Projects as Socio-Technical Systems in Engineering Education  book cover
1st Edition

Projects as Socio-Technical Systems in Engineering Education

ISBN 9781138483606
Published October 10, 2018 by CRC Press
174 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book presents the case for Project-Based Learning within Socio-Technical Systems in Engineering Education. The book highlights the importance of projects as Socio-Technical Systems as a means for supporting and enhancing international accreditation of engineering programs. Practical examples illustrate how Socio-Technical Systems are brought into the educational environment through Project-Based Learning. The book goes on to discusses the impact this may have on Engineering Education practice.

The work presented will enable engineering educators to develop curricula that can respond to societal needs, while also enhancing teaching and learning. It offers an approach to engineering education that centers on engaging scholars in projects that are located within socio-technical systems. University, government and industry leaders will gain from this book as it provides insight into strategic planning and partnership-building for Engineering Education.

We hope this book will further foster deep scholarship of research to ready engineering faculties for engaging responsibly with their surrounding communities.


  • Offers applications of Project-Based Learning (PBL) in Engineering Education
  • Matches elements of Socio-Technical Systems in Higher Engineering Education, with the Exit Level Outcomes (ELOs) required by professional engineering bodies
  • Provides practical examples for the establishment of project environments within an academic faculty
  • Shows examples in the success of execution of projects involving engineering educators, researchers, program developers, government agencies and industry partners
  • Presents a framework to develop Project-Based Learning in Engineering Education that addresses Socio-Technical requirements and will enable engineering educators to collaboratively develop engineering curricula with industry that will respond to societal needs

Table of Contents

Section I Engineering Education Projects as Socio-Technical Systems

Chapter 1 Introduction to Socio-Technical Systems

Naude Malan

Chapter 2 Project-Based Learning

Zach Simpson and Sune von Solms

Chapter 3 Engaged Learning

Dalien Rene Benecke, Naude Malan and Nickey Janse van Rensburg

Chapter 4 Appropriate Technology

Naude Malan and Nickey Janse van Rensburg

Chapter 5 Regulatory Context of Engineering Education

Zach Simpson and Johan Meyer

Section II Case Studies of Engineering Education Projects within Socio-Technical Systems

Chapter 6 Systems Engineering and Project Management: The Case

of the Shell Eco-Marathon

Sune von Solms and Johan Meyer

Chapter 7 Engineering Sustainability and Impact: The Case of the Gwakwani Village Project

Sune von Solms and Johan Meyer

Chapter 8 Development of Non-Technical Competencies: The Case of the Jozi Digital Ambassadors Project

Zach Simpson and Dalien Rene Benecke

Section III Institutional Challenges for Engineering Education Projects within Socio-Technical Systems

Chapter 9 Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Nickey Janse van Rensburg and Naude Malan

Chapter 10 Managing Socio-Technical Projects in Higher Education

Hannelie Nel

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Professor Johan Meyer is the Head of School of Electrical Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). He holds a B.Ing (Electrical and Electronic Engineering), an M.Ing (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) and a D.Ing (Electrical Engineering) from the Randse Afrikaanse University. He has considerable experience in systems engineering stemming from his industrial work as systems engineering manager for a large avionics programme. He serves on the Faculty Science programme Committee and the Technical Programme Committee. He was instrumental in the design of the new Bachelor of Engineering Technology curriculum and advisor to the engineering programme accreditation committees of the engineering science and engineering technology programmes offered at the University of Johannesburg.

Dr. Zach Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Johannesburg. He holds a PhD in Education from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Zach has worked in the area of engineering education since 2009, during which time he has authored several journal articles, conference papers and book chapters. His work in this book reflects his background as an educationalist and the application thereof to the concerns of engineering study. For over eight years, Zach has worked with engineering educators on (re)developing curriculum and assessment to improve alignment of these with the requirements of the modern workplace; characterised as complex, dynamic and multidisciplinary. He has published work pertaining to cognitive demand, gender dynamics, assessment and the use of representations in engineering study.

Dr. Suné von Solms is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She obtained a Ph.D in Computer Engineering in 2012, an M.Eng (Computer Engineering) Cum Laude in 2009 and a B.Eng (Computer and Electronic Engineering) Cum Laude in 2007 from the North-West University. Suné is a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and a National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher. Her research interests include networks, engineering education and the social and human aspects of engineering. She is actively involved in engineering and community engagement projects within rural communities. Suné is part of the socio-technical team responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with partners in rural communities, exploring the needs of those partners, and designing and developing solutions for the rural communities.