IGIP Newsletter - Issue 03 - 2017

25th September 2017

IGIP Newsletter - Issue 03 - 2017

Editor Column

By José Marques

The third issue of the IGIP Newsletter continues its mission to report on a wide range of relevant activities and important initiatives with impact in the field of Engineering Education. In addition to reporting on recent or upcoming conferences and research developments, this issue offers a number of very interesting contributions dealing with diverse angles of Engineering Education.

Executive Board Column

By Teresa Restivo, President of IGIP

My brief term as President-Elect has been focused on the promotion of Society tools to help accomplish the IGIP mission defined in its bylaws. With this in mind, IGIP has been committed to Conference Organisation and to Technical Support to Conferences and/or Special Tracks and/or Round /Discussion Tables in different international events, all over the world, in delivering talks or keynotes, in participating in panels, and devoting efforts in all these activities to topics such as engineering education, engineering studies, the use of emerging technologies in engineering education, lifelong learning, teacher development,..., by considering not only formal but also non-formal and informal engineering education initiatives. In the internal front, IGIP reformulated its working groups (WG), creating one task force and three WGs, and has started its Newsletter for encouraging members to increase internal cooperation. The Task Force Engineering Education multilingual ontology and the WGs Teaching best practices, Information technologies in engineering education and Games in engineering are natural “clusters” of IGIP members who have been working together, in general, for more than 5 years organizing/participating regularly in Special Tracks, such as Talking about Teaching (TaT’xx), IT in Engineering Pedagogy (ITEP’xx) and Game Based Learning, within events like EDUCON, IGIP Annual Conferences, ICL, among many others. This diverse and longlasting cooperation should guarantee continuity and contribute to encourage other members to create new initiatives in the future. My thanks go to Michael Auer for all the support, to Charles Bonnassieux of Dassault Systèmes, to Rachel Schroeder of Airbus and to Alex Tarchini of Mathworks for the support of their Institutions, to Danilo for his constant help and for leaving us the new platform with fantastic facilities to report IGIP activities, to Matthias Utesch for accepting to be iJEP editor and to José Marques as iJEP associated editor and also as dedicated editor of the IGIP Newsletter, to Susan Zvacek for her invaluable contribution to the “Talking about Teaching“ column, to Axel Zafoschnig for his strong support of our Newsletter, to Tiia Rüütmann for her fantastic work in the promotion of IGIP tradition in continuing the unique task for the international recognition of teacher development, to all IGIP members and specially to those who assisted the IGIP newsletter in diverse ways: Alberto Cardoso, Anna Friesel, Axel Zafoschnig, Christos Douligeris, Fraunhofer Portugal, Graça Rasteiro, Gustavo Alves, James Wolfer, Matthias Utesch, Paulo Menezes, Rachel Schroeder, Susan Zvacek, Tatiana Polyakova, Teresa Larkin and Tiia Rüütmann. As a final remark, I would like to welcome a new IGIP Institutional Member, the University of Kragujevac in Serbia. One last thanks goes to Hans-Juergen Hoyer, SG of IFEES, for sharing content from the IFEES-GDEC Bulletin with the IGIP Newsletter.

Executive Board Column

By Axel Zafoschnig, Vice President of IGIP

As the Vice President of IGIP and as one of the many Austrian HTL-IGIP members, I am already particularly thrilled by the thought of meeting so many colleagues from the engineering education community again at the 46th IGIP International Conference on Engineering Pedagogy in Budapest from 26th to 29th September 2017. As an Austrian, I am also very pleased by the fact that there is going to be a special session on “Entrepreneurship in Engineering Education (EiEE)” that will be offered by the organising team of Jürgen Jantschgi, Wolfgang Pachatz and Johann Persoglia from the Austrian HTL-Division in the Ministry of Education. I can highly recommend to attend this special session to all participants, because it features very competent speakers from Austrian universities and technical colleges who will explicitly deal with topics like “Lecturing Entrepreneurship at Graz University of Technology - the case of ‘Gründungsgarage’”, “From Engineer to Entrepreneur – Introducing the Entrepreneurial Campus at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences”, “Educational Programs for Fostering the Entrepreneurial Skills and Mind-set”, “Interactive Learning Tools and Junior Companies”, “Management Simulations for Comprehensive Learning of Business Strategies”, and many practical examples of Entrepreneurship Education in Austria. All colleagues who will attend the special session will certainly receive first-class information on best-practice examples of Entrepreneurship Education in Engineering and will be able to network with partners who have already established well-working models of this important new field of engineering education. In addition, I will also like to draw the attention of our readers and of the IGIP community to a new initiative for awarding the qualification title “Engineer” based on the submission of learning outcomes at NQF-EQF level 6 in Austria. The following article “The validation of non-formal and informal engineering competences in Austria” refers to the implementation of the new Austrian “Law on the Engineering Profession 2017”, which regulates the status of HTL-graduates after an adequate work practice. This article was written by Wolfgang Scharl, the Head of the VET Technical Colleges in the Austrian Ministry and it very professionally summarises the current situation of validating engineering competences in Austria. In conclusion, I would like to wish you all a successful and enriching conference in Budapest. I would like to once again remind you to also attend a special session of “Entrepreneurship Education in Engineering”, and I would like you to take a look at how Austria has tackled the challenge of combining all the country’s engineering education programs within a national strategy for the validation of non-formal and informal learning, as well as of awarding the title “Engineer”.

