Stakeholders developing education in the field of construction
In August, a group of distinguished corporate leaders and experts convened at Dipoli to familiarise themselves with the new programmes Aalto University offers in the field of construction and to discuss the competence needs in the construction sector and companies’ possibilities to participate in the development of students’ skills and competence.
‘The event met the expectations successfully. Our aim was to obtain feedback that we can use as a basis for developing new operating models and responding to challenges even better’, said Professor Jari Puttonen, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering. ‘We had already identified some of the issues that were brought up, but the direct feedback given by the companies was extremely valuable. For example, integrating international students into the Finnish language is an issue we want to solve.’
‘Theses have traditionally been an important part of the collaboration, but their topics should be related both to the research at the university and to the companies’ needs’, Puttonen said.
The construction sector is undergoing major changes and it is impossible to predict the future. The companies therefore hoped to have a closer dialogue with research and perspectives on future trends. They also hoped to see high-quality continuing education for those who are already in working life.
Good basic knowledge, problem solving skills, creativity and an ability to learn new things were capabilities the companies expected from the Master of Science in Technology graduates entering the sector. Interaction skills and an ability to work together with experts from different sectors were also valued.
Saara Lassila, a student of Geoengineering, and Santeri Sompio, a student of Construction Management and Economics, praised the new master’s programmes taught in English. ‘Studying in English has given me the ability to discuss matters in English and very good prospects in working life’, Sompio said.
The discussion was facilitated by Mikko Leppänen, Technical Director of Ramboll Finland Oy. A construction company’s expectations regarding education in the field were presented by Tuomas Särkilahti, Managing Director of Skanska. Managing Director Ismo Tawast from Sweco talked about what a design company expects from the education provided in the field. The education at Aalto University was presented by Dean Gary Marquis and Professors Jari Puttonen, Simo Hostikka and Mikael Rinne.
Professor Jari Puttonen, [email protected]
Head of the Aalto University Department of Civil Engineering