Course Development Hackathon and 1st Anual Project Quality Meeting

May 15th – 18th, 2022
University Politehnica of Bucharest (UPB), Bucharest, Romania

The second in-person meeting and event of the IoTrain “Master of Engineering in Internet of Things” Erasmus+ project took place in hybrid format at the University Politehnica of Bucharest (UPB), in Bucharest, Romania between May 15th and May 18th, 2022. The day of May 15th was initially reserved for the airport transfer and hotel accomodation of several participating delegations of the project partners. This offered the participants also the opportunity for a leisurely visit of several Bucharest landmarks. Direct discussions were carried out on the topic of the accreditation process status and requirements of the new master program as preparatory session for the main event program.

The first day of the meeting started with the welcoming and registration of the in-person participants at the venue location – the PRECIS Research Center building of the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers, on the premises of the main UPB campus. With this occasion, promotional materials of both the host institution and of the IoTrain project were distributed to the participants, together with badges and the event agenda in printed format.

The event was subsequently launched in the opening session, where the local organizing team coordinator, Prof. Grigore Stamatescu, welcomed the participants to Bucharest/Romania in general and to UPB in particular and expressed wishes for a productive event towards substantial progress of the project activities. A dedicated video and audio link allowed the connection of remote participants to attend and present during all the event sessions. The opening remarks were followed, in the same session, by two invited presentations of the host institution representatives. First, Prof. Ioana Fagarasan, vice-dean for academic affairs of the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers, carried out a presentation on the topic of „Education and Research at the Faculty of Automatic Control and Computers”. Assoc. Prof. Maria Dascalu, vice-dean for graduate studies, ICT infrastructure and industry relations of the Faculty of Engineering in Foreign Languages, subsequently presented the study programs, research activity and international collaboration results of the faculty. The next session allowed Dr. Ali Behravan, representing the coordinator institution, the University of Siegen, a detailed overview of the current status of the project, deliverables, activities and deadlines – associated to WP6: Project Management. The meeting agenda was also discussed in detail to allow for any comments and adjustments suggested by the participants.

Throughout the meeting days, coffee breaks were offered by the host institution (UPB) while for the lunch meals an external catering company was contracted.

The program continued with updates from the side of the responsible partners  of WP1: Preparation, Dr. Mohammad Javad Rashti (SCU), WP4: Dissemination and WP5: Exploitation by Dr. Mahdi Bouhlouli (Petanux), which focused on the current status of the implementation of the planned activities for each workpackage, identifying issues and challenges.

Finally, planning and organisation aspects for the core WP2: Course development were discussed which were also to be continued during the second day of the meeting.

Upon finalising the meeting sessions of the first day according to the agenda, the participants proceeded for a technical visit to the company Asti Automation, an industrial automation and technical training company from Bucharest and key partner of the host institution. The visit allowed for several activities such: presentation of the in-house research and development laboratories for smart manufacturing, robotics and automation, practical demonstrations and a company presentation covering the products and services offered, which emphasized the application of Internet of Things technology as key enabled for modern industrial solutions in key verticals such as oil & gas, food production, utilities and the automotive domain.

The first day was concluded through a social dinner at the company headquarters which allowed for informal exchanges between the meeting participants.

The second day of the meeting was focused on reviewing the course syllabi and joint development of course content through both joint and parallel technical breakout sessions. An in-depth review and dense discussions were carried out on the subject of course assignments, syllabi revisions and choice, formatting and delivery of course materials. The sessions also allowed for direct collaboration and exchange of specialised expertise between the project partners for the assigned courses. Adjustments to the courses and master program planning were also carried out. Dr. Hamireza Ahmadian (USI) presented the partners with valuable input on the experience from previous Erasmus+ projects, in direct conjunction with the project deliverables, administrative requirements and implementation of the master program.

The third day was dedicated to summarising the meeting results and establishing the planning of the project activities until the next meeting in Siegen, Germany, during August 2022.

A dedicated session was established for the Quality Monitoring Meeting, coordinated by Prof. Xiaojun Zeng (UMA). Multiple quality-related topics were approached, including the distribution and collection of quality questionnaires among the meeting participants.

The event was finalised by a review of the main achievements, working points and short-term planning. A final social event included the guided tour of the Palace of Parliament – world’s second largest building by volume in the afternoon of the third day.