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Introducing Engineering To Bologna

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.965.1 - 12.965.16



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Paper Authors


Jose Branco Politecnico de Viseu

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Jose Fiuza Branco, PhD Professor of Fluid Mechanics, Thermal Machines, Thermal Processes, Combustion and Introduction to Engineering; Associate Professor since 1992; Head of the Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management Department of the Escola Superior de Tecnologia of the Polytechnic of Viseu from 2005 to 2006; Secretary of the Scientific Council of the Escola Superior de Tecnologia of the Polytechnic of Viseu from 1996 to 2001.

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Odete Lopes Politecnico de Viseu

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Maria Odete Monteiro Lopes, BSc in Chemical Engineering from ISE Coimbra (Portugal) in 1992 and MBA from ISCTE Lisbon in 2003. From 1995 to 1998, she was a chemical technician and lab assistant at the Electrochemistry and Corrosion Laboratory in Coimbra. From 1998 to 2001, she was an industrial management lab assistant in the Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management Department of Instituto Politecnico de Viseu, Portugal. Since 2001 she is an assistant professor of Operations Management, Project Management and Quality Management at the Escola Superior de Tecnologia of the Polytechnic of Viseu, Portugal.

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Joao Vinhas Politecnico de Viseu

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João Vinhas, MSc Professor of Physics and Mechanics; Assistant Professor since 1998; Director of the graduation in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management of the Escola Superior de Tecnologia of the Polytechnic of Viseu from 2002 to 2005; Researcher at the Joint Research Centre of the European Union at Ispra, Italy, from 1994 to 1996.

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Joao Paiva Politecnico de Viseu

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Joao Monney Paiva, PhD Professor of Thermodynamics, Heat and Mass Transfer, Pneumatic Transport, Energy Audits,Operations Management, Entrepreneurship and Introduction to Engineering; Coordinator Professor since 1995; Head of the Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management Department of the Escola Superior de Tecnologia of the Polytechnic of Viseu from 1990 to 2002; Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Escola Superior de Tecnologia of the Polytechnic of Viseu from 1996 to 2004; Coordinator of Engineering Education seminars since 1998; CEO of Provela, SA, since 1996; CEO of Transcome, SA, since 1995; Director of Transagri, Lda (, Mangualde, Portugal, since 1986; Engineer at Brown Boveri Corp., Baden, Switzerland, 1981-83; Assistant engineer at MAGUE, Construcoes Metalomecanicas, Alverca, Portugal, 1980-81.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Introducing Engineering to Bologna

Abstract – The European Union efforts to promote the creation of a competitive system on a global scale within its boundaries, induced the adoption of several measures intended to allow the mutual recognition of educational degrees within its boundaries and, mainly, to increase the system’s effectiveness and efficiency. Concerning these last two issues, Portuguese higher education institutions working in technological areas are “doomed” to be confronted with an assessment process driven by the OECD (Organisation for Economics Co-operation and Development). When it carried out former assessment processes in other European countries, it had already established the items that will guide the whole process: ease and ability to find and fulfill a job/profession in a global, modern and ever changing workplace/market. In the first semester of the first year both the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering graduations board decided to place an Introduction to Engineering course, aimed at giving freshmen a sign of what they are expected to achieve and the attitudes they are likely to develop. This course covers a range of topics that are supposed to, on the one hand, give students the opportunity to acquire a set of important techniques (such as personality recognition and learning styles, effectiveness and effective use of time and problem solving), and on the other hand, to encourage/induce them to adopt cooperative learning and proactive behaviors, both within the classroom and during the time spent studying. To lecture this course a set of professors were chosen: academic/scientific, managers of regionally important enterprises and technicians able to conduct and supervise machine shop activities that are to be used in manufacturing students’ own design of small projects. It is the way this course was organized, how it run and worked out that will be described in this paper.


The Bologna process started off as inter-governmental cooperation, the corresponding declaration having been signed in 1999 by 29 ministers of education, and aims at establishing a European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Ministers engaged in coordinating their policies to achieve the desired goal within the first decade of the third millennium. In order to establish this EAHE, this process set itself a first set of objectives, spelled out in the so-called Bologna Declaration that consisted in the adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees, essentially based on two cycles. Additionally, a system of credits was to be established, in order to facilitate and promote mobility as well as European co-operation in quality assurance.

These objectives were further specified in several subsequent ministerial conferences. Among others, the third cycle was added to the two-cycle system and the resulting system was adopted by all the participating countries. In this resulting national framework of qualifications the levels have the function of preparing the students for the labor market as well as for further competence building. There is a common path where each level builds on the preceding one and where it is the qualification acquired that will give access to a subsequent higher level. All the participating

Branco, J., & Lopes, O., & Vinhas, J., & Paiva, J. (2007, June), Introducing Engineering To Bologna Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2909

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