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International 2017 Materials Education Symposium

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Preparing students for life long learning

Prof Maria Knutson Wedel | Chalmers University of Technology

Preparing students for life long learning

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An engineer might have a professional career of around forty years. In terms of technology development it is a long time; just ten to thirteen years back you will find the launch of Nintendo DS, Sony Ericsson K700i with Bluetooth, Facebook, gmail or Wii Remote. Currently in Sweden voices are raised for engineering graduates to be better matched to industry needs today, but maybe it is the opposite that is more important; our graduates are to create industry needs in the future. And that requires both the ability and possibility of lifelong learning. But how to organize education for that? To improve ability Chalmers has run two university wide projects, one recently finished on industry cooperation and one, recently started, on integrating entrepreneurial competence. In the first project, current processes for evaluation of collaboration was mapped and analysed followed by projects in five areas; individual incentives for collaboration, department work, education, research centers, areas of advance and university strategic partnerships. One of the results to be presented is the developed set of collaboration indicators for analysis of industry collaboration in education. A key issue is for students to be able to appreciate and make use of collaboration is to set their learning into a wider perspective also during their more theoretical education. A basis for the above projects has thus been the long engagement in the CDIO initiative and model for engineering education. Examples will be given on how it is possible to set basic materials teaching into a broader perspective that makes sense to industrial engineering students, without lowering the demands on true understanding of the complex dependence between microstructure and properties. The above will be followed by a description of how the results from CDIO and the industry cooperation project are to be used to integrate entrepreneurial competence