About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7060-7068
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1651

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

FROM EMPOWERMENT TO INNOVATION: INTER- AND TRANSDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODS IN LIGHTWEIGHT ENGINEERING

Inter- and transdisciplinary research are new demands in Higher Education. Aiming to enhance the social relevance, usability and sustainability of technological products and solutions, society and public institutions such as research funding organizations increasingly expect engineers to include inter- and transdisciplinary approaches into the development of new technologies. Engineering research and education, however, are particularly challenging areas to realize inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations, for manifold reasons.

This contribution presents methods and results of an inter- and transdisciplinary research and education strategy designed to meet the particular requirements of engineers and engineering students. It starts with a brief discussion of typical challenges regarding inter- and transdisciplinary approaches in engineering (research topics, research culture, skills, time, and barriers of lay people to involve in technology development). Secondly, it presents the methods developed to overcome those challenges within the context of the NRW Fortschrittskolleg "Light - Efficient - Mobile" (FK LEM). Founded in 2014, the FK LEM is a PhD programm focuses on Leight Weight Engineering, but with a special emphasis on how Leight Weight Technologies are connected to different areas of society, to societal actors and technology users, and to the needs of a diversity of social groups. In order to explore these connections, we organized three workshops to bring public service, civil society, industry, practitioners and engineers together to discuss the perceived needs in those areas, and the potential of Leight Weight Technology solutions. Topically, the workshops were dedicated to the fields of Rescue & Security Services; Care, Mobility, & Assisted Living; and Sustainable Ressources & Climate Protection. Methodologically, we applied a pragmatic but valid approach to focus groups and discourse analysis. Results of the workshops in terms of directions for future research, epistemological and ethical dimensions of Light Weight Technology engineering are presented in the third part of our contribution. Finally, we discuss how our method and experience can be transferred into other engineering and educational contexts. With other words, how empowering students, engineers and the public to involve in inter- and transdisciplinary engineering processes can be achieved, and how this empowerment supports the development of innovative technologies as well as engineers’ skills to design technology in line with societies needs and challenges.

Acknowledgement:
The authors thank Land North Rhine-Westfalia for supporting the NRW Fortschrittskollegs Leicht – Effizient – Mobil.
@InProceedings{HORWATH2018FRO,
author = {Horwath, I. and Dohmeier-Fischer, S. and Wei{\ss}-Borkowski, N. and Troester, T.},
title = {FROM EMPOWERMENT TO INNOVATION: INTER- AND TRANSDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODS IN LIGHTWEIGHT ENGINEERING},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1651},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1651},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {7060-7068}}
TY - CONF
AU - I. Horwath AU - S. Dohmeier-Fischer AU - N. Weiß-Borkowski AU - T. Troester
TI - FROM EMPOWERMENT TO INNOVATION: INTER- AND TRANSDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODS IN LIGHTWEIGHT ENGINEERING
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1651
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 7060
EP - 7068
ER -
I. Horwath, S. Dohmeier-Fischer, N. Weiß-Borkowski, T. Troester (2018) FROM EMPOWERMENT TO INNOVATION: INTER- AND TRANSDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH METHODS IN LIGHTWEIGHT ENGINEERING, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 7060-7068.
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