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Cluster conference “Challenges & Frontiers in Engineering Education’

Hi, again colleagues!

I promised a short report from the Cluster conference “Challenges & Frontiers in Engineering Education’ in Eindhoven last week. The conference was held in the futuristic space ship give to Philips from the City back in the sixties named as the Evoluon Congress Centre. It is not clear if it also is equipped with a warp drive.

The start of the day was a very inspiring talk by Gareth H. McKinley Professor of Teaching Innovation.
School of Engineering, MIT, and it striking how much better MIT and other American universities are to explain what they are doing when it comes to innovation and reach out.

Anyway: the conference had eight sub-themes in work-shop format: Innovative Doctoral Training, Technology enhanced learning, Entrepreneurship & KIC’s, Involvement of Society, Gender balance, MOOCs and Outreach, Incubators & Start-ups and finally Internationalization.

I had to choose so I picked theme 4 and 7 namely Involvement of Society and Incubators & Start-ups.

Our own Margareta Norell Bergendahl gave an inspired talk on the possibilities for Open Lab at KTH in theme 4.

My general feeling after a long day and a lot of discussions are that we are quite well positioned in many of these areas but that we lack necessary facilities for our students to try their own wings in one way or other. ITM need an incubator/make space/workshop/lab! Maybe we can call it Brazil-lab?

One reflection was that MOOCs was generally downplayed in discussions and it was basically put forward a way of enabling greater flexibility for on-campus students and a way to better prepare for courses + of course a great way of attracting students and branding the university.

The conference was rounded up with a couple of panels consisting entirely of Rectors from Cluster universities. My conclusion was that it was rather difficult for them to predict the future. Maybe it would have been smarter to discuss a desirable future? Anyway…

After the conference we were taken to the joint exhibition from TU/e, Delft and Twente as a part of the Dutch Design Week. This was rounded of with the Cluster Gala Dinner where we were served a real design dinner, so spectacular that we never understood where and when the main course was served. We compensated with a big dessert.

/Per L (GA)151030_GA_Cluster

Hi everybody,

Last week all the GA´s from KTH (directors of first and second level studies) travelled together to Eindhoven for a fruitful visit to the Eindhoven University, TU/e. Along for the ride was also our Rector, Vice Rector for Education and a few more important colleagues. The purpose of the trip was to discuss our future education at KTH but also to visit the conference organized by Cluster called “Frontiers in Engineering Education”. The conference last Thursday was a full day with interesting discussions in several areas with the leading technical universities in Europe. I shall give a few examples of issues discussed in the blog later this week.

ITM school’s representative, undersigned, met on last Wednesday TU/e´s representative from their “ITM” to discuss similarities and differences in our programs. Among many similar issues it was interesting to note that they currently only have 3% girls its M-program! When I told him that this year we have 31% on M and a total of 40 % at ITM he almost passed out! Right now TU/e tries to address this dilemma.

I also met and talked to some students who were working on a large x-disciplinary project that involves all students in year 2 at TU/e organized multi-disciplinary teams. This year a remote-controlled robot was to save yellow plastic ducks from a pond of water, among some other things. The students work in groups of 8 with a student from each program. The interesting thing is that there are more than 1500 students carrying out the project. The tricky and resource demanding responsibility rolls through the programs (between schools) and this year Mechanical Engineering is in charge so the ducks should have been redJ. Last year,  TU/e’s counterpart to the ABE-school run the project. The picture shows one of the robots designed to save ducks. The robot is connected to WiFi and equipped with a small camera and the students were not allowed to be in the room during the final competition.

Laster this week I will share some highlights from the Cluster conference and I will tell you a little bit about last Friday’s activities when all GA´s from KTH worked creatively on new ideas together with the Dean of TU/e new venture, The Engineering College.

Thats all for now.

/Per L (GA)

Robot för att rädda ankor

Impact in focus

Efficient internal communication is always a challenge. Too much information via inadequate channels are at the risk of being perceived only as disturbance. At the same time there is a challenge to keep the information flow going and to make sure that the information is up-to-date. Maybe the most difficult part is to guarantee that key information within a particular part of our operations, actually reaches the staff members that depend on having that information on time. This blog from the ITM management is to be kept up-to-date on a weekly basis covering general KTH and ITM news and up-dates. But more importantly key updates on basic education, research education, faculty development and administration will be provided directly by the persons in charge at the ITM level.

Impact on society should be seen as the ultimate goal of academic activities. A rather recent activity at KTH is focused both highlighting and improving our impact on society. In line with this, each KTH school has nominated a staff member to be coordinating the impact improvement work within the school but also at KTH at large by networking within the whole group of school coordinators. If you have ideas on this topic or good impact examples from you group or unit please take a contact with the ITM impact coordinator Hatef Madani at the department Energy technology.

Jan Wikander, Dean of School

Why blog?

One attempt to improving the internal communication at ITM is the decision to start this blog. At least one post per week will be posted and the hope is to create a dialogue with the school staff.

The posts will be made by the ITM’s management, who consists of:

Jan Wikander, Dean of School
Pär Jönsson, Vice-Dean of School
Christina Carlsson, Head of Administration
Malin Selleby, Director of Third Cycle Education
Per Lundqvist, Director of First and Second Cycle Education

(Annika Lilja, Management Communications Officer, will administrate the posts.)