Large Scale Project Based Learning in Service Design and Engineering (SDE) Masters Program

Large Scale Project Based Learning in Service Design and Engineering (SDE) Masters Program

M. Helenius (2010).  Large Scale Project Based Learning in Service Design and Engineering (SDE) Masters Program. 21.


In early 2008 Aalto University/School of Science and Technology (known as Helsinki University of Technology), initiated an internal development process aiming for an international engineering’s master’s program in the field of service science, a new evolving cross discipline. The driving forces were the need to integrate and build closer relationships between different merging schools, innovate in program offering, meet the European Union Bologna 3 + 2 + 3 education requirements, teach pre-doctoral research skills at the master’s level, and serve the contemporary industries’ emerging needs in the engineering of service systems and user driven innovation.

During the development process, new ideas were introduced from systems thinking and future engineering perspectives. Industry executive’s insight where used in the development process together with learning outcomes of the CDIO syllabus. As a result of this process, a new International Master’s Program in Service Design and Engineering (SDE) started at Aalto University in the fall of 2009. The program is founded in the computer science and engineering (CSE) research domain, focuses on engineering systems with software and digital systems. Program covers thematic topics in service systems, management, design, innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship. The SDE is designed to meet the new complex digital service “engineering,” “design,” and “social” systems intersection and integration challenges addressed by the industry and the research community.

The core of the SDE program is research-cooperation oriented courses that integrate the learning outcomes of the other courses in the curriculum. This paper presents the development process, core content of the programme and experience from the process from the program director point of view. Paper also presents how the CDIO framework is used for benchmarking and as an assessment framework for a new multidisciplinary master level program. This paper presents new ideas for discussion to extend the CDIO framework to better meet master’s level education requirements.


Authors (New): 
Mika Helenius
Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
service systems
service science
Service Design
service engineering
education management
program management
future of engineering
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