Message from the IGIP International Monitoring Committee

By Tiia Rüütmann (ING.PAED.IGIP), President of IGIP IMC

In the first half of 2017, IGIP IMC received 31 applications - 3 for accreditation as IGIP training centres and 29 applications for ING.PAED.IGIP qualification. All 3 applications for accreditation as IGIP training centres have been approved: Ukrainian Engineering Pedagogies Academy (Ukraine), Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (Portugal), Estonian Centre for Engineering Pedagogy at Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), all applications met IGIP requirements. ING.PAED.IGIP applications came from Russia (2), Ukraine (19), and Slovakia (8). All applications have been approved. Members of IGIP IMC reviewed applications online, in Conftool environment. For every application, at least two reviewers were assigned. I would like to thank all the members of IGIP IMC: Dr Dana Dobrovská (Czech Technical University Prague Masaryk Institute of Advanced Studies, Czech Republic), Dr Ivana Simonova (University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic), Dr Alexander Soloviev (MADI, Russia), Dr Claudio da Rocha Brito (Council of Researches in Education and Sciences – COPEC, Brazil), Hants Kipper (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia), Dr José Couto Marques (Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Portugal), and Dr Ágnes Tóth (Óbudai Egyetem Tmpk, Hungary) for their entire commitment, fruitful cooperation and thorough contribution to the work of IGIP IMC. It was a great honour to work with these highly professional colleagues.

iJEP – IGIP’s international online forum

By Matthias C. Utesch, José Couto Marques and Sebastian Schreiter

iJEP, the International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy, is an independent, peer-reviewed online journal. It serves as IGIP´s international forum. Teachers, educators and researchers as well as schools and institutions are invited to discuss their research, experiences, ideas and perspectives in the field of engineering pedagogy at a worldwide level.

In 2017 we already received about 40 submissions and published two issues, Vol 7 No 1&2, comprising 21 accepted papers. The third 2017 issue is scheduled for September, the fourth for November.

For six years, Dr. Eleonore Lickl, highly esteemed member of the IGIP Executive Committee, acted as editor-in-chief for iJEP. We all thank her for the excellent work and great personal support! Now it is up to us, Matthias C. Utesch and José Couto Marques to be responsible for the editing process.

The new editor-in-chief, Matthias C. Utesch, is with the upper vocational school ‘Staatliche Fachober- und Berufsoberschule Technik’ Munich and the ‘Technical University of Munich, Chair for Information Systems’ (e-mail: utesch@igip.org). Matthias is a member of the Executive Committee of IGIP. Matthias was a member of the Core Advisory Board of the EU Sixth Framework Programme/iclass. The main interests include IT-based learning, games engineering, and in particular the enhancement of the study skills at the interface between school and university.

The associate editor-in-chief, José Couto Marques, is with the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (jmarques@fe.up.pt). José is a member of the International Monitoring Committee of IGIP. He is also the co-editor of Soils and Rocks, an international journal jointly published by the Brazilian and Portuguese Geotechnical Societies. His main interests outside engineering and engineering education are languages, yoga and sport.

Sebastian Schreiter (ssr@online-engineering.org) works as a free-lancer and is the technical contact for iJEP. He does the layout of all published articles, most of the user support, and is responsible for the corporate layout not only for iJEP, but also for all other journals at http://online-journals.org, for the IGIP and IAOE websites and various conferences (ICL, IMCL, REV, ICBL, EDUCON, TALE).

The editors-in-chief are supported by iJEP´s editorial board. iJEP expects its honoured members to do at least two reviews a year and extensively promote submissions.

Speaking about reviewing and editing, three things are worthwhile emphasizing: the ‘new iJEP template’, ‘how to describe the state-of-the-art and deduce research questions’ and iJEP´s Review-to-Publish policy.

• New Year – New Template! Please note that the iJEP Journal uses a new template from January 2017 on. It may be subject to modification, therefore, authors are kindly asked to download it each time when formatting a paper for submission: http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-jep/about/submissions#authorGuidelines.

• State-of-the-art - research questions! The iJEP Journal serves as an international forum dedicated to engineering education at a worldwide level. Therefore, we kindly suggest that authors consider describing the state-of-the-art not only based on references of specific regions but based on references of scientific research done at a worldwide level. iJEP´s reviewers require a scientific approach for the selection of appropriate references which describe the state-of-the-art. Based on thoroughly evaluating the pros and cons of this state-of-the-art, we kindly recommend to phrase the research questions clearly and explicitly e.g. at the end of the section ‘Introduction’, so that one may refer to them in the ‘Results’ and ‘Conclusion’ sections.

• Please note: iJEP applies a "review-to-publish" policy – the author must participate in the reviewing process. By submitting a paper the author agrees to be a reviewer.

