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Open Access Introducing Broad Skills in Higher Engineering Education: The Patents and Standards Courses at Eindhoven University of Technology

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Over the years, the engineering profession has changed and evolved. The expectations that employers and society have of engineers nowadays are different from those of even a few decades ago, and universities have been trying to respond to these changing needs by rethinking and redesigning their courses. This paper describes the large-scale efforts by Eindhoven University of Technology to redesign its entire undergraduate program. More specifically, it elaborates on a series of three courses on patents and standards to illustrate how new academic innovations have been put into practice while also reporting a critical evaluation of these reforms. We conclude that the undergraduate program redesign has led to an almost 50% rise in intake. Additionally, despite confirming our belief that this is a better way to train engineers, the new approach has also been challenging and not always appreciated by students as much as we would like. In regards to the patents and standards courses in particular, the efforts to increase workload while maintaining student satisfaction levels eventually proved to be successful.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • Technology and Innovation, edited and published by the National Academy of Inventors, is a forum for presenting information encompassing the entire field of applied sciences, with a focus on transformative technology and academic innovation. Regular features of T&I include commentaries contributed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in-depth profiles of Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors in every issue.

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