Teaching in the research unit Hydraulic Engineering and Environmental Hydromechanics
Our world is quickly changing and present-day knowledge, methods and tools may become obsolete within a time horizon of a professional career. Students should be prepared for a variety of professional careers and environments, including research and consultancy, but also work in developing countries. Therefore, guiding the students in developing skills is as important as teaching them basic knowledge.
The major objectives of the teaching are:
- To provide the students with solid basics and fundamentals, which will allow them upgrading their knowledge in an autonomous way throughout their career. This objective is particularly important in courses taught in the Bachelor cycle. In Technische Hydraulik, for example, the basics and fundamentals concern 18th century knowledge developed by e.g. Navier, Stokes, Bernoulli, etc. We use modern technology to teach these timeless basics, and focus on concepts rather than on mathematical aspects.
- To motivate the students by accentuating the link with problems encountered in consultancy or research.
- To provide the students with high-quality course material that remains relevant in their future professional career.
- To stimulate the students’ curiosity and sense of experimentation and research. Our teaching does not only consist in theoretical classes, but also practical projects and excursions.
- To provide the students with skills and methods for problem solving. This includes the development of a strategy, interpretation of results, work in a team, presentation and reporting of results.
- To teach the students how to function in a knowledge society. This means learning the students how to make use of and interpret knowledge, technology, tools, information and data that are available, typically on the internet, and play an ever more important role in the professional life.
The last three objectives concern non-technical skills. The primary mission of a course is obviously to teach the technical skills. But that this is not sufficient and that the education should be more than just the sum of technical skills. The education of these non-technical skills makes the courses also relevant and useful for students who will choose a professional career outside engineering. The focus in the Bachelor courses is mainly on the technical skills, whereas more attention is given to the acquisition of non-technical skills in the Master cycle.
We have established self-contained lecture material in the form of powerpoint presentations that include transcriptions of the oral lecture. Additional information is provided in the form of scientific publications, books, movies and digital twin models. All courses are ran on the TUWEL platform, which also host all the course materials.
We have partially adopted the flipped classroom approach. This means that the focus is not on guiding the students in acquiring knowledge, but rather on applying this knowledge in solving engineering problems. Students have to study the lecture material autonomously, but have a forum on TUWEL and Sprechstunden for questions and interactions with the teaching staff. The live classroom lectures, which are reduced in number, focus on problem solving and interaction with the students.