 We look forward to good cooperation with the authors and iJEP committees and expect many excellent submissions and lively discussions on engineering pedagogy.

The validation of non-formal and informal engineering competences in Austria

By Dipl. Ing. Wolfgang Scharl, Federal Ministry of Education, Austria

National and European context

In Austria, the training of engineers is based on three pillars. Apart from the Universities and the Universities of Applied Sciences, there are the Higher Technical Colleges (Upper-level Secondary Engineering Colleges = Höhere technische Lehranstalten, HTL), which, in their 5-year courses and in more than 4.000 hours, provide to their graduates both, a general qualification for university entrance and a qualified theoretical and practical training in engineering. This high-level engineering education enjoys great recognition in the world of industry and in employment. The status of HTL graduates is at least equivalent to that of persons with an academic qualification at bachelor level [1]. In 2015, 10.829 prospective engineers graduated from the Austrian Technical Colleges, compared with 5.540 from the Austrian Universities and 4.667 from the Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences [2]. Thus, the significance of this engineering education is accordingly high for the Austrian economy – the Austrian industry even identifies this form of engineering education as “an important asset for Austria as an industrial location” [3].

The fact that this specifically Austrian engineering education programme is offered in the Secondary Vocational Education and Training Colleges and is followed by a professional work practice turns the “HTL Engineer” into an Austrian qualification peculiarity that is difficult to depict and grasp in Europe. Particularly within the framework of international invitations to tender, in which the qualification level of a company’s employees must be mentioned, Austrian enterprises are often at a disadvantage in international competition through the structural differences of the Austrian educational attainment levels. 

According to the Austrian national strategy for the validation of non-formal and informal learning (NFIL), the recommendations of the European Council concerning the validation of non-formal and informal learning [4] were adopted and defined in the Law on the Engineering Profession 2017 [5] in the form of a qualification process for engineers with the help of which the Austrian title “Engineer” can be communicated better and can become comparable at European level. This qualification process does, however, not affect the legal responsibilities and competences of the institutions that have so far been involved in the validation process. Therefore, this qualification process does not automatically lead to the same formal and academic qualifications (e.g. grant access to further continuing education programmes or professional career pathways, such as master programmes, in particular).

Certification procedure

The professional classification of the “Engineer” has been designed as a qualification on NQF/EQF-level 6. This qualification level is described in such a way that it is to be seen as independent of structural elements, such as the place of learning (university versus school/college) or the duration of learning, and it is exclusively based on learning outcomes, e.g. the knowledge, skills and competences which the graduates have acquired after completing their education and which they must also give evidence of. This procedure shall show that the Austrian engineer - through his/her technical education and training and through his/her work practice over several years - is the equivalent of a person who has competed a technical university education at bachelor level regarding the requirements of the economy and the labour market in another country.

The certification procedure itself consists of two parts:

The first part is a written application in which it must be proved that all formal requirements - like the necessary educational attainment levels and the work practice years - have been fulfilled, as well as a comprehensive description of activities in the job including all the evidence that confirms the professional practice, which also serves as the basis for the second part of the certification procedure. There, the applicants shall describe in more detail the activities listed and shall, above all, give examples of concrete projects in which they participated competently or which they even led or managed. In these descriptions of the activities carried out in their jobs, the applicants shall demonstrate and explain plausibly, by means of examples from their concrete work, that they have carried out genuine engineering activities and that those activities are characterised by all the features that are defined as requirements for the acquisition of such a qualification. 

The second part is an expert interview between the applicant and the certification commission which is made up of two technical experts. In the course of this expert engineering discussion, the applicants have the chance to give more deepening and complementing information on their professional practice. At the same time, the members of the certification commission shall ask the applicants questions about the description of their activities, discuss those, and exchange with them ideas and experiences from their own work practice. It is the main aim of this expert interview to find out whether all criteria for the acquisition of the engineering qualification have been fulfilled. A common positive result of such a certification must be achieved by both members of the commission unanimously and must be recorded in writing.

Certification Boards

Certification Boards are appointed by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and must fulfil certain personal and organisational requirements laid down by the law, as well as have an internal system of quality assurance. In the fields of agriculture and forestry, the certification will be carried out by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, in cooperation with the University College for Agrarian and Environmental Pedagogy.

Certification commission

The certification commission consists of two professional experts from the respective technical strand of education who also possess a professional qualification as an engineer themselves or have completed a technical study program in tertiary education. One member of the certification commission must come from a study discipline that is related to the professional practice and the work experience of the applicants, the second member of the commission must come from among the teaching staff at a related Higher Technical College, a University of Applied Sciences or a University. In addition, the two commission members must be qualified to assess the correctness of the submitted documentation of the attested non-formally and informally acquired knowledge, skills and competences, in particular with the help of reference projects which the applicant was involved in during his/her professional practice. In this connection, it is the task of the Certification Boards to provide appropriate training for the members of the certification commission.


