Undergraduate Mission

Name of programme
Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering

Name of degree
BEng (Mech)

Departmental mission
The mission of the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering is to prepare engineers for success and leadership that is recognized internationally for its quality in the conception, design, implementation, and operation of mechanical- and aeronautical-related engineering systems.

Departmental mision
Our vision is to provide students with an education that is recognized internationally for academic excellence and a focus on quality that stresses the fundamentals and is focused on real world systems and products. It will provide an integrated education that provides experiential learning through a rich offering of team-based design-build-operate projects, both in the classroom and a state-of-the-art Learning Laboratory.

Explanation of "Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering" in the programme
Our point of departure is that systems/equipment such as:

  • mining systems operating underground;
  • transport systems (motorcars, motorbikes, boats, trucks, trains, etc.), energy systems (heating ventilation & air-conditioning systems, power plants, solar systems, etc.), manufacturing and production plants (gold from a mine, paper from a mill, paint from a chemical plant, cars from an automotive manufacturing plant, etc.), usually operating at or near the surface of the earth;
  • aeronautical and astronautical systems operating in space and out of space

are all systems and can all be considered, analyzed and designed with the same fundamental operating system under different boundary conditions which is dependent on application.

Thus modules offered in the programme such as dynamics, thermodynamics, strength of materials, mechanics, material science, fluid mechanics, vibrations and noise, etc. are all directly applicable to different types of systems. Therefore, in most modules a distinct effort is made to consider different systems operating in different boundary conditions (from mining applications to aerospace applications).

Quality of programme
To ensure that the programme is internationally recognized and to foster the systematic pursuit of improvement in the quality of engineering education that satisfies the needs of constituencies in a dynamic and competitive environment it is necessary that the programme is regularly offered for independent evaluation. As most of our graduates will accept positions in South Africa, our programme are regularly offered for accreditation by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). Our programme has always been unconditionally accredited and the last accreditation was in 2004 when our programme was again unconditionally accredited for a period of five years. Our next accreditation visit will be in 2007.

Rationale for the qualification
Engineering is a discipline and profession that serves the needs of society and the economy. The bachelor's degree in Engineering is designed to contribute to meeting this need by developing engineering competence. The qualification, with its broad fundamental base, is the starting point of a career path in one of many areas of engineering specialization through structured development and lifelong learning. The broad base allows maximum flexibility and mobility for the holder to adjust to changing needs. Skills, knowledge, values and attitudes reflected in the qualification are building blocks for the development of candidate engineers towards becoming competent engineers to ultimately lead complex engineering activities and solve complex engineering problems, thus contributing to economic activity and national development.

Purpose of the qualification
The purpose of the qualification is to build the necessary knowledge, understanding, abilities and skills required for further learning towards becoming a competent practising engineer. The recognized purpose of the bachelor's degree in Engineering, designated BEng or BIng (Afrikaans), accredited as satisfying this standard is to provide graduates with:

  1. a thorough grounding in mathematics, basic sciences, engineering sciences, engineering modelling, and engineering design together with the abilities to enable applications in fields of emerging knowledge;
  2. preparation for careers in engineering and related areas, for achieving technical leadership and to make a contribution to the economy and national development;
  3. the educational requirement towards registration as a professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa as well as to allow the graduate to start careers in engineering and related fields;
  4. (for graduates with an appropriate level of achievement in the programme) the ability to proceed to postgraduate studies in both course-based and research master's programmes.

Washington Accord (1989)
ECSA is a signatory of the multinational Washington Accord (1989), which means that an ECSA-accredited qualification of a programme is accepted for professional registration purposes by the professional bodies of the other signatories of the Accord. It is essentially a quality assurance process and is based on world best practice. Briefly, the Accord has the following basic terms of agreement: The signatories:

  • accept that accreditation procedures are comparable;
  • accept one another's accredited degrees from the date of admission of a full member;
  • agree to identify and encourage implementation of best practice;
  • accept mutual monitoring;
  • accept that it applies to accreditation in home jurisdictions only;
  • accept the need to encourage licensing and registration authorities to apply the agreement.

Full members (2004) are: United Kingdom (EC), Ireland (IEI), Canada (CCPE), United States of America (ABET), South Africa (ECSA), Australia (IEAust), New Zealand (IPENZ), and Hong Kong (HKIE). Provisional members (2004) are: Japan (JABEE), Malayasia (BEM), Singapore (IES) and Germany (ASiiN).

