EUCEET - European Civil Engineering Education and Training

by Professor Josef MACHÁÈEK

  1. Introduction
  2. The first information about EUCEET has been presented in AECEF Newsletter 2/1998. The basic data about the project are below summarised again:

    1. EUCEET is Thematic Network Project in the frame of SOCRATES Programme.
    2. Project involves leading higher education institutions from 19 countries eligible for support within SOCRATES in the academic year 1998/99, as well as research centres, professional associations and trans-european associations in the field of civil engineering. At present EUCEET has 58 project partners, including AECEF.
    3. Management of the project:
      Steering Committee with 13 members;
      Executive Board: Prof. Marie-Ange Cammarota, ENPC Paris, Co-ordinator;
      Prof. David Lloyd Smith, Imperial College London, Deputy Co-ordinator;
      Prof. Iacint Manoliu, TUCE Bucharest, Secretary General.
    4. Terms of the project: 1998/99, 1999/00, 2000/01.
      Present Financial Agreement signed for period from 01/09/1998 to 31/08/1999.
    5. Maximum grant allocated for the project: 135 000 EURO (90 000 EURO for EUR 18 group and 45 000 EURO for associated countries, i.e. CZ, HU, RO).
    6. General aims and objective of the project:
      “To enhance the co-operation between universities, faculties and departments of civil engineering in Europe, with involvement of academic and professional associations, in order to contribute to the development of civil engineering education and to increase its quality and effectiveness”.
    7. Means for accomplishing the main objective: Work in 6 working groups.
    8. Work plan for the first year (1998/99):
      • 2/1999 General Assembly of all partners;
      • 2/1999 Initial meeting of three Working Groups;
      • 12/98, 2/99, 7/99 Steering Committee Meetings;
      • 6-7/99 Working Groups (WGA, WGB, WGC) Meetings

    This information should supply AECEF members with progress of work within the EUCEET and enable to all AECEF members to participate either through AECEF (see contact person below) or as individual institutions. The EUCEET TN Project is still open for entering to new members from EU and associated countries.

  3. First EUCEET General Assembly
  4. First General Assembly (GA) was held in Barcelona on February 22-23, 1999. Host institution, ETSECCP Barcelona (Escola Tècnica Superior ïEnginyers de Camins, Canals i Ports de Barcelona) celebrates its XXV anniversary in 1999. Excellent organisation should be mentioned and thanks to Prof. Ramon Casas and his colleagues expressed.

    GA was attended by 49 people from 19 countries, representing 33 universities, 2 professional associations, 1 academic association and 1 research centre.

    GA was open by Prof. Marie-Ange Cammarota, EUCEET Coordinator, followed by ETSECCP Barcelona representatives and Prof. Iacint Manoliu, EUCEET Secretary General. Plenary session continued with general presentations on the Project, terms of reference for the Working Groups (presented by WG chairmen, see below), information about other Thematic Networks like H3E (Higher Engineering Education in Europe, presented by Prof. G. Heitmann), information about AECEF (presented by Prof. J. Macháèek), and ECCE (European Council of Civil Engineers).

    Next half-day was devoted to discussions in parallel sessions on the activity plans of the Working Groups. The principal conclusions of these discussions are presented further.

  5. Working groups
  6. WORKING GROUP A (prepared by Professor Iacint Manoliu)

    The Working Group A is entitled: Curricula in Civil Engineering Education at undergraduate level and is chaired by Prof. Iacint MANOLIU (Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest, Romania).

    The working group A plans to obtain a picture as clear and complete as possible on the Civil Engineering programmes at undergraduate level across Europe.

    A survey on the Civil Engineering Education at undergraduate level will be conducted based on a questionnaire which will require information on the following topics:

    The questionnaire will be sent to all university members of the EUCEET Thematic Network and, though them, to other universities in Europe offering Civil Engineering education. The questionnaire will be also distributed to a number of faculties from countries not yet eligible for partnership under the SOCRATES-ERASMUS programme.

    The analysis of the questionnaire returns will be made by working group A and discussed in workshops and in the second General Assembly of EUCEET, to be held in May 2000.

    A database of information collected will be established.

