Facing Disaster: Learning by doing at Reykjavik University

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


To motivate first year students and expose them to real-life engineering, Reykjavik University
initiated the “Disaster Week” in the fall semester of 2011. The semester was broken up with one
week of joint project work, introducing the students to some of the main CDIO concepts. During
this week, engineering students developed an action plan for dealing with an unforeseen event
of some complexity, demanding interactive group work, planning and decision making. In
tectonically and volcanically active Iceland, the first “Disaster Week” started with students
receiving an announcement that a volcanic eruption had started and the lava flow was heading
towards the city of Reykjavik. This paper describes the experience of running this project for the
first time. Most of the students were very satisfied with the course; they liked the social
interaction in the groups and were stimulated by the idea of the “Disaster Week”. It was the
general opinion of the faculty that there is clear value in making this educational experience a
permanent part of the first year programmes in engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International CDIO Conference
Place of PublicationBrisbane
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International CDIO Conference


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