The Mechanical Engineer of the Future
This strategy project aims to serve as the foundation for the future strategic development of the Mechanical engineering programme (Master of Engineering) at Chalmers University of Technology (Chalmers). The goal is to be one of the top Mechanical engineering programmes in Europe. The project has been led during 2014 by two students attending programme. The programme consists of a Bachelor cycle and a Master’s cycle. An action research based approach has been used, and the data collection has included both quantitative and qualitative methods. Data collection aimed to gather the different stakeholders’ views of the future of Mechanical engineering education, and to learn from other programmes and universities. The stakeholders have been defined as: Academia (universities in general, and Chalmers in particular), students and alumni from the five year Mechanical engineering programme, industry, and society. The global outlook has focused on universities within Europe and the USA, and has included site visits. Data has been analysed continuously and summarised into five challenges. The challenges for the mechanical engineering programme have been identified as: recruitment, arenas for meetings between industry-university-student, skills of the engineer, internationalisation, and uncertainty. These have been further discussed and evolved into recommendations for the Mechanical engineering programme.
The first recommendation, connected to the challenge ‘uncertainty’ is vital for a holistic long term development of the programme, and it states that The Mechanical engineering programme has to agree on what should characterise a Master of Science in Mechanical engineering, i.e. the combined Bachelor and Master’s cycles, at Chalmers. Without this foundation it will be exceedingly difficult to organise further developments. Other general recommendations for the programme include mapping and defining what is already being done in the programme, developing it and then improving the way that the strengths of the programme are exhibited both internally and externally.