Integrating multidisciplinary engineering knowledge

07 Nov 2015

In order to design two distinct engineering qualification levels for an existing University of Technology programme, empirical evidence based on the current diploma is necessary to illuminate the nature of and the relationship between the contextual and conceptual elements underpinning a multidisciplinary engineering curriculum. The increasing focus on contextual application could result in decreasing opportunities to develop the conceptual disciplinary grasp required for a dynamic, emerging region at the forefront of technological innovation. Using the theoretical tools of Bernstein and Maton to analyse final year student practice, the research addresses the question of how multidisciplinary knowledge is integrated by students, and what this reveals about the nature of such knowledge. The paper presents a conceptualisation of multidisciplinary knowledge integration practices as a dynamic process along two axes simultaneously, shifting between different forms and levels of conceptual and contextual knowledge.