The awarding of the qualification title “Engineer” is based on the submission of learning outcomes at NQF/EQF level 6 which the applicant has acquired through his/her work-practice activities in specific areas of engineering work, following the completion of a Higher Technical College or a comparable formal education. These specific engineering learning outcomes have been defined by a team of experts from the Trade and Industrial Associations, the Universities, the Universities of Applied Sciences and the Higher Technical Colleges under the coordination of the Institute for Research and Development in Vocational Education and Training (ibw) and were set in accordance with a Ministry Regulation [6].

Quality assurance

In order to assure the quality of the awarding process of the professional education title “Engineer” within the whole quality management system and in the individual Certification Boards, an external scientific monitoring process shall be implemented. Within this framework, the Certification Boards will be monitored with regard to the legal requirements, their quality and their validity, as well with reference to their impact on the economy and the labour market. The results and conclusions represent a suitable basis for the future development of the system and are going to be published on the websites of the ministries involved.

Contact persons

Mag. Alexander Hölbl, LL.M., Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy

Dipl. Ing. Wolfgang Scharl, Federal Ministry of Education


[1] F. Schneeberger Arthur, Petanovitsch Alexander et alii, Mittelfristige Perspektiven der HTL (Medium-term prospects of the Engineering Colleges in Austria) ibw-Schriftenreihe no. 138, Vienna, May 2008

[2] Austrian qualifications – Statistics Office Austria, 2017-01-04 https://www.statistik.at/web_de/statistiken/menschen_und_gesellschaft/bildung_und_kultur/formales_bildungswesen/bildungsabschluesse/index.html

[3] The best education for Austria’s future (HTL), Association of Austrian industrialists, https://www.iv-net.at/de/archiv/beste-bildung-fur-osterreichs-zukunft-htl , 2017-01-04

[4] COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning 2012/C 398/01

[5]Federal law on the generic title of the qualification “Engineer” (Law on the Engineering Profession 2017 – IngG 2017)

[6] Regulation of the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, determining (according to § 3 of the Austrian Law on the Engineering Profession 2017) the technical and trade educational strands as well as the activities which are to be acknowledged as work practice activities in the technical sector.

IGIP Working Group “Information Technologies in Engineering Education”

By Maria Teresa Restivo and James Wolfer

The WG “IT in EE” will disseminate its activities among IGIP members by organizing discussion panels, workshops and demonstration sessions within seminars and conferences with IGIP association. Every two years, the WG will collect examples of work presented in these organized activities, and use them as basis for one iJEP section or Issue. Sample topics of interest for the next two years include: Online Experimentation and Supporting Technologies; M2M and IoT; Sensor Networks; Human-Machine Interaction in the Training Processes; Sensory Feedback Devices; Augmented and Virtual Reality; Educational, Industrial and Health Applications; as well as Mobile Applications for Online Experimentation. Applications should be oriented to engineering areas like mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical, mechatronics, metrology, as well as to closely related areas, such as computer science, life sciences, and mathematics, all focused on improving learning scenarios either in a variety of educational formats, formal and informal, local and distant. The assessment of the effectiveness of various information technology resource uses in education is also of importance". Group Members - Maria Teresa Restivo (leader), James Wolfer (co-leader), Alberto Cardoso, Andreas Pester, Diana Urbano, Gustavo Alves, Radojka Krneta.

IGIP Working Group “Teaching Best Practices”

By Susan Zvacek and Tiia Rüütmann

The IGIP Working Group “Teaching Best Practices“ will disseminate its activities among IGIP members through the organization of discussion panels, workshops and “take-away” sessions within seminars and conferences with IGIP association. Every two years the WG will collect examples of work presented in these organized activities, and use them to form the basis for one iJEP section or one iJEP Issue. Sample topics of interest for the next two years include (but are not limited to): Shaping a deeper understanding of the contemporary teaching and learning process of teaching engineering and STEM; Philosophy and basic principles of Engineering Pedagogy Science for effective teaching STEM; Rethinking and analysis of effective teaching STEM; Supporting students’ more effective and active learning; Designing clear goals and learning outcomes for higher level thinking; Taking account of students’ differences and prerequisites; Selecting contemporary teaching methodology, models and strategies for effective teaching STEM; Selecting suitable assessment and feedback methods; Reflection on teaching and learning, designing teaching portfolio; Engineering education outside the classroom; Integrated, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching; Problem-based and project-based learning; Group work, including team-based, collaborative and cooperative learning. The target group of the WG is considered to consist of STEM educators of high schools, colleges and universities and engineering educators interested in improving their teaching. Applications should be oriented to STEM areas, including areas such as life sciences, mathematics and computer science, and engineering areas like mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical, mechatronics, metrology etc, all focused on improving teaching and learning scenarios either in a variety of educational formats, formal and informal (including non-formal), local and distant. Group Members (up to the present) - Susan Zvacek (leader), Tiia Rüütmann (co-leader), Maria Teresa Restivo, Teresa Larkin, Alberto Cardoso, José Couto Marques, Hants Kipper.

