European Society for Engineering Education

Logo of SEFI

The European Society for Engineering Education is the largest organisation for engineering education in Europe.[1] Commonly known as SEFI, an acronym for its French name, Société Européenne pour la Formation des Ingénieurs, it is also known in German as the Europäische Gesellschaft für Ingenieur-Ausbildung. SEFI was founded in Brussels in 1973[2][3] and has more than 300 members in 40 countries.[1] It promotes information exchange about current developments in the field of engineering education, between teachers, researchers and students in the various European countries.[4]

Additionally, it develops the cooperation between higher engineering education institutions and promotes cooperation with industry, acting as a link between its members and other scientific and international bodies, in collaboration with other international organisations like its European sister organisation IGIP, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Board of European Students of Technology.


SEFI is governed by a Board of Directors composed of 21 elected members and members’ representatives, two Vice-Presidents and is presently chaired by President Prof. Martin Vigild, Dean and Senior Vice-President of the Technical University of Denmark.[5]

The working groups, Standing Committees and Task Forces’ activities reflect the mission and goals of SEFI and are directly taking part in the realisation of the aims and objectives of the organisation. The working groups are organised by themes: Open and Online Engineering Education; Engineering Education Research; Curriculum Development; Continuing Engineering Education and Lifelong Learning; Mathematics; Gender and Diversity; Physics and Engineering Education; Ethics in Engineering Education; Attractiveness of Engineering Education; Sustainability and Engineering Education; Quality Assurance and Accreditation.[6]


Workshops and seminars[7][8] are regularly organized by the working groups and committees on specific themes of engineering education and in the context of SEFI’s priorities. Participation in the working groups is reserved to the members of SEFI.

Annual Conferences[9]

The SEFI Annual Conferences represent a unique opportunity for the members and all those involved in Engineering Education to meet colleagues, exchange views and opinions and to establish new contacts. The themes of the Conferences reflect the interests of SEFI members.[10]

The last conferences were Diversity in Engineering Education: an opportunity to face new trends in engineering (Orléans 2015);[11] Educating Engineers for Global Competitiveness (Birmingham 2014);[12] Engineering Education 1973-2013: Fast Forward (Leuven, 2013)[13] and 40th anniversary of SEFI; Engineering Education 2020 - Meet the Future (Thessaloniki, 2012); Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability and Mobility - 1st World EE Flash Week (Lisbon, 2011).

Future Conferences

Annual Conference 2016 “Engineering Education on Top of the World: Industry-University Cooperation”[14]

Annual Conference 2017 Organised by the ISEP (Porto), Azores Islands “Education Excellence for Sustainable Development”

European Convention for Engineering Deans (ECED)

The general objective of the Conventions is to bring together Deans from whole over Europe to meet and to discuss in depth common topics, share experiences, identify solutions for problems and build up a network with peers in different European countries. SEFI launched the conventions in 2005, under the Presidency of Prof. Borri, University of Florence. Since 2011, ECEDs are organised by SEFI, in cooperation with CESAER and other partners. The latest conventions were in 2012, Birmingham, UK Tomorrow’s engineers for an Attractive Europe: Working together to Build on Europe’ s Excellence in EE and research; in 2013, Aalborg, DK, Engineering Education for a Sustainable Europe; in 2014, Lund, SE, Engineering for a Connected World;[15] 2015, Valencia, ES, Engineering in a Global Context[16]


The European Journal of Engineering Education published by Taylor and Francis is the official scientificjournal of SEFI.[17]

SEFI also publishes a monthly electronic bulletin, News@SEFI, containing news about the members of the organisation as well as an international press review on Higher Education.[18]

Among regular publications are also SEFI Annual Reports and the Proceedings of SEFI Annual Conferences, indexed in Scopus.

Other publications consist of Ad Hoc Documents presenting the outcomes of seminars organised by the Working Groups/Committees/Projects as well as reference documents.[19]


Leonardo Da Vinci Medal

Leonardo da Vinci Medal

The Leonardo da Vinci Medal is the highest distinction SEFI can bestow. The Medal is awarded by the Administrative Council to living persons who have made an outstanding contribution of international significance to engineering education. Since its institution in 1983, the Medal has been awarded to: Mr. Jacques Delors (France); Prof. Heinz Zemanek (Austria); Sir Monty Finniston † (United Kingdom); Prof. John P. Klus † (USA); Prof. Antonio Ruberti † (Italy); Prof. James C. I. Dooge † (Ireland); Prof Hubert Curien † (France); Sir Robert Telford † (United Kingdom); Mr Jean Gandois (France); Prof. Fritz Paschke (Austria);Prof. Olgierd C. Zienkiewicz † (United Kingdom, Poland); Prof. Teuvo Kalevi Kohonen (Finland); Prof. Niklaus Wirth (Switzerland); Senator Pierre Laffitte (France); Prof. Niels I. Meyer (Denmark); Mr. Santiago Calatrava (Spain, Switzerland); Prof. Joaquim A. Ribeiro Sarmento (Portugal); Prof. Giuliano Augusti (Italy); Prof. Gulsun Saglamer (Turkey); Prof. Ingemar Ingemarsson (Sweden); Mr Paul Soros (Hungary); Prof. Ole Vinther (Denmark); Prof. Jean Michel (France); H.R.H. Prince Friso van Oranje-Nassau †(The Netherlands) ; in 2010, Prof. Dr. Konrad Osterwalder, Rector of the United Nations University (Switzerland); in 2011, Mr. Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (former President of Brazil); in 2012, Prof. Joseph Sifakis (Greece/France); in 2013, Dr. Franck De Winne (Belgium); in 2014, Dame Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge (United Kingdom); and in 2015 to Mr. Charles Champion (France).

