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Lessons Learned in the Paths of Developing a Multidisciplinary Certificate Program

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Curricular Design and Assessment

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Paper Authors


Hsiao-Wen Wang National Cheng Kung University

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Hsiao-Wen Wang is an Associate Professor with the Department of Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering in NCKU. Her fields of expertise include river mechanics and restoration, sediment transport, ecohydraulics, water environment planning and assessment, and geomorphology. Her research interests also include innovative learning and teaching design in engineering education. She has been working on sustainability issues based on multidisciplinary collaborations, and established a new certificate program on Circular Economy.

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Bart J.A. van Bueren National Cheng Kung University

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Bart van Bueren aims to be a visionary entrepreneur in circular economy. As founder, Van Bueren successfully launched Deltasync, Waterarchitect and the Dutch Design Post. His skills came clear when his graduation project turned into a building commission for an 1100m2 floating pavilion. It became internationally known as icon of climate adaptation. On four continents he presented his visions and in 2008 he got elected as Young Technical Professional by NLengineers. Since 2012 Van Bueren is assigned as visiting expert in DeltaDesign and Circular Economy at NCKU in Taiwan, here he teaches in five different departments and facilitates in international collaborations. Among the competitions he won are Deltacompetition’06, SouthHolland Price’09 and DeltaWaterAward’12.

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Multidisciplinary education is highly valued and strongly emphasized; however, many institutions still struggle to create the opportunities within their curriculum. Relevant efforts and experiences need to be further studied in order to expand the impacts of multidisciplinary education. This paper will examine challenges and opportunities as well as lessons learned in creating a multidisciplinary master’s certificate program on circular economy from both the perspectives of faculty and students. A circular economy taskforce, supported by National Cheng Kung University, was set up during the fall of 2016 to boost the ongoing efforts for sustainability, with an aim of developing an international and multidisciplinary certificate program to enhance students’ capacity for solving multidisciplinary problems through real-world issues and cross-disciplinary team experiences. The taskforce is represented by faculty members from different departments as the university seeks for a holistic integrated approach. At various departments, courses are modified to shift focus to the circular economy approach; and new circular economy courseware is being developed. Students and faculty members have been working on various initiatives to start pilot projects on campus and in the city. A two-week international summer school on circular economy was conducted in 2017, and a design internship program was organized. All these efforts have been integrated for developing a new master’s certificate program. Faculty members as well as students who have been involved in these efforts, representing more than eight programs, were interviewed to gather their insights on opportunities and challenges of creating such a multidisciplinary master’s degree program. Participants included department chairs, program coordinators, members of the task force, faculty who coordinate or teach courses, and students who work on the pilot projects. Results from the analysis will be presented in order to share lessons learned in developing a new master’s certificate program, with recommendations for creating a more multidisciplinary learning environment for students. Initial thoughts on the next steps in the development process will be presented.

Wang, H., & van Bueren, B. J. (2018, June), Lessons Learned in the Paths of Developing a Multidisciplinary Certificate Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30766

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