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Particle technology education in the 21st century – Outcomes from the IFPRI sponsored workshop in Sheffield, April 2017

Litster, James D., Michaels, James N., Jacob, Karl V.
Powder technology 2020 v.366 pp. 144-149
computer software, curriculum, engineering, engineers, higher education, learning, powders
In April 2017, IFPRI sponsored a workshop at the University of Sheffield to assess the current state of global particle technology education and chart a course forward. There is a clearly demonstrated need for trained graduates at all levels across a broad spectrum of industries. Workshop participants recommended a top down approach for curriculum renewal and developed key high-level learning attributes for undergraduate education in particle science and engineering. Participants further identified a variety of barriers to integrating particle technology into undergraduate engineering curricula such as the crowded engineering curriculum, a perception that particle technology is more an art than a science, and that it is an orphan subject that fits uncomfortably in standard engineering disciplines. Nevertheless, change is possible with better underlying science, new textbooks and software tools, examples of excellent programs and courses, and increasing demand from employers for skills in the area, as compared to 25 years ago. Suggestions for how to do this are reported. It will take persistence and cooperation between both academia and industry to achieve a significantly higher percentage of engineers trained in particle science and engineering. This education will benefit society in solving the world's current and future technological grand challenges.