IGIP Members in Action

By Susan M. Zvacek, University of Denver, USA

Susan Zvacek, University of Denver, was co-program chair for the 9th International Conference on Computer Supported Education in Porto, Portugal in April. In this role, she reviewed proposals, evaluated papers and posters for special recognition, participated on two panel presentations, and chaired several sessions. One of her panel presentations focused on the need to consider with a skeptical frame of reference the many new technologies for teaching, and included examples that were originally hailed as a panacea for all the ills of higher education. The other panel session addressed the value of “soft skills” in engineering education such as creativity, self-regulation, and communication. In July, Dr. Zvacek provided a keynote presentation and workshop at the IIDEA Conference (International Institute for Developing Engineering Academics) at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The keynote, “Lab-Created Learning,” included a discussion of higher-order thinking and ways to incorporate these skills into laboratory assignments. The workshop focused on encouraging deep learning through the use of scaffolding, flipped classes, and purposeful assessment techniques. In addition, she spoke at the International Forum for Online Engineering Education, also in Beijing, on the topic of myths surrounding student readiness to use technologies effectively.

Workshop on Engineering Pedagogy at ICL/IGIP 2017 Budapest Conference

By Tiia Rüütmann

In the framework of ICL/IGIP2017 Conference in Budapest “Teaching and Learning in a Digital World“ a Workshop on Engineering Pedagogy will be held on September 27. The workshop has been designed in cooperation with IGIP Working Group “Teaching Best Practices“. The aim of the Workshop is to shape a deeper understanding of the teaching and learning process of engineering and STEM. The workshop will give an overview of the philosophy and basic principles of Engineering Pedagogy Science for effective STEM teaching. The target group of the workshop is considered to consist of STEM educators in high schools, colleges and universities. IGIP philosophy serves as an effective basis for contemporary STEM teaching and learning since 1972, designed by the founder of IGIP, Prof Dr Adolf Melezinek. The approach of the workshop has been designed on IGIP philosophy for rethinking and analysis of one’s teaching STEM, on the basis of the principles of Engineering Pedagogy Science. Participants will be able to apply the main components of Engineering Pedagogy Science and principles of contemporary teaching STEM and analyze the process of teaching and learning, thus supporting students’ more effective and more active learning. The main topics to be discussed and analyzed on the workshop are based on IGIP basic principles and model of teaching planning for improvement of teaching STEM with the aim of effective contemporary teaching: designing clear goals and learning outcomes for higher level thinking, taking into account students’ differences and prerequisites, designing the course content, selecting teaching methodology, models and strategies, relevant assessment and feedback methods, and reflection on teaching and learning. Participants will design the first draft of their teaching philosophy statement and start with the compilation of a teaching portfolio in the framework of the workshop. The workshop will be held by Tiia Rüütmann (PhD in Engineering Pedagogy). IGIP IMC recommends participating in the workshop.

TaT’17 within the ICL/IGIP International Conference in Budapest

By Teresa Restivo, Alberto Cardoso and José Marques

The 6th edition of the Special Track Talking about Teaching (TaT’17) within IGIP2017 aims to promote the discussion on Engineering Education by providing an opportunity for debating and sharing ideas, approaches, developments and experiences also involving members of the Working Groups and Task Force of the International Society for Engineering Pedagogy (IGIP). The proposed topics are concerned not only with resources in engineering education (EE) and with the constant demand on the use of technology and on its present role, but also with the effectiveness of knowledge in order to guaranty simultaneously the diversity and inclusion in EE, teachers’ professional development, the perspective of EE oriented for STEM and the spirit of engineering leadership in society. Eleven papers have been accepted for the TaT’17 and the discussion will be promoted by using a structure based in very short presentations (max. 10 min) and a final authors’ panel debate with the participants.

Round Table on the Evaluation of Online and Pocket Labs

By Andreas Pester and Teresa Restivo

The Round Table on “Evaluation of Online and Pocket Labs” will take place on September 28, within the ICL/IGIP International Conference in Budapest, Hungary. The planned discussion aims to debate how to approach the topic from different perspectives. It will be based on the panel participants’ personal experiences as leaders or team members of highly successful projects in the area of online experimentation and in their use. And should especially look to the relevant role they can assume on formal, non-formal and informal learning scenarios in which Europe is now concerned. Andreas Pester and Teresa Restivo are the organizers and Tiia Rüütmann, Axel Zafoschnig and José Marques will be responsible for a final synthesis of the main outcomes from this discussion, to be included in the next issue of the IGIP Newsletter. Expected panel - Andreja Rojko, Christian Madritsch, Danilo Zutin, Diana Urbano, James Wolfer, Mario Boccicchio, Radojka Krneta, Thomas Klinger.

Round Table on the Potential of Emerging Technologies in Engineering Education

By Teresa Restivo, Paulo Menezes and James Wolfer

IGIP will promote a Round Table discussion focused on “The Potential of Emerging Technologies in Engineering Education” within WEEF 2017, November 13-16, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. IGIP considers this discussion of great relevance, in view of the increasing availability and diversity of new tools and emerging technologies being used by Industry to enhance training, and which enable new, modern approaches to education in the Engineering and IT disciplines. Teresa Restivo, IGIP President and University of Porto (PT) Member, will be the open teaser and Paulo Menezes from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of University of Coimbra, PT, and James Wolfer from Computer Science at Indiana University South Bend, USA, are already committed to this round table discussion. A kind invitation is extended to all colleagues to join us for this event.

