CDIO as a Blueprint for Community Service Engineering Education

CDIO as a Blueprint for Community Service Engineering Education

S. Hallenga-Brink, J. Dekelver (2016).  CDIO as a Blueprint for Community Service Engineering Education. 11.

Community Service Engineering (CSE) can be defined as the engineering of products, product-service combinations or services that fulfill well-being and health needs in the social domain, specifically for vulnerable groups in society. One can think of elderly people, mentally or physically disabled people, youth at risk, informal caretakers, people in poverty, addict etc. The vulnerable groups in society are growing, while fewer people work in health care. In the EU policies and social institutional structures are directed towards self-sufficiency and longer independence of the population, including these vulnerable groups. Finding solutions for their unmet needs is the territory of the Community Service Engineer. These unmet needs arise in local niche markets as well as in the global community, which makes it an interesting area for innovation and collaboration in an international setting.

Therefor five universities in Europe (from Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Sweden) decided to work together as hubs in local innovation networks to create international innovation power: The KU Leuven, University of Porto, Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, The Hague University of Applied Sciences (HHS) and University West. The aim of the project is to develop education on undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels. A joint, blended curriculum in CSE was developed, based on design thinking principles. The partners are not aiming at a joined degree or diploma, but offer a shared short track blended course (3EC), which each partner can supplement with their own courses or projects (up to 30EC). Resources are shared and collaboration between students and staff is organized at different levels. The partners are establishing a sustainable collaboration.

CDIO was chosen as the common framework and the syllabus 2.0 was used as a blueprint for the learning goals in each university. The adaptation and implementation of CDIO by the different partners varies, which gave several challenges in using it as a framework. The HHS’s Faculty of Technology, Innovation and Society (TIS) is a full CDIO member with its 12 engineering programs. CSE projects are characterized by an interdisciplinary, human centered approach leading to inter-faculty collaboration with faculties who do not know about or work with the CDIO syllabus. At the university of Porto EUR-ACE was already used as the engineering education framework, so a translation table was used to facilitate common development. Even though Thomas More and KU Leuven are no CDIO partner, their choice for design thinking as the leading method in the post-Masters pilot course insured a good fit with the CDIO syllabus. At this point University West is applying for CDIO and they are yet to discover what the adaptation means for their programs and the emerging CSE initiatives.

Despite these challenges, the syllabus proved to fit well to the authentic network context in which engineering students actively do CSE projects and a selection of the learning goals could be agreed upon for the international CSE curriculum. CDIO became the common language which provided room for local adaptations.

Proceedings of the 12th International CDIO Conference, Turku, Finland, June 12-16 2016

Authors (New): 
Suzanne Hallenga-Brink
Jan Dekelver
The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
Geel, Belgium
community service engineering
open innovation
CDIO Standard 1
CDIO Standard 2
CDIO Standard 6
CDIO Standard 7
CDIO Standard 8
CDIO Standard 9
CDIO Standard 10
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