The agreement also recognizes the substantial equivalency of accreditation systems of organizations holding signatory status, and the engineering education programme accredited by them. The accreditation system of ECSA is based on the accreditation system developed by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The accreditation criteria of ECSA and ABET are:

ECSA Exit-Level Outcomes

 under education refer to PE-61 The following ten exit level outcomes are required by ECSA:

  1. problem solving;
  2. application of scientific and engineering knowledge;
  3. engineering design;
  4. investigations, experiments and data analysis;
  5. engineering methods, skills and tools, including information technology;
  6. Pprofessional and technical communication;
  7. impact of engineering activity ;
  8. individual, team and multidisciplinary working;
  9. independent learning ability;
  10. engineering professionalism (previously known as Complimentary Studies).

ABET Criteria
 The accreditation criteria of ABET are using the following programme outcomes:

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs;
  4. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams;
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
  7. an ability to communicate effectively;
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context;
  9. a recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in lifelong learning;
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues;
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Comparison of programme-specific outcomes of ECSA (1 - 10) and ABET (a - k)

ABET a b c d e f g h i j k
= Strong direct comparison
= Indirect comparison

The only programme-specific outcome that ECSA does not specifically address is ABET outcome j, which is "a knowledge of contemporary issues". This outcome is indirectly addressed by ECSA outcomes 7, 9 and 10.

Credits and knowledge areas
ABET uses Criterion 4 as requirement for credits and knowledge areas while the requirements of ECSA are quantified in detail.

Criterion 4. Professional Component
The professional component requirements specify subject areas appropriate to engineering but do not prescribe specific courses. The Engineering fFculty must assure that the programme curriculum devotes adequate attention and time to each component, consistent with the objectives of the programme and institution. Students must be prepared for engineering practice through the curriculum culminating in a major design experience based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work and incorporating engineering standards and realistic constraints that include most of the following considerations: economic; environmental; sustainability; manufacturability; ethical; health and safety; social; and political. The professional component must include:

  1. one year of a combination of college-level Mathematics and Basic Sciences (some with experimental experience) appropriate to the discipline;
  2. one and one-half year of Engineering topics, consisting of Engineering Sciences and Engineering Design that is appropriate to the student's field of study. The Engineering Sciences have their roots in Mathematics and Basic Sciences but carry knowledge further toward creative application. These studies provide a bridge between Mathematics and Basic Sciences on the one hand and Engineering Practice on the other. Engineering Design is the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision-making process (often iterative), in which the Basic Sciences, Mathematics, and the Engineering Sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet these stated needs;
  3. a general education component that complements the technical content of the curriculum and is consistent with the programme and institution objectives.


NQF-level, credits, minimum credits in knowledge areas
The programme leading to the qualification shall be a four-year full-time equivalent programme with a minimum of 560 SAQA credits. Not less than 120 credits shall be at NQF level 7. The remaining credits shall be distributed in order to create a coherent progression of learning toward the exit level. Preparatory or remedial courses are not included in the 560 credits. The method of calculation assumes that certain activities are scheduled on a regular weekly basis while others can only be quantified as a total activity over the duration of a course or module. This calculation makes the following assumptions:

  1. Classroom or other scheduled contact activity generates notional hours of the student's own time for each hour of scheduled contact. The total is given by a multiplier applied to the contact time;
  2. Two weeks of full-time activity accounts for assessment in a semester;
  3. Assigned work generates only the notional hours judged to be necessary for completion of the work, and is not multiplied.

Define for each course or module identified in the rules for the degree:

Type of activity Time Unit in Hours Contact Time Multiplier
L = number of lectures per week TL = duration of a lecture period ML = total work per lecture period
T - number of tutorials per week TT = duration of a tutorial period MT = total work per tutorial period
P = total practical periods TP = duration of a practical period MP = total work per practical period
X = total other contact periods Tx = duration of other period Mx = total work per other period
A = total assignment non-contact hours TA = 1 hour  
W = number of weeks the course lasts (actual + two weeks per semester for examinations, if applicable to the course or module)

The credit for the course is:


The resulting credit for a course or value may be divided between more than one knowledge area. In allocating the credit for a course to multiple knowledge areas, only new knowledge or skills in a particular area may be counted. Knowledge and skills developed in other courses and used in the course in question shall not be counted. Such knowledge is classified by the nature of the area in which it is applied. In summary, now knowledge is counted more than once as being new.

