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Internationalising group project work for Civil Engineering students: International Project Week 2009.

Smith, Ian; Taylor, Mark D; de Klerk, Peter J; Camara, Jose M


Ian Smith

Peter J de Klerk

Jose M Camara


Edinburgh Napier University hosted a huge gathering of European civil engineering
students for one week in May 2009 for the International Project Week 2009 (IPW 2009).
The week long event saw over 300 students and staff from 8 institutions across 7
countries (Scotland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain and Latvia)
come together for a week of internationalisation, site visits, project work, networking,
tourism and socialising.
The event was opened by the Scottish government Education Minister – such was the
high profile nature of the event – and attracted local media coverage. After an opening
session of short presentations from industrialists on the projects to be visited later in the
week, the students were placed into groups of 6 to begin their week-long project work.
Each group comprised a student from each participating institution (as best as numbers
would permit) and the new friendships commenced immediately. The project work was
fun yet educational, and the students had to gather information on what they saw and
heard throughout the week working as a team. Site visits to major civil engineering
projects going on in and around Edinburgh were orchestrated and the support from
industry in enabling this was wonderful. The site visits ran over a 2 day long period and
the week closed with another day of fun and educational group work. Evening socialising
events were organised and the friendships, started on the first day, grew and matured in
the evenings and through the week.
IPW 2009 was a phenomenal success and all participants left the city with fantastic
memories, new friendships and in awe at the civil engineering projects they had
witnessed and the hospitality they had received. For all participants the week was to be
the most memorable week in their entire civil engineering education. In terms of student
experience, IPW 2009 quite simply took things off the scale. The paper describes the
background to the IPW network and the Edinburgh event, together with details of all of
the activities undertaken by the students. The objective of this paper is to illustrate to all
civil engineering departments around Europe the importance of such an event and to
encourage those departments that don’t currently engage in such an event, to consider
doing so in the future.


Smith, I., Taylor, M. D., de Klerk, P. J., & Camara, J. M. (2010). Internationalising group project work for Civil Engineering students: International Project Week 2009. In Proceedings of INTED2010 Conference (1893-1902)

Conference Name Fourth International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Start Date Mar 8, 2010
End Date Mar 10, 2010
Publication Date 2010
Deposit Date Nov 6, 2014
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1893-1902
Book Title Proceedings of INTED2010 Conference
ISBN 9788461355389
Keywords civil engineering; undergraduate; internationalisation;
Public URL