Engineering education in an arts and media context

Ramachandran, S. (2006) Engineering education in an arts and media context. [Conference Proceedings]


The skills and experiences gained by electronics engineering students offered by educational institutions are biased towards progression employed to core electronics industries and academies. Qualifications frameworks are developed with this more 'traditional' context in mind. Whilst frameworks are generic to accommodate variation in educational programmes, the approach lacks flexibility for catering to more unusual teaching environments. The 'arts and media' is one such example. Electronics engineering skills are necessary in a whole range of applications; from the construction of a digital recording studio, to the development of esoteric arts installations. Students learn to solve complex problems involving technical equipment, purchasing logistics, and sometimes temperamental artistes! As these engineers progress to higher qualifications they engage in direct technical and project management, with greater emphasis on resources, requirements and people; rather than theoretically complex, detailed and mathematical problem solving. This paper will examine the skills and competences electronics engineering students require in an arts and media context. The paper then reviews the Irish Engineering Qualifications framework, a country which is very influential in the development of qualifications frameworks across Europe. The paper discusses the arts and media context and finally proposes a suitable amendment to the Irish framework, to accommodate this environment.

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