The calculation of credit for workplace training is for further study.

The content of the programme when analyzed by knowledge area shall not fall below the minimum SAQA-credits in each knowledge area in Table 1.

Table 1: Minimum curriculum content by knowledge area

Knowledge area Minimum credits
Mathematical Sciences 56
Basic Sciences 56
Engineering Sciences 168
Design and Synthesis 67
Computing and IT 17
Engineering Professionalism/Complementary Studies 56
Subtotal 420
Discretionary > 140
Total credits > 560

The discretionary component shall be taken up by allocating knowledge to the six areas, to form a coherent, balanced programme.

Experiential training which is not quality assured by the provider, does not comprehensively assess student's performance against defined outcomes and is not documented and presented in the accredition process shall not be assigned credits and included in the above breakdown.

Core and specialist requirements
The programme shall have a coherent core of Mathematics, Basic Sciences and fundamental Engineering Sciences that provides a viable platform for further studies and lifelong learning. The coherent core must enable development in a traditional discipline or in an emerging field. The coherent core embraces both fundamental and core elements as defined by SAQA.

A programme shall contain specialist Engineering study at the exit level. Specialist study may lead to elective or compulsory credits. Specialist study may take on many forms, including further deepening of a theme in the core, a new subdiscipline, or a specialist topic building on the core. It is recognized that the extent of specialist study is of necessity limited in view of the need to provide a substantial coherent core. Specialist study may take the form of compulsory or elective credits.

In the Engineering Professionalism (Complementary Studies) area, the programme is expected to contain a balance of material under both parts (a) and (b) of the definition, consistent with Exit-Level Outcomes 6, 7 and 10. The definition …

  MODULE Credits Math Basic Eng Design   IT   Profess
Engineering Drawing MIT113 16         8 8
Calculus WTW158 16 16          
Physics FSK116 16   16        
General Chemistry CHM171 16   16        
Information Technology CIL110 8         8  
Innovation MNV110 8           8
Calculus WTW168 8 8          
Linear Algebra WTW161 8 8          
Physics FSK126 16   16        
Mechanics SWK122 16   16        
Materials Science NMC122 16   16        
Machine Design MOW122 16       16    
Calculus WTW258 8 8          
Differential equations WTW256 8 8          
Dynamics MSD210 16   8 8      
Strength of Materials SWK210 16     16      
Machine Design MOW212 8       8    
Programming MPR211 16         16  
Materials Science NMC211 8     8      
Calculus WTW228 8 8          
Numerical Methods WTW263 8 8          
Circuits EBN121 16     16      
Machine Design MOW222 8       8    
Theory of Machines MSK222 8     8      
Thermodynamics MTX220 16     16      
Communication Skills JSQ226 8           8
Technological Entrepreneurship ITI220 8           8
Mathematics WTW338 16 16          
Machine Design MOW312 16       16    
Structural Mechanics MSY310 16     16      
Fluid Mechanics MSX310 16     16      
Engineering Statistics BES210 8 8          
Engineering Economics BIE310 8           8
Machine Design MOW323 16       16    
Vibrations and Noise MVR320 16     16      
Thermodynamics MTX321 16     16      
Electrotechnics ETN322 16     16      
Project Management IPB320 8           8
Environmental Management COM420 8           8
Computer-aided Structural Mechanics MSY411 16     16      
Heat Transfer MWX410 16     16      
Control Systems MBB410 16     16      
Design MOX410 16       16    
Project MSC400 8     8      
Professional Ethics and Practice BPE451 8           8
Project MSC400 16     8     8
Electrotechnics ETN420 16     16      
Thermal Machines MTC420 16     16      
Fluid Machines MVM420 16     16      
Eng electives:
  Vehicle Engineering
  Maintenance Eng..
16     16      
  TOTAL 640 88 80 280 80 32 72
  ECSA MIN 560 56 56 168 67 17 56

Critical discussion of ECSA-rationale
Although the ECSA-outcomes ensure accreditation and Washington Accord-recognition, the development of the argument from the ECSA-qualification rationale to the ECSA-specific outcomes is not clear. The result is that faculty experiences the specific outcomes as the output of a black box and have difficulty in relating the outcomes to what is happening in the inside of the black box (what it is, why is it important, when, how does it relate to other outcomes, etc.).

