Event recap – Driving change in engineering education at WEEF GEDC

By margaretfox

As a global leader in engineering and technology solutions, Siemens Digital Industries Software is making significant strides in preparing students for the demands of the industry. Members of the Siemens Empowers Education and Startups (SEES) team joined industry and academic customers at the World Engineering Education Forum and Global Engineering Deans Council (WEEF GEDC) conference at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. Read on for highlights of some of the key presentations and workshops at WEEF GEDC and explore how Siemens Digital Industries Software is driving innovation in engineering education while inspiring students to excel in industry.

Thought leadership in action

At the WEEF GEDC conference, Siemens Digital Industries Software demonstrated expertise in various areas of engineering education. These thought-provoking sessions emphasized Siemens Digital Industries Software’s commitment to equipping students with the skills needed to create a better world.

  • AI-Driven Digital Transformation – Ricardo Rodriguez Sanchez showcased Siemens’ forward-thinking approach to harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence. 
  • Changing the Course of Engineering Education: Sustainability-focused curricular resources to support engineering for a better world – Dora Smith, Senior Director of the Global Academic Program at Siemens Digital Industries Software, joined academic and industry professionals to discuss the impact of environmental topics in engineering curriculum, sustainability-focused curricular resources, and more. These discussions highlighted Siemens Digital Industries Software’s dedication to the inclusion of sustainability in engineering education.

Building an exceptional talent pipeline

Recognizing the importance of nurturing talent and ensuring a smooth transition from education to industry is key to industrial development. Industry and academia must work together to ensure students are prepared to enter into ever-evolving engineering practices.

  • Emerging Roles, Evolving Skills, and Industry 5.0: Are we ready? –  Shannon O’Donnell, Global Strategy Leader at Siemens Digital Industries Software, joined an expert panel to discuss how educational curricula for engineering needs to efficiently incorporate changes to address the needs for a rapidly evolving landscape. Much of the conversation focused on industry-academic partnerships to build micro-credentials that will equip today’s students to become tomorrow’s engineers.
  • Fostering a Culture of Collaboration in Engineering Education and Industry – O’Donnell also co-led a workshop with Kevin Sutton, Assistant Professor at Appalachian State. The goal of this workshop was to empower educators, students and industry professionals to build partnerships that strengthen each other. Leveraging the experience between AeroEducate and Siemens, O’Donnell and Sutton shed light on how partnerships can develop the skills required for the future of work and emphasized the significance of industry-academia partnerships.

Teach them (students) to think, and teach them to care.

Annai Cuvelier, Communications Director at SPEED and Account Manager & Field Engineer at Veolia Water Technologies during the “Emerging Roles, Evolving Skills, and Industry 5.0: Are We Ready?” Panel
Shannon O’Donnell with participants in the Fostering a Culture of Collaboration in Engineering Education and Industry workshop.

Partnerships and networking opportunities

An important part of any in-person academic event is fostering connections between students and industry professionals. At the WEEF GEDC conference, Siemens partnered with the Student Platform for Engineering Education Development (SPEED) to host the first-ever SPEED-”Dating” networking event for students.

  • Students seeking internships, jobs, or mentors had the opportunity to engage, face-to-face, at the conference.
  • Through structured and fast-paced one-on-one interactions, or ‘SPEED Dates’, students were connected with talent acquisition representatives from Siemens Digital Industries Software and Siemens’ global customers. 
  • Companies swiftly identified promising talent and formed relationships that lead to new opportunities.
Participants in the SPEED Dating event network with one another.

Inspiring the next generation

The future of industry lies in the hands of those who are both technically proficient and socially conscious. Siemens Digital Industries Software’s participation at the WEEF GEDC conference exemplifies commitment to improving engineering education and preparing students for the challenges of the industry. Through thought-provoking presentations, engaging workshops, and strategic partnerships, Siemens Digital Industries Software was able to empower students and educators with knowledge to address complex challenges and showcase dedication to creating a better world through engineering. 

For more in-depth coverage of this event, check out Dora Smith’s article on LinkedIn. If you’re passionate about shaping the future of industry and want to be part of this transformative journey, join Siemens Digital Industries Software at the 2024 WEEF GEDC conference in Sydney, Australia. Visit to register and explore the exciting opportunities available at this event. To learn more about how Siemens Digital Industries Software and the SEES team empowers the next generation of engineers and bridges the gap between industry and academia, check out the Academics & Startups blog or listen to the Innovation in the Classroom podcast.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at