Returning to academia from industry: Four case studies from Iceland

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


Typical career development of engineers and scientists differs between countries. In some countries, people must pursue an industrial career before they become eligible for an academic one, in other countries people can start an academic career following their university graduation. This paper describes the experience of four faculty members of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Iceland from returning to academia from industry occupation. Differences in university and industry work are highlighted as well as the challenges facing a new faculty member who has come off his/her young age, notably relating to teaching, research, collaboration with new colleagues and learning to work within complicated university structures. University teaching has become a science in its own right. A teacher must have a very clear understanding of his/her subjects, a good way of presenting the material, be able to solve the assigned problems, know how to assess students' knowledge and know methodologies that help him/her be very time-efficient. A new faculty member must build up his/her research facilities. At a small university there is often no existing research in the new faculty member's field of expertise or interest. He/she must therefore start from scratch, find ways to finance the new research field and apply for research grants. Furthermore, he/she needs to find graduate students who can work on the new research team, find external collaboration parties and start publishing. In addition to this, the new faculty member needs to integrate into the new workplace, gradually learn to know the new colleagues and often-complicated structure and processes of the university. All this is time consuming and demanding.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, ProComm 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781509030422
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2017
Event2017 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, ProComm 2017 - Madison, United States
Duration: 23 Jul 201726 Jul 2017

Publication series

NameIEEE International Professional Communication Conference
ISSN (Print)2158-091X
ISSN (Electronic)2158-1002


Conference2017 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, ProComm 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.

Other keywords

  • Case studies
  • industrial experience
  • industry to academy
  • social environment


Dive into the research topics of 'Returning to academia from industry: Four case studies from Iceland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this