The SEFI Fellowship Award

The SEFI Fellowship Award recognises meritorious service to engineering education in Europe. Award recipients may use the expression “Fellow of SEFI” (F.SEFI) as a postscript to their name. The nominees are in principle SEFI individual members who have worked in the field or in the promotion of engineering education for at least the previous five years.[20]

Best Papers Award

The Best Papers Award is given at the end of each Annual Conference to congratulate to the quality and originality of someone’s work.[21]

SEFI Award for the best PHD Thesis in Engineering Education

The SEFI has launched a competition for thesis at PhD level. The aim of the competition is to stimulate and reward initiatives that lead to improvements in Engineering Education. Only thesis performed in universities members of SEFI are eligible. In order to be accepted, the subject of the thesis must be capable of being classified under the topic: ‘Engineering Education’. The thesis must have been officially accepted or approved by the applicant’s teaching establishment ,member of SEFI, during the three academic years previous to the year of the competition.

So it has been awarded only once, namely to Dr. Pia Lappalainen, Aalto University for her thesis “Socially Competent Leadership - predictors, impacts and skilling in engineering”.[22]

SEFI Francesco Maffioli Award

The Award has been created to commemorate the 37 years of outstanding support and major contributions to the Society of the late Francesco Maffioli. The Award is given to individual students or student associations in recognition of their dedication to SEFI and/or engineering education in Europe and in World. This is to reflect Professor Maffioli’s passion for cooperation with engineering students and ensuring they had a voice in the development of engineering education in the future.

So far it has been awarded once in 2014 to the Board of European Students of Technology.[23]


SEFI cooperates with other major European and international associations (ASEE, GEDC, IFEES, WFEO, IGIP, BEST, LACCEI, EDEN, JSEE, ...) and international bodies (European Commission, UNESCO, Council of Europe, OECD) . SEFI also participated in the creation of numerous international organisations such as ENAEE,[24] IFEES,[25] EuroPace, IACEE, IIDEA, or EEDC.


SEFI recognises individual,[26] institutional,[27] associate,[28] and industrial members[29](Dassault Systemes, Granta Design,[30] Mathworks, National Instruments)


  1. 1 2 "SEFI Annual Report 2014-2015" (PDF). Retrieved Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. The founding and purposes of this organization are described, e.g., by James, D. J. G. (1985), "Foreword to Proc. Eur. Sem. on Mathematics in Engineering Education", Int. J. Math. Educ. Sci. Tech., 16 (2): 152–155.
  3. Seitzer, Dieter (1983), "The European Society for Engineering Education: SEFI", European Journal of Engineering Education, 8 (2): 109–112, doi:10.1080/03043798308903550. Description of a speech by Seitzer, the president of SEFI, outlining its history, objectives, and activities.
  4. "SEFI » We about us". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  5. "SEFI » Board of Directors". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  6. "SEFI » Working Groups & Committees". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  7. "SEFI MWG 2016". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  8. "PTEE 2017". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  9. Jones, Russel C.; Oberst, Bethany S.; Siller, Thomas J (2002), "It's Time to Re-think Engineering Education Conferences", ASEE Annual Conf. Jones et al. describe the 2001 SEFI Conference, held in Copenhagen, and argue that it "provided a model for what engineering education conferences should be in the future."
  10. "SEFI » Annual Conferences". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  11. "SEFI Annual Conference 2015 -". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  12. "SEFI » ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2014". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  13. "SEFI » Annual Conference 2013". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  14. "SEFI Annual Conference 2016 - Tampere University of Technology". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  15. "ECED | ECED". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  16. "7th European Convention of Engineering Deans | Engineering in a Global Context 26–27 March 2015". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  17. Osorio, Nestor L.; Osorio, Mary A. (2004), "Engineering Education in Europe and the USA: An Analysis of Two Journals", Science & Technology Libraries, 23 (1): 49–70, doi:10.1300/J122v23n01_05. The Osorios analyze the content and authorship of two "leading journals in the field of engineering education", this one and the Journal of Engineering Education, published by the American Society for Engineering Education.
  18. "SEFI » News@SEFI". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  19. "SEFI » Position Papers and References documents". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  20. "SEFI » SEFI Fellowships". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  21. "SEFI » Best Papers Award". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  22. Lappalainen, Pia. "Socially Competent Leadership - predictors, impacts and skilling in engineering".
  23. "During the SEFI Awards' Dinner in the... - Board of European Students of Technology | Facebook". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  24. "ENAEE - European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  25. "IFEES". IFEES. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  26. "SEFI » Individual Members". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  27. "SEFI » Institutional Members". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  28. "SEFI » Associate Members". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  29. "SEFI » Industrial - Corporate Members". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  30. "Granta Design: The materials information technology experts". Retrieved 2015-12-09.

External links

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