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How to train and teach students in design at a technical faculty where science and applied technology is seen as prime knowledge: an example
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Machine Elements.
2012 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

For nine years, the goal of the educational track Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) at KTH has been to prepare students for their future work as engineers, in product design or any other profession where their creative ability will be used. During their studies at IDE, we not only introduce students to their future as engineers but also prepare them for a global labour market, where companies shift from national ownership to international, where they might have to move between countries, even continents. We teach the essential technical courses but also train them in public speaking, writing, making decisions, setting priorities, dealing with meetings, and working with people from different disciplines. This approach also breeds new opportunities for the students. Whilst remaining a national educational track, the international appearance gives the IDE at KTH an individual character. What is the profile of the students applying for IDE? Can one assume that they are future designers? That is rarely their main intent, although most of the students have a common desire to express their creative abilities, to create new products and influence the future. The students' ability to communicate will deepen both in visual communication through sketching, physical modelling, computer modelling and in computer graphics. Each project involves training in presentation and report writing: Literature studies are written up as summaries; Field trips, international internship and minor field studies result in travel descriptions and weekly work reports. In the project's final presentations, the students exhibit skill in expressing themselves clearly, with a good balance between the spoken word, image and text. Project cooperation with businesses is a long-held tradition in this field of studies. In some cases, this can start as early as the bachelor thesis work, but usually begins in the fourth year in the advanced course projects as well as in collaborations with foreign universities for workshops, and in international internships. For many years IDE has had a cooperation with a Chinese manufacturer and to date ten groups of students have had the opportunity to work there as design engineers for a five-week period. In addition, a large number of the IDE students take the advantage of studying abroad on student exchange. The project courses and field trips are the result of an active collaboration with global and local manufacturers, brand organizations and universities. Visits to manufacturers constitute a unique and popular training method. Institutions and businesses contribute towards the costs of national travel and, where appropriate, subsistence. Thus the educational budget remains intact. We follow the students and feel relatively up to date on where they end up after their exams. We can venture to say that a combination of the IDE education and their own ability has given them good, interesting jobs in well-known large companies as well as in lesser-known but equally interesting companies. The majority go on to gain experience in any of the multinational Swedish companies such as Ericsson, Scania, Volvo, Kinnevik, IKEA, Electrolux, Alfa Laval, H&M, ABB, Vattenfall, Atlas Copco, and others. Many work in design companies or major engineering consultancies. Ultimately, the future looks bright for those graduating the IDE!

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Industrial Design Engineering, Teaching Design and product realization, International cooperation, Cooperation between University and Industry
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-124486ISI: 000318422201009ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1OAI: diva2:635649
5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI)

QC 20130705

Available from: 2013-07-05 Created: 2013-07-05 Last updated: 2013-07-05Bibliographically approved

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Johannesson, Carl Michael
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