Managing multidisciplinarity – growing future creators

DS 76: Proceedings of E&PDE 2013, the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Ireland, 05-06.09.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Håkansson, Anders; Holmqvist, Bengt
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
Section: Multidisciplinarity
Page(s): 587-592
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


Preparing students for real life is a main issue for education programs. At Luleå University of Technology, (LTU), this is done by a range of different course layouts and course assignments. Students studying at the Industrial Design Engineering program practice this as group work, workshops and individual assignments always based on the intention to be as close to what students will face after exam in their first employments. Yet there is a major problem with this. Assignments are still not sharp and students know the worst outcome would be to not pass. This paper describes a project assignment connected to an international competition and on a complexity level that needs competences from several different university programs. The project is a competition, which is a successful way to increase focus, commitment and reaching a higher level of result. In this project students have to form their own project organization, plan and distribute work. This is very close to how they are going to act in their future profession and how they have to interact with other professions in the real life situation. Interaction with other programs sometimes occurs but in this project the interaction is on a much higher level because of the complexity and the intensity that is the effect of a competition. Being a part of a bigger project organization gives experiences in collaborating as handling personal problems and people acting unexpected with other competences. Successful competitions results create attention good for students, teachers and the university.

Keywords: Multidisciplinary, applied knowledge, sustainable development, student managed projects, competition


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