At August 30th 2018, Sofie Craps (KU Leuven) presented the professional roles model and the outcomes of her PhD research to the members of the Agoria Advanced Manufacturing Committee at Picanol Group in Ypres.
The participants acknowledged that the model is a valuable way to get a grip on the wide variety of engineering functions and to make engineering students more aware of what to expect from the labour market. In the discussion following the presentation, three key elements were highlighted. First, the threefold simplicity is an important strength of the model: the model is easy to grasp for students. Second, the overlapping intersections emphasize its dynamic nature. Rather than being deterministic, the model allows a certain degree of flexibility in looking at the complex engineering reality. Finally, the model seems robust in the light of future technological developments. Although companies, products, and processes will change, the three central components of the model stay afloat. In the future, operational excellence will be more intertwined with product leadership. Additionally, Customer Intimacy will become of paramount importance as products and services will become more and more tailored to the needs of a diverse groups of end users. The committee advices to incorporate the model into a bigger career guidance platform with other elements (e.g., company’s focus and the common core competences).
In the second half of the project, the Professional Roles Model will be checked in Europe outside of the three partner countries involved in the consortium.