Anna Friesel


21st century engineering education for Inventions and Innovations in Technology

In the past, universities’ engineering faculties have been major contributors to the technology research strength and economic health of the countries all over the world. In order to succeed in coming decades, Colleges of Engineering will have to continue to be imaginative in pioneering new, often interdisciplinary, research directions which address societal needs. At the same time there are strong challenges to do a better job of educating engineering students for inventions and innovations in technology. This is an exciting and challenging time in higher education and with challenges come opportunities.

There is a paradigm shift taking place in education in general. The focus is moving from traditional teaching methods to students and their learning. Efforts to improve student learning include a variety of innovative pedagogical approaches, including first-year design courses, cooperative learning, interdisciplinary courses, technology-enhanced education, teamwork, international cooperation, project-based courses with students from different countries and much more.

The goals of these efforts include exploring the diversity of learning styles of engineering undergraduates, experimenting with the use of multimedia materials, and developing a theoretical framework for curriculum design. These efforts will allow the faculties to educate more effectively the engineer of the future.

This talk addresses the question of how to enhance students’ innovation and invention skills.


Anna was a Professor at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Diplom), Denmark from 2002 up to her retirement in April 2021. Before that, she was an associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark in Soenderborg for 12 years. She also spent one year as a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, USA 1995-96. Before joining the university, she worked in two Danish companies, Danfoss A/S, as R&D engineer and Dyrbaek Technology A/S, Aabenraa, Denmark as Technology Manager.

Her research and professional interests include developing international programs and international collaboration, educational methods in engineering education and in general, mathematical modelling, system dynamics and control theory.

She was the president of the EAEEIE - European Association for Education in Electrical and Information Engineering in from 2012-2019. EAEEIE is a European non-profit organization, with members from nearly seventy European Universities, most of them teaching in the area of Electrical and Information Engineering (EIE).

Anna is a member of the IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB) as a “member-at-large”, and she was actively involved in committees for faculty development and curricula and pedagogy. She was a member of the Editorial Board of the new IEEE Teaching Excellence Hub and an Associated Editor of the Journal IEEE Transactions on Education. She is now a treasurer in the International Division of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). She participated as a partner in several EU-projects: STEMSOFT (actual, 2020-23), PELARS, ELLEIEC, SALEIE.