Learning in corporate projects
Machine Technology Center Turku is busy even in the summer
A group of engineering students is in the final stages of preparing a scale model for Fastems. The model illustrates flexible production systems, the company’s key product, to its customers and anyone else who is interested. Flexible manufacturing system enable industrial production phases to be automated, so that components move from one processing point to another in an optimal manner without human input.
Another group of students is making electrical connections to a small wastewater treatment unit. Seven energy and environmental technology students from TUAS are designing and building wastewater treatment equipment. “The equipment will be mobile, and it will be used for teaching purposes,” says first-year student Venla Käyhkö. “We are working as an independent team of students, with an older student as our mentor. We are planning and implementing all phases of the work ourselves. Project management and cooperation skills are important, and our skills have improved during the project,” says Käyhkö.
Many other projects are in progress at Machine Technology Center Turku as well, in an atmosphere of creativity and enthusiasm. The Fastem´s scale model project is part of the KOMEAT umbrella project of the TUAS Technology Industry Research Team. Involving small R&D projects in the machine and metal technology industry, KOMEAT offers companies solutions for small development tasks and equipment tests. Students have an opportunity to take up meaningful learning challenges in a real business environment and perhaps even be hired by a participating company after graduation.
Motivated by challenges
Enthusiasm is evident in the engineering students’ comments. Their duties in the corporate projects range from practical assembly and testing to project management and coordination. They work independently at Machine Technology Center Turku, with members of teaching staff only paying short visits.
According to team leaders Tommi Hobin and Teemu Borgman, students are highly motivated by their independent and challenging projects. “They also carry out difficult tasks,” says Lecturer Sakari Koivunen.
Innovation pedagogy for the world
The student projects of the Technology Industry Research Team involve practical learning in line with Innovation pedagogy. Students are impressed with the highly effective method. Sebastian Dziomdziora from the Lodz University of Technology in Poland is participating in the ProMaGNet project, which is related to digital product information management. In addition to practical learning, he is inspired by the equality between students and teachers and the opportunity to test his own ideas.
Innovation pedagogy is a cornerstone of education at TUAS, fostering innovation capabilities needed by companies in a changing world. TUAS has developed innovation pedagogy into an export product, INNOPEDA, which is offered to educational institutions around the world. It has already attracted high levels of interest.