A new vision
In recent years, Engineering education and real-world demands on engineers drifted apart. Realizing that the widening gap has to be closed, leading Engineering schools in the US, Europe, Canada, U.K., Africa, Asia and New Zealand have formed a collaborative to conceive and develop a new vision of Engineering education - the CDIO Initiative. CDIO stands for Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate, which is a description of the product or system life cycle that professional engineers have responsibility for. The CDIO Initiative is based on the belief that this life cycle is the appropriate context for Engineering education. This belief represents a paradigm shift from current practice, where the Engineering curriculum is generally designed to facilitate the teaching of Engineering Science. As a consequence, employers complain that graduates lack many of the abilities and skills required by professional engineers. The CDIO Initiative addresses this omission by focusing attention on the combination of knowledge, skills and attributes that the graduate needs, in order to create value-added products and systems, while working in a modern, team-based, multidisciplinary environment. The Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering of the University of Pretoria has adopted the CDIO Initiative as its undergraduate educational framework.

History of CDIO
In early 2000, four universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA, Chalmers Institute of Technology, Linköping University, and Royal Institute of Technology, all in Sweden, applied to the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation to fund a bold venture that would reshape Engineering education in the USA and Europe. The Wallenberg Foundation agreed to fund the proposal, which would become the CDIO Initiative. One of the first universities that joined the initiative was the University of Pretoria (2003), which was also appointed as the first CDIO regional centre (CDIO Regional Centre for Southern Africa). The second regional centre was MIT (Northern American CDIO Regional Centre). Other universities that are now CDIO collaborators are: Queen's University (Belfast), Queen's University (Ontario), US Naval Academy (Maryland), Singapore Polytechnic, Technical University of Denmark, University of Auckland and the University of Liverpool. A full list of all the collaborators is available on http://www.cdio.org/cdio_partners.html

Rationale for CDIO
The late 1990s found the mechanical and aeronautical engineering profession at a crossroads. The Cold War, with its emphasis on technology driven by defence, was over. In response to this new reality, the American mechanical and aerospace industry had adjusted through massive consolidation and limited refocusing. But the new post-Cold War world would be one of expanded transportation, commerce and communication – all vast opportunities for mechanical and aeronautical engineering. The role of the research university was also changing. The intellectual and theoretical position it assumed in the post-war world had evolved, making the university the intellectual centre of theory-based practice as well.

After a rigorous process of consulting with leaders of industry, government and academia, benchmarking academic departments, and surveying students and alumni, we have embarked on an exciting educational path to restructure the educational experience of students. This new model (CDIO) will provide the future generation of engineers with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will be required to assume leadership roles in the next century.

Programme objectives
Specifically the undergraduate programme in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering have these objectives:

  1. to develop a deep working knowledge of technical fundamentals;
  2. to develop a refined ability to discover knowledge, solve problems, think about systems, and master other personal and professional attributes;
  3. yo develop an advanced ability to communicate and work in multidisciplinary teams;
  4. to develop skills to conceive, design, implement, and operate systems in an enterprise and societal context.

Programme Outcomes
The four educational programme objectives were developed into 16 programme outcomes. These are measurable achievements that focus on what students know, are able to do, and/or have an opinion about as a result of the Mechanical and Aeronautical Programme. The 16 programme outcomes are listed below as second-level items aligned with the four programme objectives.

