, namely of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) type.

A short list of guidelines was presented for writing good quality MCQs and for monitoring item quality. Then, the participants were deeply engaged in the elaboration and discussion of MCQs based on very simple and familiar concepts.

IX International-Regional Conference of IGIP on Engineering Pedagogy, October 11-12, 2019, Moscow, Russia

By Tiia Rüütmann, President of IGIP IMC