June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1398.1 - 12.1398.17
There is no standard Civil Engineer – Innovative Changes in Education are necessary in Europe -
Prof. Dr. Carsten Ahrens Department of Civil Engineering and Geoinformation Fachhochschule Oldenburg/Ostfriesland/Wilhelmshaven (FH OOW) Oldenburg, Germany
All over the world numerous, magnificently and differently shaped buildings, bridges, open spaces, streets etc. can be found and admired. Every country in the world features such civil engineering products, recently built or hundreds of years old. They are built by civil engineers, even though they are often dedicated to architects only, and these civil engineers were influenced by totally different educational backgrounds, learning approaches and professional development and experience as well as culturally very different surroundings.
This was and always will be the case. So it is true to say that there is no standard civil engineer. Why then are innovative changes necessary in the civil engineering education? What especially is the European answer?
2. Definition of a Civil Engineer
To answer the above question it is necessary to know who is or what it means to be a civil engineer. One of the many ways to define a civil engineer is as follows:
A civil engineer is an academically educated and practice-oriented professional who has and uses scientific, technical and other pertinent knowledge and skills to create, enhance, operate and maintain safe and efficient buildings, processes or devices of practical and economic value, for industry and the community.
3. The Professional Formation Framework of Civil Engineers in Europe
The definition given is part of the declaration of the European Council of Civil Engineers (ECCE) and the European Council of Engineering Chambers (ECEC) to describe and create a common platform for civil engineers within the European Union (EU). These two non-profit organizations represent about 800 000 civil engineers in 24 countries within Europe.
One of their objectives is to provide the possibility for all European civil engineers to live and work or to provide services in other EU member states. The basis for this approach is the EU- directive 2005/36/EC on Professional Qualification 1.
The directive very much influences the education, formation and professional development of – not only – civil engineers and therefore led to “The Professional Formation Framework of Civil Engineers of ECCE/ECEC” that has been devised
- to be definite, transparent, directly applicable and objectively reviewed; - to contain sufficient flexibility to meet the national requirements of the different Member States; - to take into account the two different education/training levels at institutions
Ahrens, C. (2007, June), The Civil Engineer Does Not Exist ? Innovative Changes In Education Are Necessary In Europe Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2581
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