International design project semester: a program to challenge industrial design engineering undergraduates to work and study in teams in both presential and non presential learning environments
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Since 1991, the Technical University of Catalonia has focussed on introducing Sustainability education in all its engineering and architectural programmes through two environmental plans (1996-2000, 2000-2005), and currently through the UPC Sustainable 2015  plan. Under this framework and following the success of the project programme, European Project Semester (EPS) the School of Engineering of Vilanova i la Geltrú (EPSEVG) has designed and coordinated a new Erasmus mobility programme, the International Design Project Semester (IDPS), which started in February 2012. IDPS trains engineering students by applying Project Based Learning in intercultural groups. The working language is English and the programme is designed for degree students in their 7th or 8th semester. The IDPS programme offered at the EPSEVG emphasises the introduction of competences in sustainability and human technology. The main objective of the IDPS is to improve the learning outcomes and competences of industrial design engineering students especially in areas of sustainability. It also endeavours to improve their ability to work in intercultural settings developing real projects with 4-6 other students. The IDPS is divided into two main parts. One part covers the four core courses (each worth 3 ECTS) and the second part involves carrying out a project (worth 18 ECTS). The courses are in Eco- Design, Sustainable Value Design, Human Centred Design and a Business Practicum. Additional seminars and workshops will compliment the courses and will vary from programme to programme. The projects are proposed by local companies and research groups. The inaugural IDPS programme will start in February 2012 and participants will include 5 students from partner universities and also members of teaching staff from the school of Engineering in Vilanova i la Geltrú. This paper shows the design methodology used in the IDPS programme, its structure and the sustainability competences the students are expected to achieve.
CitacióSegalas, J.; Benson, P. International design project semester: a program to challenge industrial design engineering undergraduates to work and study in teams in both presential and non presential learning environments. A: International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies. "Proceedings of EDULEARN12 Conference". Barcelona: 2012, p. 6343-6348.