Engaging with Industry Stakeholders to Support Program Development

Engaging with Industry Stakeholders to Support Program Development

Catrin Edelbro, Andreas Eitzenberger, Kristina Edström, Kristina Jonsson and Erik Swedberg

Luleå University of Technology (LTU) has adopted CDIO as the framework for developing its engineering programs. At the Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, there are two programs with a focus on tunnelling, mining and rock excavation. The graduates often become consultants, building entrepreneurs, buyers of services, and mining engineers. At present there are some compelling reasons to take the programs and their courses under renewed consideration. Despite very positive prospects for professionals in the field, the number of students in the courses has decreased for the three consecutive years. Further, the program content has changed relatively little in the last 10-15 years and might not reflect the recent developments in the industry, such as new requirements in tunnelling, issues related to deeper mines, automation, big data etc. Stakeholder dialogue is a key feature of CDIO curriculum development (CDIO Standard 2), and given the nature of the issues facing the programs, it is particularly important to inform the planned development through a deeper dialogue with stakeholders.

This paper will report exclusively on activities to engage with industry stakeholders.

In order to get input from employers (including alumni), a stakeholder meeting was arranged at LTU in October 2016 to comment on newly graduated from LTU as well as the future needs in the industry. There were representatives from mining companies, the Swedish and Norwegian railroad administration and consultants. Of the ten employer representatives, nine were LTU alumni of one of the programs. The meeting was separated in three phases, starting with status and presentation of courses in the programs (i), then a small group workshop for expressing the desired competence and skills of the graduates (ii), followed by joint reflection (iii).

All industry representatives were very positive to graduates from LTU and typical comments were that they are self-driven and have good basic knowledge. They also identified some main issues that need to be considered in the program and that they though were somewhat lacking in todays program. As a general summary the participants thought that (i) running projects in different scales, (ii) understanding different processes when excavating rock, (iii) being costs-conscious, (iv) working with real problems (not just technical issues) and (v) interacting and collaborating with other categories of professionals. Regarding the future and 10-20 years from now, the main important aspects might be (i) changing modes of communication, (ii) the need to analyse, interpret and suggest data that should be collected in a fully automated environment and (iii) sustainable rock excavation.

By summarising, analysing and evaluating all comments and classifying them into different categories it will be more visible on what programme and course development work needs to be done in the nearest future. A continued support and feedback from the industry is warranted during the programme development.

Proceedings of the 13th International CDIO Conference in Calgary, Canada, June 18-22 2017

Go to top