Track 2. Engineering Education addressing Professional Challenges


Presently we teach some students who might be able to live through 3 centuries! Doing the math: they were born in the end of 20th century, study in the 21st and some of them might get to see the 22nd! This overwhelming fact alone acknowledges we are living a unique era. Parallel to this fact, this generation already grew up during a leap in technology which undoubtedly speed up in future years. The changes they will be facing have nothing to do with the changes of previous generations.
Doing an analogy with student’s exams: who are the ones most likely to succeed? Teachers often take critiques their exams are too difficult and different from what was practiced. For one reason or another, students are partially right. Hopefully, an exam must present students with some challenge (not the exact same problems with different inputs they already overcome). So, exams will always be difficult! Expectantly, students will be able to crack those challenges using the competences developed. In the perfect world, all students! Often that does not happen. Sometimes teachers tend to forget minor difficulties they struggled when they were studying those subjects for the first time. Due to their scientific maturity, all is so clear and easy, they genuinely have trouble figuring why students fail. On the other hand, some students are more focused in passing than in learning. Sometimes they tend to develop strategies that allow them to overcome one small barrier without overthrown it. Unfortunately, that barrier will be on top of the next one. Soon the barrier becomes too big. With time, perseverance and scientific maturity, all can be accomplished. The point is, time is something these futures generations lack. These future engineers will face daily technological updates at a race beyond our imagination. The ones more equipped to survive will probably be the ones who scientifically grew up developing competences while learning the subjects. The question is: how can we help them get better prepared for that?

Undoubtedly, students should practice in college in order to face the upcoming challenges. Teachers know students must comprehended subjects and established the necessary links with other topics, in order to mobilize the pertinent knowledge and expertise to solve complex problems. This implies students must think about each situation per si and be able to put to use everything they have learned.

Probably, in the end, it resumes at “simply” solving the problem by applying a simple solution. But students thinking must rely on the scientific path and not on the solution. Facing a new problem, it will be the competence in knowing which paths to take that can make the difference. And that is what engineering is all about!

This track aims enhancing the discussion around Engineering Education especially concerned on how young professionals can be better prepared to face the upcoming challenging era. How may teachers help young and senior students develop the necessary competences? Their expertise must not only rely on scientific and technological aspects, but also on their social skills and characteristics like teamwork, creativity, communication or leadership. Academic and professional worlds need to be aligned in these new guidelines and provide opportunities for students to improve their expertise in different ways.

This track purpose is to help identify good practices or some particular issues young engineers or their employees felt lacking or other topics which still need to be improved. In order to discuss this, different perspectives are welcome, namely from the viewpoint of young engineers and/or senior students, educators, tutors and senior engineers.


  • Project work in engineering education
  • PBL engineering experiences
  • Learning gains from contacts with engineering profession
  • Improving engineering professional, social and/or scientific competences
  • Engineering graduate students’ competences versus companies’ professional needs
  • Long term vision about engineering education
  • Capstone projects versus professional internships
  • Cornerstone projects versus field trips
  • Emerging technologies in teaching
  • Successful merged practices from Academia and Industries
  • Multicultural aspects of engineering education

Track Scientific Committee

Maria Clara Viegas (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal) – Chair

Gustavo Ribeiro Alves (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal) – Chair

Maria Arcelina Marques (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal) – Chair

Alexandre da Silva Pinto (Escola Superior de Educação do Porto, Portugal)

André Fidalgo (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal)

António Barbot (Escola Superior de Educação do Porto, Portugal)

Bernardino Lopes (Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal)

Bertil Marques (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal)

Carlos Felgueiras (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal)

Cristina Ribeiro (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal)

Diogo Ribeiro (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal)

Couto Marques (Faculdade de Engenharia Universidade Porto, Portugal)

P. Cravino (Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal)

Joaquim Alves (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal)

Juarez Bento da Silva (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil)

Luis Schlichting (Instituto Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil)

Manuel Castro (UNED, Spain)

Nilza Costa (Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal)

Ricardo Costa (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal)

Sonia Concari (Universidad de Rosario, Argentina)

Susana Marchisio (Universidad de Rosario, Argentina)

Teresa Sena-Esteves (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal)

Valentina Zangrando (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain)