THE INTERACTION BETWEEN EDUCATION AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH – A CONDITION SINE QUA NON FOR ENGINEERS
Antwerp Maritime Academy (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:In current times of innovation, the interaction between education and scientific research is a condition sine qua non, also for (marine) engineers. In general, the significance of scientific research for education is a topic that for years has been increasingly gaining attention by academics.
In this paper we discuss the notion ‘nexus education-research’, its relevance for student learning, and its ultimate significance for the engineering world. As an example, the benefit of scientific research for the education of engineers resulting in the graduate degree of ‘professional bachelor in marine engineering’ will be discussed.
The interaction between education and research is about linking research to teaching. It can be understood as a close connection between, an interrelationship between, an influence between, an integration of education and research.
How is this linking of research and education to be understood in terms of ‘learning’ in the minds of the students? Boyer (1990), Glassick (1997) and later also Griffiths (2004) and Healey (2005) discuss in a less or more detailed way several types of student learning, ranging from research-led over research-oriented toward research-based and research-tutored learning. The latter two of these are obviously fed by scientific research. It is both in research-based learning and in research-tutored learning that a scientific component comes in.
Stated in more popular terms, the interaction between education and research can be brought into the curriculum by offering students the opportunity to learn not only from study tasks but also from practical tasks, and eventually from an integration of study and practice. The latter can be conceived as a task that involves writing an ultra-relevant scientific paper for a peer-reviewed journal, or as inventing an ultra-relevant innovative technology that makes a great difference to the world of engineering.
For engineers, the interaction between education and research is of utmost importance. At Antwerp Maritime Academy (AMA) this can be illustrated by the benefit of scientific research on condition monitoring and preventive maintenance of (ship) engines. This project is elaborated in cooperation with the working field and the education staff/students of AMA.
More specifically, the project is focused on the importance of joining the efforts between (rigorous) scientific research, valid (marine) industrial solutions and the education of future (marine) engineers. This coexistence is not common because the in-depth study of specific aspects from a scientific point of view do not always meet with the industrial objectives, which use to seek a direct and rapid solution of daily problems. On the other hand the development of the students’ understanding and students’ abilities are increased by carrying out (practically-based) research in cooperation with the industry.
The interrelationship between education and research and its specific application to engineering are an interesting example for conference participants, especially for those who want to obtain a deeper understanding of how innovation can be nurtured by education that is in itself supported, cultivated and strengthened by (practically-based) scientific research.
Keywords: integration research-education, (marine) engineers, innovation, technology, research.