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Supporting engineering innovation and design by a multidisciplinary master's program
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production. School of Technology and Health, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
Linköpings Universitet.
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 9th International CDIO Conference, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 9 –13, 2013, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to reflect on lessons learned from a master's program with a multidisciplinary approach. The rapidly developing technology and specialization in society, business, industry and labor puts a demand on education to provide specialist skills in various technical fields. Paradoxically, the increasing complexity also demands skills from different disciplines, such as understanding human capabilities to handle technically complex systems and adapting technology to the design of organizational and individual working conditions in different workplaces and businesses. Therefore, knowledge and experience from engineers often need to be combined with skills and experience from the domain of behavioral and health scientists in order to obtain good usability and system performance. It is not, however, an easy task to combine experiences from different domains of expertise, as diverse traditions are deeply institutionalized by different approaches and research platforms and not easily adapted and integrated within engineering faculty. The master’s program reported on in this paper is an example of promoting a multidisciplinary approach contributing to an effective CDIO implementation. The design of the master’s program includes a combination of courses from a number of scientific disciplines with teachers who represent different theoretical areas, practical skills and in addition a careful mix of examination forms. Furthermore, the students' different backgrounds and learning traditions as engineers, behavioral and health scientists create a platform with excellent opportunities to learn from each other in order to develop new and innovative ways of thinking and approaching design and business development. It also offers opportunities to experience and reflect on the cultural contradictions between educational disciplines and practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-23136OAI: diva2:688433
The 9th International CDIO Conference, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 9 – 13, 2013
Available from: 2014-01-16 Created: 2014-01-16 Last updated: 2016-01-18Bibliographically approved

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