About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1893-1902
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

INTERNATIONALISING GROUP PROJECT WORK FOR CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENTS: INTERNATIONAL PROJECT WEEK 2009

I. Smith1, M. Taylor1, P. de Klerk2, J.M. Cámara Nebreda3

1Edinburgh Napier University (UNITED KINGDOM)
2Hogeschool van Amsterdam (NETHERLANDS)
3Escuela Politécnica Superior de Burgos (SPAIN)
Edinburgh Napier University hosted a huge gathering of European civil engineering students for one week in May 2009 for the International Project Week 2009. The week long event saw over 300 students and staff from 8 institutions across 7 countries come together for a week of internationalisation, site visits, project work, networking, tourism and socialising.

Edinburgh Napier has formed a network linking several European universities' Civil Engineering departments, the purpose of which is to provide students with an awareness of civil engineering beyond their home nation and to provide them with an international component to their civil engineering studies.

The network comprises five core institutions:
• Edinburgh Napier University (Scotland),
• Hogeschool van Amsterdam (The Netherlands),
• Engineering College of Copenhagen (Denmark),
• Université Claude Bernard, Lyon (France) and
• Frankfurt Fachhochschule (Germany).

In addition to students from these five institutions taking part, students from Escuela Politécnica Superior de Burgos (Spain), CESFA-BTP Paris (France) and Latvia University of Agriculture, Civil and Rural Engineering (Latvia) participated.

The event was opened by the Scottish government Education Minister – such was the high profile nature of the event – and attracted local media coverage. After an opening session of short presentations from industrialists on the projects to be visited later in the week, the students were placed into groups of 6 to begin their week-long project work. Each group comprised a student from each participating institution (as best as numbers would permit) and the new friendships commenced immediately. The project work was fun yet educational, and the students had to gather information on what they saw and heard throughout the week working as a team. Site visits to major civil engineering projects going on in and around Edinburgh were orchestrated and the support from industry in enabling this was wonderful. The site visits ran over a 2 day long period and the week closed with another day of fun and educational group work. Evening socialising events were organised and the friendships, started on the first day, grew and matured in the evenings and through the week.

The event was a phenomenal success and all participants left the city with fantastic memories, new friendships and in awe at the civil engineering projects they had witnessed and the hospitality they had received. For all participants the week was to be the most memorable week in their entire civil engineering education. In terms of student experience, IPW 2009 quite simply took things off the scale. The paper describes the background to the IPW network and the Edinburgh event, together with details of all of the activities undertaken by the students. The objective of this paper is to illustrate to all civil engineering departments around Europe the importance of such an event and to encourage those departments that don’t currently engage in such an event, to consider doing so in the future.
@InProceedings{SMITH2010INT,
author = {Smith, I. and Taylor, M. and de Klerk, P. and C{\'{a}}mara Nebreda, J.M.},
title = {INTERNATIONALISING GROUP PROJECT WORK FOR CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENTS: INTERNATIONAL PROJECT WEEK 2009},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1893-1902}}
TY - CONF
AU - I. Smith AU - M. Taylor AU - P. de Klerk AU - J.M. Cámara Nebreda
TI - INTERNATIONALISING GROUP PROJECT WORK FOR CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENTS: INTERNATIONAL PROJECT WEEK 2009
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 1893
EP - 1902
ER -
I. Smith, M. Taylor, P. de Klerk, J.M. Cámara Nebreda (2010) INTERNATIONALISING GROUP PROJECT WORK FOR CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENTS: INTERNATIONAL PROJECT WEEK 2009, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 1893-1902.
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