Evidence-based Redesign of Engineering Education Lectures: Theoretical Framework and Preliminary Empirical Evidence

Benjamin James Ralph, Manuel Woschank, Corina Pacher, Mariaelena Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


While the fourth industrial revolution continues to change engineering and manufacturing facilities all over the world, not all enabling key technologies are taught sufficiently at universities. As engineering disciplines have further diverged in different specializations over time, digitalization strives for the opposite: transdisciplinary education in the fundamentals of digital transformation is necessary to remain competitive in every manufacturing related engineering field. Due to the fast change in applied technologies, a shift in the relationship between industrial practice and tertiary education took place. Especially in specialized European technical universities, the manufacturing industry became the pacemaker when it comes to IT-based manufacturing innovations. To provide engineering students of various disciplines with required knowledge to succeed in a modern manufacturing environment, it is mandatory to know the state-of-the-art requirements of the industry. For this purpose, a new lecture at the Montanuniversität Leoben was designed, teaching students of miscellaneous engineering disciplines, the fundamentals of digital transformation, tailored to the requirements of the Austrian metal forming industry field. To elevate the necessary data from these segments, a statistically representative part of Austrians’ metal forming companies were asked about their degree of maturity regarding digital transformation. For the sake of teaching efficiency, a survey revealing students’ knowledge of digital transformation and preferred learning methods was carried out in advance. As a result, a stakeholder-oriented lecture was developed. Furthermore, a general framework on how innovative transdisciplinary academic courses in the engineering environment can be developed in an efficient, effective and practical way was derived, closing the gap between modern engineering education and required practical skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636–663
JournalEuropean journal of engineering education : EJEE
Issue number4
Early online date23 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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