CDIO Academy and CDIO Award

What is the CDIO Academy?

The CDIO Academy is an opportunity for engineering students that are active at CDIO institutions, to showcase their design-implement projects, meet their peers from engineering programs around the world, and participate in workshops and plenary sessions presented by prominent leaders in engineering education.

The CDIO Academy takes places alongside with the CDIO conference and there is a specific program for the participants of the CDIO Academy.


What is the CDIO Academy about?

The CDIO conference runs from the June 25th to 27th and has the overall title CHANGE.

For the CDIO Academy the headline is Change the Business – Change the world. The idea is that the participants in the Academy work with the basic resource WATER in accordance to the overall CHANGE agenda. 


The CDIO Academy is a challenge

Aarhus University invites 40 students from all over the world to participate in the CDIO Academy. The students will be put in teams with other students from different corners of the world and with different engineering backgrounds.

Aarhus University has defined a case challenge regarding the UN World Goal 6: Innovation in Clean Water & Sanitation in the world. And the University has asked companies to submit their real-world challenges.

All participants receive a diploma, and the winning team receives an award, handed over at the final, closing assembly for all conference members and published at the CDIO website.



The issue of WATER stems from the UN Sustainable Development World Goal 6 - Clean Water & Sanitation. Water is the third most critical resource in the world.



The CDIO conference runs from the June 25th to 27th.

During the conference, the CDIO Academy challenge works in an area which is designed for the teams and with access to labs. Before the conference, each participant does his or her preparation at home in collaboration with the rest of the team and the AU-supervisor by Skype meetings. When arriving at Aarhus and in the Academy challenge area the teams get their own workspace.


What is CDIO in the CDIO Academy and Challenge?

CDIO is a framework for designing the optimal engineering educations. CDIO intends not only to design courses but also to train mindsets. CDIO is an abbreviation of Conceiving — Designing — Implementing — Operating (CDIO). The whole CDIO conference is based on the CDIO Concept regarding the education of engineers, Syllabus 2.0. If you want to read more, see

For the CDIO Academy and Innovation Challenge, it is basically the innovation process in the CDIO Concept that is in our focus. Conceiving, Designing, Implementing and Operating systems in the enterprise, societal and environmental context – and the innovation process.


How to participate

The CDIO Academy is held each year at the international CDIO conference and it is a student challenge within the larger conference, with presentations, design-implement experiences, and a juried design project exhibit.

The CDIO Academy invites teams of engineering students to participate in the challenge and to submit innovative design projects to the competition.


Competition Criteria

Project areas are provided by cutting-edge companies, and maybe an innovative design of a product, process, or system.

The projects have to meet the following selection criteria:

  • Relevant to the design project theme
  • Demonstrates a design-implement product, process, or system
  • Demonstrates two or more phases of the Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate approach
  • Has the potential for practical application
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the context to which the project applies
  • Provides evidence of effective teamwork

The Award

The team project that best meets the selection criteria will be awarded, except the glory and fame, the CDIO Academy Cup; an award to bring home and an engraved plate on the CDIO Cup, kept by the CDIO Office at Chalmers.


Find out more

Information about the academy can be found at the International CDIO Conference websites.

The 15th international CDIO Conference will be held at Aarhus University (AU) from 25 June 2019 to 27 June 2019

Before that:

CDIO Academy, 14th International CDIO Conference was held at Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT), June 28 to July 2, 2018

CDIO Academy, 13th International CDIO Conference in Calgary, Canada June 18-22, 2017

CDIO Academy, in Finland, 12th International CDIO Conference June 12-16 2016.


Later Academy

Information about upcoming and later CDIO Conferences and CDIO Academies will be launched at the final, closing assembly at Aarhus University and at the International CDIO Conference websites.

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