Future Engineers, an International and Multicultural program
What is Future Engineers?
It is part of the International Virtual Academic Collaboration (IVAC) program funded by Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) where students of FH Bielefeld get to work and learn together with Mexican students from our partner institution Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP).
Goal – International collaboration
As stated in the student comment the goal of “Future Engineers” is to have an international experience for FH Bielefeld students collaborating with Mexico.
The idea for the project was born in summer 2020, when Prof. Dr. José Luis Vázquez González and Prof. Dr. Mariam Dopslaf were discussing the possibility to create a hands-on experience for students. Together they prepared the necessary documents for the DAAD call for proposals and received the project approval in October 2020. Subsequently, Prof. Dr. Rubén Alejos Palomares joined the team, Fernando Greenham was hired as project engineer and the layout of the project proceedings was conjointly planned.
Proceedings – International teams working together across the globe
In total 18 students coming from different study programs (Industrial Engineering, Mechatronics, Biomedical Engineering, Digital Logistics) from both institutions of higher education were recruited, organized into three intercultural teams and given the task to develop a positive pressure breathing device in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
From February until May 2021, the teams worked individually on their projects and met with the professors and the project engineer weekly in order to present their progress. During the collaboration, the participants were immersed in mechanics, electronics, product design, CAD, programming, project management and marketing, among others. Not all student participants were experts in those disciplines but were able to concentrate on their area of interest within their teams. Additionally, the weekly presentations in English language improved presentation and language skills.
Funding by DAAD IVAC program – International Virtual Academic Collaboration
Overall, students and lecturers have had a great experience with the first DAAD IVAC funded generation of hopefully many generations in the future. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) published one of the students’ impressions as Testimonial #3 “Future Engineers”, FH Bielefeld: https://www.daad.de/en/the-daad/what-we-do/ivac-testimonials/
Outlook – Next generation of future engineers in 2021
Currently, the next generation of future engineers is being planned to take place from August until November 2021 and the call for participants will soon be published.
@ FH Bielefeld students of all campus: Stay tuned for the project call for participants!
@ Professors, lecturers and staff: This is an open invitation for your collaboration in the project! If you have project ideas, would like to hold a short presentation in English language from your field contributing to the learning experience of the students or just follow the weekly updates, please do not hesitate to get in touch!
“In summary, I can say that I was able to learn and deepen many different social, technical and economic skills in this project. Despite the high amount of work, I would do it again at any time.” (Student Campus Minden)
“Summing up I can say that I am very grateful that I got the chance to be part of the project. Not only for my professional life did I learn how to build up successful development projects and solve problems on the way, but also for my personal future I was able to extend my network and got to know several new people.” (Student Campus Gütersloh)