IGIP Workshop on the Evaluation of the Efficiency of Online Experimentation in Engineering Education

By Teresa Restivo and Diana Urbano

Smart houses, industries and societies strongly rely on the internet of everything concept. Remote sensorization together with the use of emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, simulators and interaction with haptic devices, head mounted devices, etc., are currently used resources in many engineering labour environments in industry, medicine, e_commerce, and also in fundamental research. Considering that experimental activity is at the core of engineering and science education, it is essential to familiarize students with such technological resources. In this IGIP workshop within WEEF 2017 it will be illustrated how to evaluate the impact that the use of emerging technologies in experimental training has on student motivation and knowledge gain.

4th International Conference Experiment@ (exp.at’17)

By Alberto Cardoso, University of Coimbra, Portugal

The 4th Experiment@International Conference, held at Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal, in June 5-9, was attended by 115 participants from 20 countries and 4 continents. The program included 3 plenary sessions with invited speakers (Javier García-Zubía, University of Deusto, Spain; Gudrun Klinker, Technical University of Munich, Germany; Steeve Baudry, Siemens, Germany), one technical plenary session (Alex Tarchini, MATLAB, Italy), 12 parallel sessions, including 4 special sessions (“Online Experimentation in Control”; “Online Experimentation in Science and Engineering Education”; Simulation and Online Experimentation in Technology Based Education”; and “Remote Experiments in Marine Observations”), with the presentation of 50 papers, one round table session “Augmented Reality a technology of the future or just a momentary hype?”, 2 exhibition sessions with 35 demonstrations of online experimentation from different areas as industry, medicine, research, education and training (figure), and activities and meetings of international institutions and projects underway, as well as social activities.

exp.at’17 Panel on Augmented Reality

By Paulo Menezes, University of Coimbra, Portuga

Included in the programme of exp.at’17, a discussion panel took place centred on the question “Augmented Reality a technology of the future or just a momentary hype?”, with the participation of Paulo Menezes (University of Coimbra, Portugal), Tobias R. Ortelt (Technical University of Dortmund, Germany), Alexander A. Kist (University of Southern Queensland, Australia), and, via teleconference, also of James Wolfer (Indiana University South Bend, USA) and Jörg Rett (SAP AG, Darmstadt, Germany). Teresa Restivo (University of Porto, Portugal) was the teaser. Instead of a closed discussion there was an active interaction with the participants, which brought interesting questions to the table, namely “What can be considered as AR”, “Is there a relationship between AR and the sense of presence?”, or even “Can we use AR to improve remote labs experience?”, "Is it relevant to familiarize engineering students with AR apps?". In spite of the different points of view and opinions, the participants agreed that this technology came to stay and its use will increase as much as the supporting technologies and algorithms will evolve, since there is a large number of application domains that will clearly benefit from their use. Therefore, making students familiar with it is, at present, a must.

27th International Conference of the European Association for Education in Electrical and Information Engineering (EAEEIE)

By Anna Friesel, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Ballerup, Denmark

EAEEIE is a European non-profit organization, with members from nearly seventy European Universities, most of them teaching in the area of Electrical and Information Engineering (EIE). The mission of the EAEEIE is to enhance education in EIE through understanding European education practices, industry participation, continuing education, credit transfer in international exchanges, scientific and educational research, and to determine criteria to establish standards on EIE education. The 27th EAEEIE Annual Conference took place in June 7-9, 2017, in Grenoble, France, organized by Université Grenoble Alpes and Grenoble-INP (Grenoble Institute of Technology). The objective of the EAEEIE conferences is to bring together lecturers, researchers and professionals in the field of EIE all over Europe with the aim of exchanging ideas and information and contributing to the development of EIE education. In 2017, exceptionally and for the second time (after Nancy in 2001), the annual congress of the French national society Club EEA was held at the same time at the same place. The general theme of the joined events is European projects, both in teaching and research. Having the two communities in Electrical and Information Engineering to meet together through their annual conferences was ideal for the discussion and creation of consortia for potential future European projects. Around 200 attendants were present as a whole for both events. EAEEIE 2018 will take place at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík, Iceland. IGIP and EAEEIE share many common goals, having signed in 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding. Both organizations are working to improve engineering education all over the world, making it easier to exchange students and teachers, as well as engineering knowledge and research results to the benefit of modern society. These are very good reasons for enhancing our cooperation in the future.