  1. Develop a working knowledge of technical fundamentals.
    1. Demonstrate a capacity to use the principles of the underlying sciences of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology;
    2. Apply the principles of core engineering fundamentals in fluid mechanics, solid mechanics and materials, dynamics, vibrations, signals and systems;thermodynamics, control, electro techniques, circuits, computers and computation.
    3. Demonstrate deep working knowledge of professional engineering in fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, vehicle engineering, maintenance, structural mechanics, structures and materials, internal combustion engines, jet and rocket propulsion, thermal machines, fluid machines, vibrations, numerical techniques, control systems, software engineering.
  2. Develop a refined ability to discover knowledge, solve problems, think about systems, and master other personal and professional attributes.
    1. Analyze and solve engineering problems;
    2. Conduct inquiry and experimentation in engineering problems;
    3. Think holistically and systemically;
    4. Master personal skills that contribute to successful engineering practice: initiative, flexibility, creativity, curiosity, and time management.;
    5. Master professional skills that contribute to successful engineering practice: professional ethics, integrity, currency in the field, career planning.
  3. Develop an advanced ability to communicate and work in multidisciplinary teams.
    1. Lead and work in teams;
    2. Communicate effectively in writing, in electronic form, in graphic media, and in oral presentations.
  4. Develop skills to conceive, design, implement, and operate systems in an enterprise and societal context.
    1. Recognize the importance of the societal context in engineering practice;
    2. Appreciate different enterprise cultures and work successfully in organizations;
    3. Conceive engineering systems, including setting requirements, defining functions, modelling, and managing projects;
    4. Design complex systems;
    5. Implement hardware and software processes and manage implementation procedures;
    6. Operate complex systems and processes and manage operations.

Structure of the CDIO Syllabus
The point of departure for the derivation of the content of the CDIO Syllabus is the simple statement that engineers engineer, that is, they build systems and products for the betterment of humanity. In order to enter the contemporary profession of engineering, students must be able to perform the essential functions of an engineer:

Graduating engineers should be able to
operate omplex value-added engineering systems
in a modern team-based environment.

Stated another way, graduating engineers should appreciate the engineering process, be able to contribute to the development of engineering products, and do so while working in engineering organizations. Implicit is the additional expectation that, as university graduates and young adults, Engineering graduates should be developing as whole, mature, and thoughtful individuals.

These four high-level expectations map directly to the highest, first or "X" level organization of the CDIO Syllabus, as illustrated in Figure 1. Examining the mapping of the first-level syllabus items to these four expectations, we can see that a mature individual interested in technical endeavours possesses a set of Personal and Professional Skills, which are central to the practice. In order to develop complex value-added engineering systems, students must have mastered the fundamentals of the appropriate Technical Knowledge and Reasoning. In order to work in a modern team-based environment, students must have developed the Interpersonal Skills of teamwork and communications. Finally, in order to actually be able to create and operate products and systems, a student must understand something of Conceiving, Designing, Implementing, and Operating Systems in the Enterprise and Societal Context. We will now examine each of these four items in more detail.


Figure 1: Building blocks of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to Conceive, Design, Implement, and Operate Systems in the Enterprise and Societal Context (CDIO).

The second or "X.X" level of content of Part 1 Technical Knowledge and Reasoning of the Syllabus is shown diagrammatically in Figure 2. Modern engineering professions often rely on a necessary core Knowledge of Underlying Sciences (1.1). A body of Core Engineering Fundamental Knowledge (1.2) builds on that science core, and a set of Advanced Engineering Fundamentals (1.3) moves students towards the skills necessary to begin a professional career. This section of the CDIO Syllabus is, in fact, just a placeholder for the more detailed description of the disciplinary fundamentals necessary for any particular Engineering education. The details of Part 1 will vary widely in content from field to field. The placement of this item at the beginning of the syllabus is a reminder that the development of a deep-working knowledge of technical fundamentals is, and should, be the primary objective of undergraduate Engineering education.

Figure 2: Hierarchy of Technical Knowledge and Reasoning.

Unlike Part 1 Technical Knowledge and Reasoning, the remainder of the syllabus is, arguably, common to all engineering professions. Engineers of all types use approximately the same set of personal and interpersonal skills, and follow approximately the same generalized processes. We have endeavoured in the remaining three parts of the syllabus to be inclusive of all the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that Engineering graduates might require. In addition, we have attempted to use terminology, which would be recognizable to all professions. Local usage in different engineering fields will naturally require some translation and interpretation.

The second level content of Part 2 Personal and Professional Skills and Attributes and Part 3 Interpersonal Skills are shown schematically in the Venn-diagram of Figure 3. Starting from within, the three modes of thought most practised professionally by engineers are explicitly called out: Engineering Reasoning and Problem Solving (2.1), Experimentation and Knowledge Discovery (2.2), and System Thinking (2.3). These might also be called engineering thinking, scientific thinking, and system thinking. The detailed topical content of these sections up to a fourth level is given in Appendix A. There is parallelism in these three sections (2.1- 2.3). Each starts with a subsection which is essentially "formulating the issue," moves through the particulars of that mode of thought, and ends with a section which is essentially "resolving the issue."

