State-of-the art of the Project by the end of the 1st year (31 August 1999)

by Prof. Iacint Manoliu
Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest
Secretary General of the EUCEET Steering Committee

Prof. Iacint Manoliu
In the AECEF Newsletter 1/1999, Professor Josef Machacek made a comprehensive presentation of the activities undertaken on 22-23 February 1999 in Barcelona, in the frame of the SOCRATES Thematic Network EUCEET (European Civil Engineering Education and Training): the First General Assembly of the first meetings of the Working Groups A, B and C and the second meeting of the Steering Committee.

The present material intends to inform the readers of the AECEF Newsletter on the subsequent EUCEET activities until the completion of the first year of the Project (31 August 1999) and on the main activities planned for the second year.

Meetings of the Working Groups and of the Steering Committee

The second meetings of the Working Groups A, B, C

The second meeting of the Working Group A was held at Imperial College, London, on 26 July 1999.

The 23 participants represented the following universities: ENPC Paris, Imperial College London, T.U. Berlin, Trinity College Dublin, INSA Lyon, INSA Toulouse, Universite de Liege, ETSICCP Madrid, IST Lisbon, University of Beira Interior, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, T.U. Budapest, CTU Prague, SUT Bratislava, Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest. Two representatives of the Association of European Civil Engineering Faculties were also present. The meeting was devoted to a preliminary analysis of the returns for the Questionnaire on curriculum for civil engineering education at undergraduate level. A total number of 66 answers were received by the time of the meeting, from which 30 from EUCEET partners and 36 from other institutions. It was decided to extend to 15 December 1999 the deadline for receiving new answers or amendments to the incomplete answers. Proposals for curricular categories, as starting point for the in-depth analysis allowing a comparison among civil engineering curricula at undergraduate level in Europe, were made by the Chairman of the WG. After discussions, members of the Working Group agreed on the following categories: Basic Sciences; Engineering Sciences; Core Civil Engineering Subjects; Engineering Specialization; Economic and Management; Humanities, Social sciences; Languages and Physical education; Field work; Final Project.

The next meeting of the Working Group A will take place on 28-29 February 1999 in Lyon.

The second meeting of the Working Group B was hosted by the Politecnico di Torino on 2nd July 1999 and was attended by 9 people representing 7 partners universities and AECEF. It was decided to separate the Assessment matters from the Accreditation subjects. Concerning Assessment, it will focus on Quality Management. Ideas stated in Manfred Federau’s discussion paper “Quality Management” were accepted. It was proposed to take in account the results of the WG A concerning the core curriculum and to emphasize the implications of the next millenium. The objective of the WG in this respect is the preparation of a document on Quality Management that will enable the mutual recognition of the civil engineering courses in Europe, stating the main goals and the minimum standards as well as the assessment efficiency. Concerning Accreditation, it was decided to make all efforts to mobilise the National Professional Bodies in order to prepare the guidelines which will enable the Professional Mutual Recognition in Europe.

The second meeting of the Working Group C was organised on 17 July 1999 at the Technical University Dresden, being attended by 8 people representing 7 partner universities. Discussions focused on the draft of the questionnaire which has been circulated shortly after the Barcelona meeting. It was agreed that the survey should aim to collect representative Faculty - or Department wide views, though it was accepted that this might be difficult in some case because of the autonomous nature of the different Chairs/Research Groups within a given Department or Faculty. It was agreed to send the questionnaire to a specified contact within each EUCEET University, who would be asked to coordinate a Faculty/Departmental response as far as possible. In addition, contact should feel able to approach any non-EUCEET academic and non-academic institutions in their country whose views would be important, in the hope to achieve as wide a coverage as possible.

The first draft of the report/analysis would be prepared by Mid November 1999 and circulated to WG members for comments/input, to be then finalised by February 2000 and submitted to the General Assembly in May 2000.

The 3rd meeting of the Steering Committee, London, 27 July 1999

The third meeting of the Steering Committee was hosted by the Imperial College, Department of Civil Engineering, on 27 July 1999. All institutions represented in the Steering Committee, except National Technical University Athens, were represented at the meeting, namely: ENPC Paris, Imperial College London, City University London, INSA Lyon, T.U. Berlin, ETSICCP Madrid, ETSICCP Barcelona, IST Lisbon, University of Porto, Politecnico Torino, Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest, AECEF. As observers attended the meeting representatives from T.U. Budapest, SUT Bratislava and Vilnius Gediminas T.U.

