IACEE Pulse, February 2023

IACEE Pulse: A Newsfeed for Members, February 2023



Dear IACEE Colleagues:
In this first IACEE Pulse issue of 2023, I am pleased to report that we had a very productive Executive Committee meeting on February 10th in Charleston, SC, on the last day of ASEE's Conference of Industry Education Collaboration (CIEC 2023). We are in the process of developing our World Conference 2024 in Europe after having a preliminary conversation in that meeting, and possibly a symposium this summer. We will keep you posted on these upcoming events. Our Summer Council Meeting will be held at the Washington DC office of Duke University around 14-16 June. Any IACEE member can attend a Council meeting to learn how we operate. Please let me know if you would like to join us. We will be working on our global sustainability initiative SERinA throughout the year building the repository further.
Now, as you will find, this Pulse is full of great articles. Coordinated by the IACEE Vice President Dr. Patricia Caratozzolo of the Institute of Future at the Tec de Monterrey, this Pulse has contributions as follows:

  • The impact of Industry 4.0 on the workforce in developing a lifelong learning culture, written by Patricia herself.
  • An article from Dr. Bente Norgaard of Aalborg University about the research she is doing with a European Society of Engineers (SEFI) Continuing Engineering Education (CEE) Special Interest Group on the integration of CEE policies and practices in various parts of Europe and thereafter learning from those.
  • Takeaways from CIEC 2023 by Dr. Lisa Stephens of the University at Buffalo. UB is where we had our World Conference 2022. 

We trust you will enjoy reading and learning from these articles. Finally, do you have an institutional or research story to share? Send us an email and we would love to include your contribution in one of the next Pulse editions.
Thanks, and warm regards,
Soma Chakrabarti, PhD
President, IACEE


Industry 4.0 and Lifelong Learning Culture
Dr. Patricia Caratozzolo, School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico


Industry 4.0 requires global, structural, and technological changes in all economic and productive fields. Additionally, the massive adoption of vanguard technologies in all industrial processes (administrative, management, and production) offers potential growth opportunities. It can even help companies through tough times: providing competitive advantages, creating new revenue streams, and accelerating product research and development. However, during the COVID-19 crisis (https://es.weforum.org/reports/post-covid-19-challenges-and-opportunities/ ), not all companies have been prepared for another important aspect of Industry 4.0, such as the workforce skills transformation strategy, including upskilling and reskilling needs.
The development of a culture of lifelong learning (https://uil.unesco.org/lifelong-learning/embracing-culture-lifelong-learning) is essential for a nation to thrive in an increasingly complex world, changing and exposed to unexpected challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Graduated professionals will also require a strong development of thinking diversity and lifelong learning skills. Given this perspective, human resources departments must design new employee education strategies, which include the transfer of responsibilities through a culture of self-management of the skills of the future learning process in each personal context. Although this culture of permanent training can be seen as an imposition of the industry and of the new political and economic discourse, the truth is that it not only fulfills a financial and personal function but also goes further in achieving a more democratic and fair society.
Developing necessary skills is so volatile and constantly changing that, nowadays, most of the required learning takes place on the job. The traditional training, formal and theoretical, that takes place in Higher Education plays an increasingly less important role. According to estimates from international reports, 90% of opinions about what employees need and where they can learn the necessary skills take place on their initiative.
At the IACEE, we have detected some characteristics that workers in Industry 4.0 must develop (https://www.mdpi.com/2227-7102/12/12/913). First of all, an individual and self-organized capacity to act efficiently in a network organization which implies a significant development of their self-esteem; secondly, thinking diversely to increase the creative potential necessary to solve complex problems and challenges, (which involves the action of self-awareness through the exercise of initiative, emotions, and motivation); and finally, a culture of lifelong learning to make them capable of acting with self-efficacy in new, unknown and unprepared circumstances.



Integrating Continuing Engineering Education (CEE) Policies and Practices
Dr. Bente Nørgaard, Aalborg University, Denmark

Various members of IACEE are working in collaboration with the SEFI CEE Special Interest Group researching universities’ practices to integrate CEE at the institutional level. The overall interest is to see the standard procedures and what works well in different contexts, as well as the differences between universities and how we can learn from each other. The first review of the institution's policies indicates areas of interest, such as whether the level of the CEE activities is at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, whether the focus is re-qualifications, or whether offerings are focused on qualifications. Another exciting indication is the emergence of new forms of CEE, such as short courses and micro-credentials, offering more flexibility and tailor-made activities developed in close collaboration with the industry but reflecting expertise within the institutions.

The universities involved in this study are:

·       Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
·       Technical University of Berlin, Germany
·       Glasgow Caledonia University, United Kingdom
·       Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico
·       Aalborg University, Denmark
·       Aalto University, Finland 
·       Uppsala University, Sweden

The ongoing research will also investigate organizational structures and how CEE practice is organized and implemented. For example, some universities have conventional programs delivered within the existing systems, and other institutions have created separate external organizational units to manage and deliver diverse CEE activities. In addition, there seems to be a shared focus on developing their staff to meet the new demand from learners with professional and varied backgrounds. The research will contribute knowledge about the organization and practice of CEE activities and how they are implemented at the universities' meso level.


Takeaways from CIEC 2023
Dr. Lisa Stephens, University at Buffalo, New York, USA

This past month, I attended the Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration (CIEC) 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina. The consistency of the CIEC events always amazes me. From my perspective as an assistant dean in a large research-based school of engineering, this conference provides a rare opportunity to tap into colleagues, senior leadership, and industry representatives to help “keep it real” as we support each other’s mission of excellence.
I was particularly impressed with an industry partnership between Purdue University and TVS from India, where a capstone experience was blended with new hires supported by the Purdue Fusion Studio for Entertainment and Engineering! The early evidence from a team-based exercise in problem-solving is that this approach provides a rock-solid orientation to industry. Led by a collaboration between the Fusion Center, Engineering, and TVS (a large motorcycle factory in India), the corporation is optimistic that this approach is increasing cohesion between new and current employees. Furthermore, considering the highly competitive environment for recruiting engineers, retention is looking to be enhanced due to this unique collaboration.
Each session seemed to reinforce Gregory Washington’s keynote (President of George Mason University) on how grand challenges shape engineering education – and that a significant part of innovating is also scaling-up and leveraging reasonable solutions that work! This was music to my ears, as we have good resources that can be further developed in service of engineering education.
I tended to stick closely to the CPDD track, where I came home with precious information regarding US News college rankings and post-pandemic curriculum development. However, given my primary responsibility of assisting faculty in maximizing their reach through online learning, I always appreciate learning more from colleagues about how they approach some of our current challenges.
Perhaps most importantly, this is one of my “must attend” conferences because the fellowship among the participants enables a trusting atmosphere where I believe we all return refreshed, renewed, and providing a good return on time invested for our campuses, organizations, and manufacturing concerns. I look forward to maintaining connections with new colleagues and attending the CIEC in California next year!

Newsfeed contact: Camille Howard, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA