Addressing Challenges Of The SDGs: Stakeholder Perspectives On Skills Required By Engineering Students On The Island Of Ireland

Rosalind Henry, Margaret Morgan, Una Beagon, Brian Bowe, Ruchita Jani, Janet McKennedy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Living sustainably on a shared island poses both challenges and opportunities for engineers of the future. Whilst at a European level, the professional skills that engineers will need to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been identified, less has been written on how these skills should be contextualised for a national, regional and/or local level. This research paper considers the specific professional skills required for engineers on the island of Ireland. It examines differing perspectives of stakeholders, comparing and contrasting views according to local context (Northern Ireland (NI), Ireland).
A professional skills survey was designed, drawing on previous research which had identified 53 competences in six sets (Fundamental Technical Skills, Application Skills, Outward Facing – People Orientated Skills, Inward Facing – Ways of Thinking, World View, Character and Ethical Orientation). The survey was completed by 235 academics, students and engineering employers (ranging from SMEs to large multinationals) on the island of Ireland in 2022. Analysis highlighted interesting similarities and differences in stakeholder perspectives between the two jurisdictions. Whilst awareness of SDGs was markedly higher in Ireland compared to NI, average importance ratings for many competences were generally similar in both jurisdictions.
These findings have improved engineering educators’ understanding of the stakeholder perceptions including how those vary by location. Such improved understanding, including regional insights, should help to inform engineering curriculum development at tertiary level and ensure that engineering graduates are equipped with the appropriate skill set to contribute solutions to the big global challenges of our day.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication51st Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)
Subtitle of host publicationEngineering Education for Sustainability
EditorsGer Reilly, Mike Murphy, Balázs Vince Nagy, Hannu-Matti Järvinen
PublisherEuropean Society for Engineering Education
Pages566-575
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-026-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 21 Nov 2023
EventSEFI Conference 2023: Engineering Education for Sustainability - Technological University Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 11 Sept 202314 Sept 2023
https://www.sefi2023.eu/

Publication series

NameSEFI 2023 - 51st Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education: Engineering Education for Sustainability, Proceedings

Conference

ConferenceSEFI Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleSEFI 2023
Country/TerritoryIreland
CityDublin
Period11/09/2314/09/23
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the HEA, DFHERIS and the Shared Island Fund for support of this project under the North South Research Programme.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 SEFI 2023 - 51st Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education: Engineering Education for Sustainability, Proceedings. All Rights Reserved.

Keywords

  • Engineering Education
  • Professional Skills
  • SDGs
  • Intercultural Skills
  • Gender Equality

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