Renewing engineering education

bol26 mat02 pag

Those responsible for the IME (Military Engineering Institute) of Rio de Janeiro, had a huge surprise in the early years of this decade. As exchanges in foreign universities intensified, students of the institution began to demand changes in the education system, which they classified as limited to lectures, blackboards, books and exams, even though the IME is considered a center of excellence.

Among the requirements were to adopt more practical activities and teach new personal and interpersonal skills, subjects that students had seen and experienced abroad.

After a selection process, the IME eventually decided to adopt CDIO framework to transform its curricula. Created in 2000, from the joint efforts of three Swedish universities (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Chalmers Institute of Technology and Linköping University) and the North American Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the novelty assumes that teaching engineering must adapt to the times and not be limited to technical issues.

In view of the CDIO, engineers must be able to conceive, design, implement and operate complex engineering systems in a modern environment based on teamwork. The CDIO framework will hopefully give the graduates better ability to apply their knowledge to real engineering problems”, says Svante Gunnarsson, professor at Linköping University who has participated in the development of the methodology.

The concept has spread rapidly around the world. Currently, more than 100 leading universities adopt the framework in their engineering education. It did not take long for the industries to look with interest at the new profile of professionals who entered the market.

This is one of the reasons that explains the fact that the next Brazilian Conference of Innovation, organized by CNI (National Confederation of Industries) to be held between 27 and 28 June, has Gunnarsson as a guest.  

"I am very honored with the invitation", says the professor. Gunnarsson says he will take the opportunity to emphasize “how the CDIO framework can contribute to the development of engineering education such that the graduates are even more ‘ready to engineer’. Among the provided skills, he cites "the development of innovative solutions to the needs of industry and society".

The teacher's presence at the event is the result CISB’s articulation, which has the Linköping University as one of its members. The move marks another step in the consolidation of the institution's work in bringing the academia closer to the industry, an exchange that Gunnarsson himself defines as "of great value to both parties”.