Figure 3: Venn-diagram of Personal and Professional and Interpersonal skills

As indicated by Figure 3, those personal skills and attributes, other than the three modes of thought, which are used primarily in a professional context are called Professional Skills and Attitudes (2.5). These include professional integrity and professional behaviour, and the skills and attitudes necessary to plan for one's career, as well as stay current in the world of engineering.

The subset of personal skills, which are not primarily used in a professional context, and are not interpersonal, are simply labelled Personal Skills and Attitudes (2.4). These include the general character traits of initiative and perseverance, the more generic modes of thought of creative and critical thinking, and the skills of personal inventory (knowing one's strengths and weaknesses), curiosity and lifelong learning, and time management.

The Interpersonal Skills are a somewhat distinct subset of the general class of personal skills, and divide into two overlapping sets called Teamwork (3.1) and Communications (3.2). Teamwork is comprised of forming, operating, growing, and leading a team, along with some skills specific to technical teamwork. Communications is composed of the skills necessary to devise a communications strategy and structure, and those necessary to use the four common media: written, oral, graphical, and electronic. If appropriate, the command of a foreign language would be in Section 3.2 as well.

Figure 4: Conceiving, Designing, Implementing, and Operating products and systems, which occurs in the framework of an Enterprise and Societal Context

Figure 4 shows an overview of Part 4 Conceiving, Designing, Implementing, and Operating Systems in the Enterprise and Societal Context. It presents a modern view of how product or system development moves through four meta-phases, Conceiving (4.3), Designing (4.4), Implementing (4.5), and Operating (4.6). The terms are chosen to be descriptive of hardware, software, and process industries. Conceiving runs from market or opportunity identification though high level or conceptual design, and includes development project management. Designing includes aspects of design process, as well as disciplinary, multidisciplinary, and multi-objective design. Implementing includes hardware and software processes, test and verification, as well as design and management of the implementation process. Operating covers a wide range of issues from designing and managing operations, through supporting product lifecycle and improvement, to end-of-life planning.

Products and systems are created and operated within an Enterprise and Business Context (4.2), and engineers must understand these sufficiently to operate effectively. The skills necessary to do this include recognizing the culture and strategy of an enterprise, and understanding how to act in an entrepreneurial way within an enterprise of any type or size. Likewise enterprises exist within a larger Societal and External Context (4.1). An understanding of which includes such issues as the relationship between society and engineering, and requires a knowledge of the broader historical, cultural, and global context.

It can be seen that the CDIO Syllabus is organized at the first two levels in a manner, which is rational. The first level reflects the function of an engineer, who is a well-developed individual, involved in a process which is embedded in an organization, with the intent of building products. The second level reflects much of the modern practice and scholarship on the profession of engineering.

It is important to note that the CDIO Syllabus exists at four (and in some cases five) levels of detail. This decomposition is necessary in order to transition from the high-level goals (e.g. all engineers should be able to communicate) to the level of teachable, and assessable skills (e.g. a topic in attribute 3.2.1, "analyze the audience"). Although perhaps overwhelming at first, this level of detail has many benefits for Engineering faculty members, who in many cases are not experts in some of these topics. The detail allows instructors to gain insight into content and objectives, contemplate the deployment of these skills into a curriculum, and prepare lesson and assessment plans.

The CDIO Standards
In January 2004, the CDIO Initiative adopted twelve standards that describe CDIO programmes. These guiding principles were developed in response to programme leaders, alumni, and industrial partners who wanted to know how they would recognize CDIO programmes and their graduates. As a result, these CDIO Standards define the distinguishing features of a CDIO programme, serve as guidelines for educational programme reform and evaluation, create benchmarks and goals with worldwide application, and provide a framework for continuous improvement.

The twelve CDIO Standards address programme philosophy (Standard 1), curriculum development (Standards 2, 3 and 4), design-build experiences and workspaces (Standards 5 and 6), new methods of teaching and learning (Standards 7 and 8), faculty development (Standards 9 and 10), and assessment and evaluation (Standards 11 and 12). Of these 12 standards, seve

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