    As deliverable, two comprehensive studies will be produced by the working group A:

    At present, following the first meeting held in Barcelona, on 23 February 1999, the WGA has 19 members, namely: Iacint Manoliu (TUCE Bucharest), David Loyd Smith (Imperial College London), Richard Kastner (INSA Lyon), Lerau Jacques (INSA Toulouse), Jean Francois Thimus (Universite Catholique de Louvain), Ghilani Fonder (Universite de Liege), Luis Lemos (Coimbra University), Bruce Misstear (Trinity College Dublin), Pedro Diez (ETSECCP Barcelona), Jorg Franke (TU Berlin), Ryszard Kowalczyk (University of Beira Interior), Pericles Latinopoulos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Antal Lovas (TU Budapest), Vaclav Kuraz (Czech T.U. Prague), Josef Dicky (Slovak University of Technology Bratislava), Vincentas Stragys (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University), George Bârsan (T.U. Cluj-Napoca), Paulicã Rãileanu (T.U. Iaºi) and Tudor Bugnariu (T.U.C.E. Bucharest).

    The second meeting of the WGA will be hosted by Imperial College London on 26 - 27 July 1999.

    WORKING GROUP B (prepared by Professor J. M. Ferreira Lemos)

    The Working Group B is entitled: Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Civil Engineering Education and is chaired by Prof. J. M. Ferreira LEMOS (Universidade de Porto, Faculty of Engineering, Portugal). The following items were approved during Barcelona EUCEET Meeting:

    1. Professors Alan Kwan of Cardiff and Ferreira Lemos of Porto will work on the questionnaire for the survey on "Accreditation"; finishing the Paper is expected at the end of May (see internet pages:
    2. Professor Manfred Federau of Odense will be responsible for producing a Preliminary paper on the item "Quality Assessment". Draft(s) of this Paper will be circulated - if necessary in stages – and member comments will be discussed with him, early enough to finish Preliminary Paper at the end of the first project year - end of May or beginning of June 1999.
      The Preliminary Paper will deal with "The Quality Process" - and how it could be organised. It should go on right down to Quality Assurance and Evaluation of course units and pedagogical means.
    3. Proposals for the further work:
      • Next steps could be surveys - based on the two Preliminary Papers (referred in points 1 and 2) - among the project members on quality parameters actually used by these.
      • The second year could be based on the result of the - surveys - finishing this part of the Paper including work on producing a set of Recommendations for "Organisation and Performance of Quality Assurance and Measurements" and also for "Accreditation of Civil Engineering".
      • The third year could be used on the more difficult task to try to look into what levels should be reached. Depending on outcome of this work, the group could produce "Recommendations for Quality Standards in Civil Engineering Education". This work will establish a direct link to the second part of the assignment, "the Accreditation".

      At present, following the first meeting held in Barcelona, on 23 February 1999, the WGB has 13 members, namely: José Ferreira Lemos (Universidade do Porto), Alan Kwan (Cardiff Uiniversity), Jose-Louis Juan-Aracil (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid), Ellen Touw (TU Delft), Florin Dabija (TUCE Bucharest), Jean Michel Torrenti (ENPC), Manfred Federau (The Engineering College of Odense), Povilas Vainiunas (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University), Josef Macháèek (CTU in Prague), Ivan Juøíèek (Slovak University of Technology), Ludovít Fillo (Slovak University of Technology), Günter Heitmann (TU Berlin), Francese Robusté (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya)

      The second meeting of the WGB will take place in Italy (coupled with the Executive Board Meeting of AECEF), in early June 1999.

    WORKING GROUP C (prepared by Professor Laurie Boswell)

    The Working Group C is entitled: Synergies Between University, Research Industry and Authorities in the Construction Sector of Europe and is chaired by Prof. Laurie Boswell (City University, Department of Civil Engineering, London, Great Britain). Notes of the WGC Meeting, held in Barcelona, follow:

    1. Introduction

      In opening the Working Group, Professor Boswell referred to the objectives which he outlined in the plenary session on the previous day, and which are set out below. He stated his view that Working Group C had a difficult task because the topic was much less well defined than those of the other Working Groups.

      1. The Mission of Working Group C. This might be to examine synergies and to focus upon engineering education and research opportunities within university civil engineering departments.
      2. Objectives. Some objectives of Working Group C might be:
        • Evaluate the role and scope of research activities in education programmes.
        • Consider current institutional strategies and activities between education and research.
        • Look at current research programmes.
        • Consider the current research needs of industry and the public sector.
        • Look at sources of funding at national and European levels.
        • Consider the scope for partnering and collaboration.
      3. Issues to be considered. These might include:
        • The relationships between basic and continuing education, and in particular:
        • The role of research for teachers, and its impact on quality of teaching, teacher capability and skill in knowledge creation, as well as acquisition, creativity and problem solving.
        • Importance of research activities for students, and their impact upon factors such as the development of learning capabilities by active research, development of social skills and competencies, training for responsibility and working ethics.
        • The role of continuing education for dissemination of new knowledge.
        • The roles of basic and applied research in education.
        • Integrating research and training, and linking them into industry.
        • Collaborative research and its importance for education.

