July 28, 2008

Thematic Weeks: a New Concept in Engineering Education

Doggen J., Pauwels S., Van der Schueren F., Vaningelgem L., Schaeps T., Schrooyen F., Goossens M., Castreuil A., Pelkmans K., “Thematic Weeks: a New Concept in Engineering Education”, ICEE Hungary, New Challenges in Engineering Education and Research in the 21st Century, Budapest, August 2008.

Full Text, Slides

Over the last six years, the Department of Electronics-ICT at the Faculty of Applied Engineering at University College of Antwerp has undergone drastic changes. An academic concept based on a specific profile for applied engineering education was used to develop an educational program in close liaison with local industry. This concept is based upon progressive building and training of research skills. The concept of thematic weeks was introduced to obtain a very good coupling between current research and education. A typical thematic week combines theory, exercises, lab-sessions and a visit to an industrial partner. Speakers from industry and academia are invited to provide a broad and accurate view of the topic in hand. During each week, the students work on a single project. The Master’s students are actively involved in organising the thematic weeks. This has two positive consequences: development of managerial skills and very intensive student involvement. The paper includes several case studies, presenting a selection of the topics from the academic year 2007-2008.

Index terms: Thematic weeks, current research, week-long project, managerial skills, student involvement.

Conference website, iNEER