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Competence needs and a model for the teaching strategy development of mechanical designers in product development

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisMonograph


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTampere
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages141
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-3363-1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2014
Publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology, Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


Engineers’ product development (PD) skills are the key success factors for companies in countries like Finland. Universities need to regularly update their learning outcome targets to match them with the needs of the industrial sector under consideration. These targets form the basis for the development of the curriculum and the relevant courses of engineering education. The main research problem is “What are the contentual and pedagogical demands to optimise learning results in the field of mechanical engineering for the higher education of PD at Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Finland?” so that graduating engineers are competent to meet the PD challenges of the Finland-based companies in the Technology Industries. The word “optimise” here means that the aim is to reach the best possible learning results with the resources available at the university. A case study research has been made to find the most important competence needs of mechanical designers working in PD in Finnish mechanical workshops. The results of this case study establish the customer needs for the curriculum and course development process in the field of PD. A comprehensive and systematic method to develop the whole teaching and learning process of a course has been introduced. The teaching strategy of a course has been defined as a modular service product which includes five modules from the targets for learning outcomes to learning and teaching assessment. A model based on the stage-gate type PD process, widely and successfully used in the industry, has been applied to the course teaching strategy development. The detailed guidelines together with the phase tasks and the main outcomes for the phases give the information needed to use the model; including those teachers who are not familiar with the PD process. The author’s twenty year’s PD work experience in Finnish companies has created a solid base for the study. The important PD tools, such as the stage-gate type PD process and the product modularization, have become well known to the author during those years. This PD work experience also helped a lot when organizing and carrying out the case study research. The research has utilized the industrial development methodologies in the university environment. The illustrative application of the model to a PD course for mechanical designers at the Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences as well as the comparison of the model with existing models show that it is an effective tool for the comprehensive and transparent development of courses in the field of engineering.

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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