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More digitalisation!

2017-10-20

There’s a lot of talk about digitalisation right now. What do we really mean by the term, and is it something new? Although the meaning of the term partly depends on who you ask, we can all agree that information and services are becoming increasingly digital, for instance banking services and media consumption. But we also see that very much is happening in healthcare and industry, among other sectors. More and more things are becoming connected and automated, and often wireless. In healthcare, there are many new developments regarding personal health and tools. In industry, manufacturing robots are not the only thing being developed; even within construction, digital methods are underway. Digitalisation permeates everything!

The process of digitalisation has been in progress for some time, but recently we’ve seen that the pace of development has accelerated drastically. If Sweden as a nation does not keep up, there is a risk that we are left in the dust.

So, in what areas do we need to invest? Practically all of them! Obviously within technological development, but we also need to invest in business models, for example, and on the basis of knowledge about how digitalisation affects our society as a whole. Issues of integrity and ethics will be crucial. All faculties are affected.

How far have we come at LTH?

A lot is happening in research on, for example, autonomous systems, 3D printing, image processing, big data and machine learning. But what’s the situation like when it comes to education? There are some excellent initiatives on how we apply digitalisation, but LTH has yet to adopt a holistic approach. It’s time we do, which is why we are initiating a development project to examine these issues, in line with the strategic plan. The task was assigned to LTH’s joint educational support unit – the Centre for Engineering Education (CEE) – but we must all contribute. Let’s make a vigorous effort!

Are we then preparing our students for the reality they will face when they leave LTH? To some extent, but I’m convinced we can do more. Therefore, we are initiating another development project to see whether our study programmes meet the new reality. We will start with the programmes which can be considered the most affected: the CDE programmes (i.e. our engineering programmes in Computer Science, Information and Communication Technology, and Electrical Engineering). However, it will affect all courses and programmes.

It’s a challenge, but also a great opportunity.

Viktor Öwall
Dean, Faculty of Engineering (LTH)

 


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Viktor Öwall
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering LTH

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