In the first session of the meeting, the Coordinator, Prof. Marie-Ange Cammarota made a general presentation of the financial situation of the Project, with emphasis on the documents to be sent to her by the partners, for the preparation of the Final Report for the 1st year.

The Secretary General of the Steering Committee, Prof. Iacint Manoliu, presented the development of the Project between the previous meeting in Barcelona and the London meeting, underlining a number of events (meetings, conferences) during which the TNP EUCEET was made known to the European civil engineering community.

Chairmen of the Working Groups A, B, C presented state-of-the art reports on the activities undertaken since the Barcelona meeting and on the decisions adopted in the second meeting held in July 1999. Plans for the continuation of the work were also presented and approved by the Steering Committee.

Invited to attend the meeting, Dr. B.S. Choo from the University of Nottingham, presented the project CASED, submitted for approval within the 5th Framework Programme of the EC, coordinated by his university and involving other European universities, among which three EUCEET partners: Universidad Politecnica Madrid, Technische Universität München and Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest. The specific objectives of the project are:

It was shown that the work of the CASED partners consortium will complement and build upon the work of SOCRATES TNP EUCEET for its user needs analysis and dissemination of outcomes.

The members of the Steering Committee expressed the view that the objectives of the project CASED fit well into the aims of the activity of the Working Group E “Innovation in teaching and learning in civil engineering education”, which will be launched at the 2nd General Assembly in May 2000. Dr. Choo confirmed the intention of the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Nottingham to become partner EUCEET and to be actively involved in the activity of the Working Group E.

Another guest speaker at the Steering Committee meeting was Diana Maxwell, Deputy Secretary of the ECCE (European Council of Civil Engineers), partner in the EUCEET network.

Diana Maxwell presented, as a “case study”, the main outcomes of a consultation undertaken in 1997-98 by a Commission nominated by the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in U.K. among major and smaller specialist contractors, industry clients, local government, represented at Chairman, Chief Executive, Senior Partner, Principle Officer or Technical Director level. More than 50 leaders of businesses and senior figures in Local Government expressed their views on Civil Engineering education in U.K. showing, among others, that entry standards for many Universities are unacceptably low, that courses should be more broadly based-have significant management and financial content, that University education should be more closely integrated with work experience, that courses should be longer than three years etc. These views have been considered in the new course guidelines established by the Engineering Council to which Institution of Civil Engineers is a member.

In the discussion which followed, it was shown that the presentation made by Diana Maxwell represents a good introduction for the activity of the Working Group F “Demands of the economic and professional environments in Europe in respect to civil engineering education”, in which the involvement of ECCE and of its members, and in first place the Institution of Civil Engineers, will be essential.

The calendary of future meetings was established. The 4th meeting of the Steering Committee will take place on Friday 10 December 1999, hosted by the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. The second General Assembly will take place on 18-20 May 2000 in Odense, Denmark.

Other activities undertaken, related to the provisions of the overall workplan for the first year

Extending the network of partners in the second year of the Project

By the time when the first EUCEET General Assembly took place, the list of new associated countries eligible for activities within the SOCRATES-ERASMUS programme in the academic year 1999-2000 became known. Consequently, the Steering Committee assigned to the Secretary General the task of undertaking necessary measures in order to have the network extended with at least one university from each new eligible country. At the same time, new partners from the 18 countries were welcome to join the network. The efforts made proved to be quite successful. The network extended with 7 new partners from associated countries, from which 1 from Estonia (Tallinn Technical University), 1 from Latvia (Riga Technical University), 2 from Poland (Silesian University of Technology, Warsaw University of Technology), 2 from Slovenia (University of Maribor, University of Ljubljana) and 1 from Slovakia (Slovak Chamber of Civil Engineers). Unfortunately, the letter of endorsement from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy from Sofia arrived after the Reapplication Form for 1999-2000 was sent to Brussels. Except Bulgaria, from the associated countries also Cyprus is not represented in the network, but there is no university offering civil engineering education in Cyprus.

