"Do Something Unusual: Creativity in Engineering Education" - Tobias Haertel and Dominik May - Join us!


I am happy to announce two visitors from TU Dortmund University, Germany. They will join us for some days, here at our beautiful campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia. Tobias Haertel and Dominik May give two presentations.

The title of the presentations are:

  • Dr. Tobias Haertel, "Do Something Unusual: Creativity in Higher Engineering Education",

  • Dominik May, "Transnational Online Learning with Remote Laboratories for Connecting Student Groups in Engineering Education".

Day and location:

  • on Tuesday, 21st of June 2016,
  • In 111 London Hall, 'Conference Room'.
  • starting at 12pm (ending around 1pm).

Read further information about the resarchers and the abstracts down below.

Dr. Tobias Haertel: "Do Something Unusual: Creativity in Higher Engineering Education"

Being creative is an imperative in modern societies, especially for knowledge workers like engineers. In the last decades, creativity has not only become a private matter of self-development, but also a ubiquitous economic requirement. Engineers who are attributed not to be creative will have a rough ride in the working world. Thus, engineering students need to be creative, and they need to solve the paradox of showing non-conformism in a discipline characterized by technical standards and rules. This raises the question what engineering students have to learn or do in order to become creative. Fortunately, to be creative can be learned. Unfortunately, not all aspects of becoming creative can be learned easily. Particularly the personal aspects are a challenge for approaches that focus on fostering engineering students' creativity. Tobias Haertel will provide a model for fostering creativity in higher engineering education based on empirical work which considers both, technical and personal aspects. Some examples of learning scenarios that foster different facets of students' creativity will be presented. A small training to foster personal aspects of creativity is introduced - not only designed for students, but for teachers as well. Because creative students need creative teachers...

Dr. phil. Tobias Haertel studied social sciences with a focus on culture and communication. After writing his PhD thesis about the governance of technology by standardization, he wanted to work on an issue that was somehow more creative and started working at the Center for Higher Education at TU Dortmund University. Since 2009, Tobias Haertel has been wedded to two projects on creativity in higher education generally and higher engineering education particularly. In his research activities, he combines aspects of creativity with other important issues of engineering education, such as entrepreneurship and mobile learning. Besides, he always enjoys encouraging students to be creative in his seminars.

Dominik May: "Transnational online learning with remote laboratories for connecting student groups in Engineering Education"

In his talk Dominik May will present his research on an online course for international mechanical engineering students, which was introduced in 2014 and delivered a second time in late summer 2015. The course is designed to prepare an internationally mixed group of students for their future period of studies in an international master degree program at a German university. Hence, the course's intention is to bring them into contact with the German culture and the educational system as well as the technical equipment they will be facing later on. The course is fully taught online as the participating students remain in their home country while course delivery. Furthermore the course offers a specialty by including online experimentation experiences with physically existing lab equipment. A complex remote laboratory has been developed at TU Dortmund University that can be used in this professional context to perform several important experiments at a distance. One of these experiments is the tensile test to determine material properties. The students work together in transnational groups using the remote tensile test for material characterization and applying the results to a practical engineering task. First evaluation results show, that the students appreciate the given opportunity to perform online experimentation and that they experience an individual competence development. In his talk Dominik May will give a short overview on the online course and explain the remote laboratory as well as its application in the course context more in detail. Showing first evaluation results and possibilities for future research will round up the talk.

Dipl Wirt.-Ing. Dominik May holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from TU Dortmund University (Germany). Currently he is research associate and doctoral candidate at the Center for Higher Education at TU Dortmund University in the area of engineering education research. In his research Dominik May focuses, inter alia, on future requirements for science and engineering graduates, such as international competence, in order to become successful engineers in a globalized professional world. Therefore he designs and investigates respective educational strategies with a special focus on online solutions and the integration of remote laboratories. Furthermore Dominik May is founding member of both the Engineering Education Research Group at the Center for Higher Education and the Working Group for Engineering Education at the German Society for Higher Education. Since 2016 he is Associate Editors-in-Chief for the International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET).