Advantages of industry-academia partnerships for the development of professional competences in civil engineering

Akan O. D. , Bilgin G., ERTUĞRUL Z.

10th International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education, PAEE 2018 and 15th Active Learning in Engineering Education Workshop, ALE 2018, Brasilia, Brazil, 28 February - 02 March 2018, vol.8, pp.90-98 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 8
  • City: Brasilia
  • Country: Brazil
  • Page Numbers: pp.90-98
  • Keywords: Academy-industry partnership, Civil engineering education, ERASMUS+ program, Professional competences, Project-based learning
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2018, University of Minho. All rights reserved.The Civil Engineering undergraduate program offered by the Department of Civil Engineering of TED University – Turkey, in realization of the necessity to enhance both technical and transversal competencies of its students, requires successful completion of two one-month industry internships during summer semesters of the second and third years of the program. After completion of these internships, students are expected to enroll a summer practice course during subsequent fall semesters. Within the scope of these summer practice courses, students present and defend their work as a written report and an oral presentation. During the academic year of 2015-2016, two junior students of the program completed their internships at separate civil engineering companies in Austria and Greece by making use of the European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS+) program. During their internships, these students were expected to get involved with technical activities such as production, design and research under the supervision of company engineers. This paper discusses the observed advantages and disadvantages of this project-based learning approach (or industry-academia partnership) through experiences and completed works of these students. The civil engineering companies at which summer internships were completed, were asked to rate the competences of the students through a questionnaire. Students’ written reports and oral presentations were graded by the department faculty members by following a detailed predefined rubric. At the end of the process, students were asked to rate their experiences by completing a student evaluation questionnaire. In the present study, we utilized the document analysis methodology for data collection. More specifically the submitted written reports, company and student evaluation questionnaires, faculty grading reports were subjected to a content analysis. The two students of this Civil Engineering undergraduate program also acquired the chance to reflect their views directly by co-authoring this paper. The developed competencies of other 30 undergraduate students of the program that completed their internships within Turkey are also discussed in a comparative manner.