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Engineering Dean Presents at the Global Engineering Deans Council Conference in Ecuador

On Monday, September 10, Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the University of Miami College of Engineering (CoE), participated in the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) conference in Milagro, Ecuador. Bardet presented on CoE’s strategic vision for inter-institutional collaboration with Latin America, which will include organizing international student competitions in innovation and building augmented reality platforms for global active learning.

These proposals follow Bardet’s history of initiatives for global engineering education. In 2017, he signed an agreement with the Institute of International Education’s Global Engineering Education Exchange (GE3) international consortium. The agreement gives University of Miami students access to study abroad in more than 70 top universities worldwide. In 2017, he also agreed to establish the Miami College of Engineering in China in collaboration with Henan University (HU) in Kaifeng, China. This collaboration resulted in the first transfer students from Henan University entering the CoE in fall 2018.

“Miami’s distinct geographic location positions the University of Miami as a gateway to the Americas,” says Bardet. “We are in the position to be a connector between institutions, individuals and ideas, providing opportunities for deeper and novel collaborations among students, faculty and academic institutions.”

Bardet also envisions students from UM and universities across the region participating in competitions that promote innovation and entrepreneurial activities, such as the CoE Senior Design Expo and eMerge Americas conference.

“These sorts of events not only allow students to articulate the impact of their work to the public, but also foster the translation of knowledge for commercialization,” Bardet explains. “Students from Latin American universities will play an integral role in making Miami the hub of innovation for the Americas and the gateway for knowledge transfer around the region.”

Bardet also wants to offer global active learning initiatives in Latin American universities using augmented reality platforms. CoE began using active learning techniques in its classrooms in spring 2017. By reversing the traditional lecture and homework elements of class, active learning allows students to interact with each other and faculty to solve problems and explore topics hands-on.

Since then, CoE has applied this pedagogy internationally, initiating Global Active Learning through a partnership with Henan University. In spring 2018, the “Electrical Circuit Theory” course allowed more than 40 CoE students to work in teams with more than 50 HU students to design a portable security system. The students worked collaboratively using technologies (including WeChat, Skype, etc.), and overcame a 13-hour time difference to conduct their research. The results of the project, including the design presentation, video sharing and joint report submission.

“By implementing virtual reality platforms with global active learning initiatives, we can begin to provide a worldwide forum for exchange of information and discussion of experiences among universities, all while expanding educational opportunities for students everywhere and working on collaborative solutions to our world’s shared problems,” Bardet says.

The Latin American Chapter of the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC-LATAM) brings together the deans and other leaders of faculties, schools, universities or technological institutes in Latin America and the Caribbean that make up the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC). The GEDC is part of the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES).

The mission of GEDC-LATAM is to facilitate collaboration among the engineering deans of the region, to represent them in the GEDC and to promote the advancement of engineering education, research and community service in the region. To learn more about the GEDC, please visit their website.

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