Future engineering education discussed during 4th Unite! Dialogue in Barcelona
Around 100 European participants met onsite/online during the 4th Unite! Dialogue in Barcelona in November 2021, to talk about the future of engineering education. They also conferred about the technical requirements of the future society for engineers, including ethical and sustainability issues.
Unite! is a network of European universities for innovation, technology and engineering. From a researcher’s/KTH perspective, the Unite! dialogue meetings are considered very relevant to establish a more meaningful dialogue across different universities.
Ricardo Vinuesa was a co-chair of the education session at the meeting. He is an Associate Professor at the Department of Engineering Mechanics at KTH and Deputy Director of the KTH Digitalization Platform.
“In particular, the Unite initiative aims at developing coherent guidelines for the future of education across Europe, and therefore being able to discuss at length in person is essential. We also established a nice collaboration with the hosts at UPC, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, in terms of AI, UN Sustainable Development Goals and education,” he says.
The future of engineering education was the main topic of the meeting, emphasising on the students' perspective. Also, technical requirements of the future society for engineers, including ethical ones and the competencies required regarding sustainability were in focus.
“We talked about how artificial intelligence is transforming the world, how it can help achieve the SDGs, and how it can impact education. We also focused on the need to incorporate aspects of sustainability in all engineering programs throughout Europe, as well as the focus on understanding all the unintended consequences of using certain technologies, for example, CO2 emissions associated with training an AI model,” Ricardo Vinuesa says.
Text: Helena Mayer