      The main reasons for links are thought to be self evident for a vocational discipline such as civil engineering. Many students will work in the profession after graduation, so will benefit greatly from exposure to the real world of work, particularly in relation to practical issues of construction, such as design. The nature of links and their importance vary widely. For example, in Norway, partnering and industrial clubs are important, especially for gaining industrial funds, and many countries, such as Finland and Portugal, have natural links between industry and research labs due to the existence of the National Laboratories of Public Works. However, Industry’s requirements for immediate applicable results of research and collaboration, for example in countries such as the Czech Republic, can make for a potentially difficult relationship.

    2. What is going on?

      It was agreed that the Groups should find out what is actually going on at the moment, by conducting a survey of the existing links, how they operate and what they are for. At present, links can take the form of research contacts, visiting lectureships, industrial placements for students, advisory committees, short courses and many more, but the Group needs to obtain a full picture of these.

    3. How do these links impact upon teaching programmes?

      Although many links are staff-based, for example consultancy, industrially sponsored research and so on, the aim of many of the links is that they will feed into teaching programmes. It would be necessary for the Group to establish if this is true and just how it works. The likelihood is that this will vary between undergraduate and postgraduate students, and both should be investigated.

    4. Benefits of links

      Again, benefits would appear to be self evident, for example, in terms of job opportunities for students, better trained personnel for Industry, research finance for Departments, etc., but the type of benefits seem to vary widely, and should be investigated to give a full picture.

    5. Production of a survey

      It was agreed that the Group should prepare a survey to assess these points and to see whether general ideas of best practice might arise from this. Such a survey might also help Industry, Research Labs and Universities to understand each other’s need better. The perception among many of Group C’s members was that Industry was not always sure what it wanted and was often concerned with applied research and immediate problem solving. However, one of the main aims of civil engineering education is to produce graduates well placed to enter and make a useful contribution towards the Profession, so it is important that both parties understand each other better. The survey could therefor try to explore Industry’s views of the type of graduates we produce and their perception of research and how it will impact on the future of the Construction Industry.

      The members of EUCEET are very diverse, so it was suggested that a wide range of questions be used, to give a greater chance of all members being able to state their differing types of link. It was also suggested that the questionnaire should cover tangible matters related to technical issues, particularly for research, not simply be a general list of types of link.

      The need to involve Industry was clear, but the way to do this was less so. It seemed obvious to obtain the views of those professional organisations and public laboratories which are members of EUCEET, but involving Industry would be more tricky. For example, should we send the questionnaire to a large number of companies, or should we focus on a relatively small number of companies we know well, perhaps making special reference to those Departments which have Industrial Advisory Committees? The latter might be a more fruitful approach, but this would need to be clarified at the next Working Group meeting.

    6. Timetable

      Professor Boswell and Mr. Kerr agreed to prepare first draft of a questionnaire which attempted to cover the points raised here, and to circulate it in April, for comments. It was hoped that the questionnaire could be refined and improved over the early part of the summer, and finalised at the next working Group meeting in July. In addition to finalising the questionnaire, the main purpose of the next meeting would be to agree to whom it should be sent (Universities? Companies? Research Labs? Public Laboratories?). And begin to thing about how the results should be analysed.

    7. Next meeting

      19 July, in Dresden. Other details to be confirmed in due course.

      At present, following the first meeting held in Barcelona on 23 February 1999, the WGC has 11 members, namely: Laurie Boswell (City University, London), Istvan Bodi (Technical University of Budapest), Ralf Reinecke (Technische Universität München), Aarne Jutila (Helsinki University of Technology), Juan Murcia (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya), Nicoleta Radulescu (TUCE Bucharest), Eivind Bratteland (Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim), Hynek Šertler (Univerzita Pardubice), Peter Ruge (Technische Universität Dresden), Pedro Seco e Pinto (LNEC Lisbon), Collin J. Kerr (The Institution of Civil Engineers, London).

  7. Conclusion
  8. AECEF as a participant of EUCEET Project intends to inform its members about progress of WG work and Project results in AECEF Newsletters. The members not involved individually in the Project are kindly asked to support the activity of all WG and help with collecting the necessary data, etc., through questionnaires or other materials distributed by AECEF Secretariat. Joining the project as individual partners is highly recommended and may be discussed with Prof. Iacint Manoliu (

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