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01.06.2014
May 19-23, 2014 - AEER held an international conference “Interdisciplinary Projects Management in Engineering Education: Planning and Executing” in Lisbon, Porto (Portugal).


On May 19-23, 2014 Association for Engineering Education of Russia held an international conference “Interdisciplinary Projects Management in Engineering Education: Planning and Executing” in Lisbon, Porto (Portugal).

Co-organizers of the conference:

  • Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas
  • Don State Technical University (DSTU)
  • Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa (ISEL)
  • Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP)

The conference audience included vice-rectors, institute directors, deans, heads of departments of technical universities, executives and members of educational and scientific divisions, representing various universities of Russia: National Research University of Electronic Technology MIET, Don State Technical University (DSTU), Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Volga State University of Technology, N.P. Ogarev Mordovia State University, National Research Saratov State University, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Siberian Federal University, Ural Federal University.

According to the conference agenda the first day of the conference took place in Lisbon, where international experts from Denmark, Italy, USA and Portugal presented their reports. Key-note speeches covered the following topics: methodology of planning and executing of interdisciplinary projects, best practices of interdisciplinary educational programs implementation, core trends and methods of interdisciplinarity in engineering education, and expertise in projects’ execution.

First day reports:

  • “Problem-Based Learning as a Methodology of interdisciplinary projects planning and executing”

    Prof. Xiangyun Du, Aalborg University (Denmark);

  • “Interdisciplinarity in engineering education: global trends and concepts”

    Mr. Nicolás Lori, Vice-President of Fullbrighters PT, (USA);

  • “Natural science and humanities concepts in interdisciplinary projects: bridge the gap between humanists and scientists”

    Prof. Maria Martins, Senior Researcher at Rocha Cabral Scientific Research Institute, Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters (Portugal);

  • “Interdisciplinary approach in global integrated Master program”

    Prof. José Carlos Quadrado, President of the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES)

  • “Interdisciplinary projects in framework of European Grants”

    Dr. Elisa Guberti, Coordinator of EU Projects, University of Florence (Italy)

On May 21-22 participants continued the workshop on premises of Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (incl. ISEP laboratory of robotics) analyzing its best practices of organizing interdisciplinary projects that engage students of the University. Prof. Teresa Restivo and university graduates presented their reports on ISEP’s expertise in interdisciplinary approach execution, marking out advantages and obstacles that emerge while working on an interdisciplinary project in a multicultural team.

One of the main aims of the conference was to study best practices of planning and managing interdisciplinary projects in Russian engineering education. Vast experience of Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas has been represented by Professor Victor Sheinbaum , Director of Institute of Human Resource Development in Fuel and Energy field, and Dr. Petr Piatibratov, Director of Institute of Innovative Educational Projects and Management. They held a workshop “Implementation of interdisciplinary training in a virtual environment in framework of design and production activities” that included not only a key-note speech, but an on-line video broadcast of interdisciplinary approach execution in Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas.

After experts’ reports review and gain of expertise on organizing and executing of interdisciplinary projects, participants were asked to make an attempt of developing their own interdisciplinary projects. Different types of individual and team work have been accomplished by the participants in a training session “Development of interdisciplinary projects in engineering education”. The session was led by Prof. Jose Carlos Quadrado, President of International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES), and Professor Yury Pokholkov, President of Association for Engineering Education of Russia (AEER).

Training session agenda:

  1. General information: definitions, principles, assumptions
  2. Choice of the project’s topic and execution algorithm
    • Identification of trending topics for interdisciplinary projects in engineering education (individual work)
    • Rating of the topics identified (individual work)
    • Presentation of algorithm for developing the test project to the teams
  3. Interdisciplinary project’s development (team work)
    • Project aim
    • Idea generation
    • Project funding plan
    • List of participants involved (experts of different scientific fields)
    • Project objects setting (for project developers, executives)
    • Integrated outcome model (mathematical, physical, descriptive)
  4. Project presentation
    • Project presentation by each team
    • Evaluation of the projects
    • General discussion and conclusions

To learn more about teams’ projects and training session, see Training session “Development of interdisciplinary projects in engineering education” (Rus)

The conference became an open discussion area for Russian and European experts in engineering education field. Experts were able to share their experience and exchange opinions while taking part in a round table “Interdisciplinary projects: challenges and solutions”.

The round table discussion covered the following issues:

  • Extent of interdisciplinary projects implementation (execution) in technical universities;
  • Indicators of interdisciplinary projects existence in technical universities;
  • Obstacles in organizing and executing of interdisciplinary projects in Russian universities;
  • Suggestions on how to promote interdisciplinary projects development in technical universities

Results of the round table discussion are outlined in the presentation (Rus).

Another vital purpose of the conference was to establish contacts and develop (enhance) international cooperation between universities in scientific and educational fields. Universities have reached several agreements during the workshop on joint master programs and scientific and educational projects. The negotiations resulted in signing partnership agreements of Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto with Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and Don State Technical University.

The Conference ended with gala certificate awarding by Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto to the participants and invited experts.


Conference organizers express gratitude to all the keynote speakers, partners and participants for their contribution and participation in the event.



Information about the Conference




Address of Yuri P. Pokholkov