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International symposium promotes emerging engineering education
| Updated: 2018-04-11 11:14:04 | (chinadaily.com.cn) |

Participants from universities and enterprises across the world exchanged ideas about emerging engineering education at an international symposium held on April 9 in North China’s coastal city of Tianjin.

International symposium promotes emerging engineering education

The International Symposium on Emerging Engineering Education is held on April 9 at Tianjin University. [Photo/Tianjin University]

The symposium was organized by Tianjin University (TJU). With a theme of "Towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution", it was aimed at exploring new ideas and models for future-oriented engineering excellence.

To meet the challenges ahead, it proposed the "Initiative to Establish the International Alliance of Emerging Engineering Education".

The alliance, with members from higher education institutions and enterprises around the globe, is aimed at promoting strategic cooperation in cultivating future engineering talents.

Directed by the Ministry of Education, the symposium attracted over 150 world-wide participants.

International symposium promotes emerging engineering education

Wu Aihua, director of the Department of Science and Technology, Division of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education of China, makes a keynote speech. [Photo/Tianjin University]

Wu Aihua, director of the Department of Science and Technology, Division of Higher Education of China’s Ministry of Education, made a keynote speech introducing the achievements China has made in developing innovative engineering disciplines.

He said that China is a participant, contributor, and leader in global engineering education reform.

"China's education interface will lay out the emerging engineering majors of the future, and establish a more diversified and individualized engineering education training model," said Wu. "It will continuously improve innovation and entrepreneurship and the cross-border integration of engineering."

International symposium promotes emerging engineering education

Zhong Denghua, president of the Tianjin University, makes a keynote speech. [Photo/Tianjin University]

Zhong Denghua, president of TJU, said his school is an active advocate for and leader in the creation of emerging engineering education.

He went on in his keynote speech to mention various aspects of the field's development and implementation, including route construction, the combination of research and practical experience, and university-enterprise cooperation.

"Emerging engineering education is a stunning new reform", he said. "We continue to share best practices, and provide experiences to prepare future engineers to lead and innovate".

International symposium promotes emerging engineering education

Representatives present during the symposium. [Photo/Tianjin University]

Jim Browne, honorary president of the National University of Ireland, Galway, proposed that the challenge faced by emerging engineering education is like Industry 4.0 in its complexity.

He said engineers should keep learning from university classrooms throughout their entire career. In emerging engineering education, more learning methods must be developed to meet personalized knowledge requirements.

Hanyang University has cultivated a large number of CEOs in South Korea. Its president, Young Moo Lee, talked about changes in classroom usage and explained his ideas for future teaching methods in innovative engineering education.

He said that Hanyang University has transformed traditional classrooms into smart knowledge studios where students are grouped together to learn through "solving problems."

The school has also introduced business demands into teaching and conducts courses based on the needs of commercial partnerships.

Jack Hu, vice-president of the University of Michigan in the United States, believes that distinguished engineers must not only obtain an excellent technical background, but also gain global knowledge and international competitiveness.

He added that we need to cultivate thinkers and innovators, and that educators must be student-centered and cultivate students' creative, cognitive, collaborative, and problem-solving abilities.

In terms of curriculum setting, apart from the engineering material itself, mathematics, sociology, and humanities disciplines are the basic courses for qualified training engineers, according to Hu.

Chen Guohua, associate vice-president of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, introduced chemical engineering education as an example.

He talked about the importance of chemical engineering in social sustainability and daily life.

Chemical engineering teaching is also facing changes, said Chen. He added that special courses such as heat conversion and heat transfer are needed and must be integrated with art and technology to cultivate well-rounded talents.

International symposium promotes emerging engineering education

The opening ceremony of the Emerging Engineering Education Center of Tianjin University [Photo/Tianjin University]

TJU used the occasion of the conference to launch an emerging engineering education center, the first one in the world to promote research and training in the field.



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