From the 18 countries, a new partner came from Denmark, namely the leading higher education institution in the field of engineering education: Technical University of Denmark, Lingby.

Building a web page for the TNP EUCEET

The task of building a web page for the TNP EUCEET was assigned at the 1st meeting of the Steering Committee (7 December 1998, Paris) to the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest.

Two young members of the staff of EUCEET assumed this responsibility. With the reccommandation of the Coordinator of the Project, they were registered to attend the TNP Networking workshops organised in April 1999 in Nancy and July 1999 in Dublin, under the auspices of the DG XXII, Unit A.2.

The participation to these workshops was extremely beneficial.

The web page ( is continuously updated with the developments taking place in the Project, representing for the time being the principal type of dissemination of informations about the project and of project outcomes.

Presentations on the TNP EUCEET

During the first year of the Project, members of the Steering Committee took every opportunity to publicize EUCEET among members of the European civil engineering community. In first place, they made extensive presentations on EUCEET to the Senate, Council of the Faculty/Department of their own institution, having in view to make the EUCEET Project known to both the government of the institution and to the members of the academic staff.

The Secretary General of the Steering Committee, participated to several events at which he made presentations on EUCEET. Here are mentioned some of them:

Papers on EUCEET were prepared and accepted for publication in the proceedings of two international Conferences:

In the No. 2/1998 of the AECEF Newsletter (The Association of the European Civil Engineering Faculties) a presentation of EUCEET was inserted, together with news of the approval of the Project.

In the No. 1/1999 of the same publication, Prof. Josef Machacek, (Member of EUCEET Steering Committee and Member of the AECEF Executive Board) made a comprehensive presentation of the first EUCEET General Assembly and of the first meetings of the Working Groups A, B and C.

In the 1998 autumn/winter issue of the Newsletter of ECCE (European Council of Civil Engineers) was published the information on the approval of the EUCEET project.

In the 1999 spring/summer issue of the same publication, under the title: “EUCEET Network Project being carried out under the Socrates-Erasmus programme”, a one-page summary of the presentation made by the Secretary General at the Dublin meeting was inserted.

Workplan for the second year of the project

The workplan for the second year of the project (1 September 1999 - 31 August 2000) was presented in the Reapplication form which was sent to Brussels on 31 March 1999.

The main event of the second year is represented by the second EUCEET General Assembly which will take place in Odense, Denmark, on 18-20 May 2000. On that occasion, reports and studies of the Working Groups A,B and C will be presented and discussed. At the same time, three new Working

Groups will be contributed, namely:

Working Group D: Postgraduate programs and continuing professional development in civil engineering

Working Group E: Innovation in teaching and learning in civil engineering education

Working Group F: Demands of the economic and professional environments in respect to civil engineering education

The activities of the Working Groups D, E and F will officially be launched in Odense. In fact, even before Odense, preparations for the Working Groups D, E and F will be under way.

Thus, a number of participants at the AECEF International Symposium “Civil Engineering Learning Technology” held in Cardiff on 8-10 September 1999, both among partners and non-partners in the EUCEET network, expressed a high interest in joining the Working Group E.

At the 30th meeting of the European Council of Civil Engineers (ECCE) which took place in Nicosia on 8-9 October 1999, matters related to the involvement of ECCE and of different professional institutions members of ECCE in the activities of the Working Group F were discussed.

The activity of the Working Groups A,B and C will not stop after the Odense General Members. Core members of the three WGs will meet before the end of the second year to finalise materials for the proceedings of the 2nd General Assembly and other studies/reports to be printed and disseminating.

New partners are welcome

The EUCEET Thematic Network is open for new partners, from both the academic world and outside it, which are welcome to take part in any of the activities planned for the 2nd year. In order to be eligible for the financial support from the grant to be provided by the EC for the 3rd year of the project, letter of endorsement from academic partners should be sent before 15 February 1999 to the Coordinator of the Project (Prof. Marie-Ange Cammarotta, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, 6-8 Avenue Blaise Pascal, Citè Descartes, Champs-sur-Marne, Marne-La-Vallèe 77455 France, Fax: +33-1-

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