Rewarding MSc and PhD research from Portuguese Universities

The Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge is an idea contest promoted by Fraunhofer AICOS (Research Center for Assistive Information and Communication Solutions) with the objective of motivating and rewarding research of practical utility, through the award of € 9,000 in scientific prizes to MSc/PhD Students and Researchers from Portuguese Universities in the areas of Human Computer Interaction, Information Processing and Autonomic Computing. The Challenge, now in its 8th edition, consists in awarding the best ideas based on MSc and PhD theses that were developed having ‘Research of Practical Utility’ in mind. This means ideas based on thesis concepts that clearly demonstrate a concern with the direct applicability of its results in Industry. A panel of experts from the research and business world will select the six best ideas, which will be presented at a public award delivery ceremony on October 25.

VISIR SIG expands to South America

By Gustavo Alves, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Porto, Portugal

The VISIR Special Interest Group (SIG) has recently expanded to Argentina with two new nodes installed at the National Universities of Rosario and Santiago del Estero, as part of an ongoing Erasmus+ project, named VISIR+. This project has also supported the installation of 3 nodes in Brazil, namely at PUC-Rio, UFSC, and IFSC, and trained more than 100 teachers in South America on how to use this remote lab in an enquiry-based educational scenario, complemented with hands-on and simulations. These training actions have allowed several hundred students in Argentina and Brazil to do more experiments with electrical and electronic circuits, using VISIR, in the current academic year. VISIR-SIG is a community of practice built around the VISIR remote lab, initially developed by Ingvar Gustavsson and his team at the Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden, in the late 90’s. It currently aggregates more than 100 researchers around the globe and 12 nodes installed in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, India, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.

U.Jr – Junior University

By Teresa Restivo

U.Jr - Junior University is an initiative of U.Porto taking place every July since 2005, with the involvement of its 14 Faculties and aimed at youngsters from age 10 to 17. It seeks the promotion of knowledge in science, technology, art, humanities, life sciences and sport, in pursuit of one of the EU 2020 headline targets – to ensure that at least 40% of the younger European generation have a tertiary degree. The U.Jr. project is an example of a mentoring approach at two levels: each academic staff member responsible for each action is mentoring the junior tutors (final year students or junior researchers) and the tutors act as mentors of the youngster attendees. This initiative has been a tremendous success with more than 5,000 youngsters per academic year edition, totalling over 60,000 participants up to the present. In July 2017, 176 activities have integrated 6676 young people, distributed by numerous areas. More than 400 tutors were supervised by over 200 teachers and researchers. Young attendees came from all areas of the country. The 2017 edition also attracted young people from Belgium, Brazil, Macao, Poland, Peru, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. For the first time an activity focused on the Ocean was hosted by the sail training ship Creoula of the Portuguese Navy, integrating 38 participants . U.Jr is a member of EUCU.NET, the European Children’s Universities Network.

New Frontiers of Engineering Fund

By Graça Rasteiro, Fund Coordinator and Isabel Pinto, President of the Executive Committee

The Central Region of the Portuguese Association of Engineers, with a group of engineering professors from the University of Coimbra, created in 2010 the “New Frontiers of Engineering Fund”, after the organization of an International Congress on Engineering Education (ICEE'2007) held in Coimbra. The purpose of this Fund is to support the dissemination and teaching of Engineering, to promote its relevance for the development of the Country and society in general, and to encourage young people to be creative and curious about Engineering. In order to achieve its objectives, the Fund is committed with two awards annually: to the best article or communication in a Congress or Journal related to Education in Engineering, authored by an educator from Higher Education Institutions with Engineering degrees of the Central Region of Portugal; to the best work/prototype on an Engineering or Technology theme by a student or group of students from a secondary or basic school from the Center Region of Portugal. Every year a different theme is provided for the students to develop. These awards have been handed out every year since 2012, with great success and with the help of some sponsors.

A new Paradigm for Engineering Education (coming from Down Under)

By José Marques, kindly shared by Hans-Jürgen Hoyer from IFEES & GEDC Quarterly Bulletin

Global Engineer, the IFEES-GEDC Bulletin, includes in page 16 of its July Issue a fascinating report of Prof. Euan Lindsay about the establishment of a new School of Engineering at Charles Sturt University in Australia, in which a truly innovative approach is being adopted “that differs radically from traditional engineering programs”. “The core of the CSU Engineering philosophy is that there are no engineering students; instead there are Student Engineers”. Three semesters of full-time studies on campus, working on problem-based learning challenges as Student Engineers, are complemented by four consecutive one-year paid work placements in industry as Cadet Engineers. This enables learning to take place as demanded by the needs of projects, rather than being driven by a lecture timetable.

Talking about Teaching: Purpose, Task and Criteria

By Susan M. Zvacek, University of Denver, USA

Have you ever set an assignment for students and then hear question after question about what you meant or how they should begin? This problem occurs so frequently that a new assignment format has evolved addressing these issues that you can use whether you include the description in the syllabus or provide it separately. This flexible template includes three components: Purpose, Task, and Criteria. The purpose of the assignment may be obvious to you, but students often wonder why they’re completing the homework or projects, other than because it’s required. This section of the assignment description should include learning outcomes written in plain language that is clear to students. These outcomes can be broken into two categories, skills and knowledge. The skills section should describe what students will be doing (e.g., analyzing lab results) and the abilities they’ll be practicing as they complete the assignment. A description of the knowledge they’ll apply or new concepts they’ll acquire form the second part of the purpose (e.g., “This assignment will reinforce concepts related to hydraulic fluid control and introduce the topic of pneumatics.”). The second component of your assignment description should articulate, in detail, the activities students will engage in as part of their work. This may include specific procedures, resources or equipment they’ll use, or questions they should address in their work. It may be useful to consider the types of questions students typically ask about the assignment or ways in which they go astray and include this information to preclude these known problem areas. The criteria by which student work will be judged may be the third component, but can be decided much earlier when developing a new assignment. Here, again, it is important to include important details and expectations that will help clarify what you’re looking for. Some of these statements might refer to the length of the response (i.e., how many words), use of evidence, accuracy, or clarity and organization, for example. It may be particularly helpful to provide a scoring rubric that explains these criteria as well as providing weight values to prioritize your expectations (e.g., is accuracy more important than organization?). At this point you might be thinking, “Yeah, this sounds okay, but does it really make a difference?” Early research (Winkelmes, 2016) suggests that students provided with assignments structured according to purpose, task, and criteria learn more and are more likely to continue in their studies. Additionally, these effects are even more pronounced for first-generation students (i.e., those whose parents have no higher education experience). At the very least, you’ve clarified for yourself the reasons for each assignment you provide.

Winkelmes, M. (2016). A teaching intervention that increases underserved college students’ success. Peer Review, 18 (1/2).

Students as Technical Writers: A Tip for Success in the Classroom

By Teresa L. Larkin, American University, Washington, DC, USA

For the past 17 years, I have had students in my second-level physics course write a scientific conference paper in a publishable format. The paper-writing process includes all of the key elements of an actual scientific conference paper. These elements include the submission of an abstract followed by a first draft for instructor review, then a second draft for peer review, and finally a “camera-ready” copy in publishable format. I actually publish a formal conference proceeding and the students present their papers at an end-of-semester class conference. This process takes place over the course of an entire semester and replaces a traditional final exam in terms of its weight toward the students’ final grade. In my class, the paper and corresponding presentation constitute approximately one-third of the students’ overall course grades. What I have found is that by having students go through the process of completing a formal scientific paper suitable for publishing, I can quite easily uncover students’ misconceptions about key physics concepts very early in the writing process. My tip is that students need to be provided with substantive instructor feedback very early in the process. Hence, I give my students substantive feedback at two critical stages. First, I give them written feedback on their abstracts in order to help them focus the content of their papers. Second, I give them substantive feedback on their first drafts. This feedback serves to help students elicit and confront any incorrect thinking they have about the key physics involved in their topic. In addition, the early feedback lets students know that I take the assignment very seriously. As a result, the students tend to take it more seriously. I have found that the early feedback also opens the door to multiple conversations with each student throughout the semester that allow me to continue to monitor their understanding of the key physics involved. Ultimately, this is the most important aspect of the assignment since it takes the place of the final exam. At the second draft phase the students do a peer review. I can also elicit from the written feedback that the students provide on one of their classmate’s papers how their understanding of the physics has evolved throughout the writing process. In summary, early substantive feedback to the students opens the door to my being able to assess the students understanding of the key physics content. My advice to other educators interested in adopting this approach in their classrooms is that early feedback is critical.

The Airbus Contribution to Engineering Education

By Rachel Schroeder, Airbus Head of Employment Marketing and EADS Head of Employment Marketing Strategy

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services, generating revenues of € 67 billion and employing a workforce of around 134,000 in 2016. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is Europe’s number one space enterprise and the world’s second largest space business. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide. Thus, it might not be surprising that supporting and contributing to Engineering Education globally is a priority for Airbus. Today, many initiatives are in place and actions developed each year in support of this goal. We do many things from providing informative content on our website and engaging with children, students, parents and teachers via our website airbus.com and our multitude of social media channels -- excellent platforms to raise awareness about STEM education. But even more, Airbus actively works with the global education community to support the development of internationally minded students with the skills we have identified as important for our business in the future. We do this through partnerships with groups and associations like Elles Bougent, Euroavia, the Alouette association, the Lycee Airbus and the Airbus Foundation’s Flying Challenge. The Airbus Global University Partner Programme (AGUPP) was started in 2011 and brings industry and education together, connecting a global network of universities to develop engineers of the future. The Programme currently covers 21 universities in 11 countries. AGUPP has several priority objectives, but among them is defining and developing relevant competencies that meet the rapidly changing needs of our industry and that can increase students’ employability. We do this by fostering bi-lateral and multi-lateral collaboration within the network which also involves bespoke projects for each university. Another important initiative we pioneered is the GEDC Airbus Diversity Award. Airbus is a corporate member of the Global Engineering Deans Council, and the award is now in its fifth year. The GEDC Airbus Diversity Award recognises individuals and initiatives that have succeeded in increasing diversity amongst the engineering student body worldwide. There is still more work to be done, and to ensure we are keeping our eyes on evolving needs and trends we’re also working towards publication of a white paper on the Engineer of the Future. Keep watching this space….