Innovation Challenge of the Year Award

Tianjin University

Finalist of the Innovation Challenge of the Year Award

"Emerging Engineering Education: Coping with changes and shaping the future"

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The Emerging Engineering Education (3E) Plan was initiated by Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE) in 2016. It aims at educating future engineering innovators for a global world. The 3E plan calls for a new round of engineering education reform to transform the traditional engineering education mode. Tianjin University (TJU) took a leadership position in triggering the reform. TJU proposed the 3E Roadmap in 2018, known as Tianda Action, and launched the International Alliance of Emerging Engineering Education (IAEEE), consisting of 56 universities form China, France, Ireland, Singapore, Thailand and US, to address the challenges faced by global engineering education communities. In 2019, TJU released its 3E Plan, namely Coherent Collaborative Interdisciplinary Innovation (CCII) Plan to prepare the future engineering innovators and leaders with high moral and ethical standards. With the boost of TJU, the 3E concept and CCII have made great impact in China. TJU has implemented the CCII Plan, involving 14,154 undergraduates and 14,600 graduates. Following the release of CCII and many presentations and publications of the TJU’s exploratory experiences, many universities make their own plans. TJU has become the centre of 3E movement in China and MOE has formally established National Innovation Centre for 3E at TJU. Chairman LI Jiajun was appointed to Chairperson to lead the 3E initiative in China. TJU has also contributed to global engineering education by hosting international symposium and establishing IAEEE and presented a keynote lecture at 2019 International Conference on Axiomatic Design in Sydney. TJU have designed and built interdisciplinary education platforms on university-level and school-level, integrating the resources of the university, industries and governments to form an education community for 3E.

Key People

Dr.& Prof. LI Jiajun
Tianjin University

Dr.& Prof. JIN Donghan
Tianjin University

Dr.& Prof. GU Peihua
Emerging Engineering Education Research Center,  Tianjin University

Dr.& Prof. WANG Shuxin
Vice President
Tianjin University

Dr.& Prof. GONG Jinlong
Vice President
Tianjin University

Further key people


Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China ZHONG Denghua, Vice Minister of MOE, the Former TJU President


International Alliance of 3E

Establishment of 3E Institutes

TJU issued 3E Roadmap

TJU issued 3E Roadmap


Impacting lifes

TJU’s 3E strategy and action has be en leading Chinese Engineering Education, and has made significant impact on the global engineering education. Above all, the engineering students in TJU feel the change most. Yan Chang and her 139 classmates are the first year undergraduates of Future Intel ligent Machine and System Program (FIMS), a newly established university level trans and inter disciplinary education platform of 3E at TJU It is the first national trans faculties and disciplines 3E program in China. To their surprise, the traditional le cture based teaching has been replaced by student centred active learning paradigm. The first class began with a lot of questions rather than traditional lectures. The instructor team explained the course outline and contents as well as new education appro aches. At the end of the first lecture, students received a course project “Logistics Tracking Car” with detailed requirements, and a great list of readings. After several classes, Yan had her own ideas and understanding. She was responsible for question naire design and customer needs analysis. She had to figure out her solutions by herself, and share her ideas with peers at weekly seminar. FIMS students can take graduate level courses under advisors’ instruction, and enter into labs to do research and pr ojects. The excellent student will enter into undergraduate graduate integrated track. In this semester, FIMS offers four courses on creative thinking, design, and AI, helping the students to build strong mathematical foundation, learn various thinking met hods and techniques, design and build of electro mechanical products and intelligent systems, as well as learning mobile and intelligent programming. These courses were completely new for the first year students at TJU which partially formed the strong fou ndation of FIMS programs.


Lessons learned

Our education focuses on cultivating creativity particularly. A growing number of campus initiatives like innovative design activities are launched by college, with the aim of provoking, encouraging and accelerating students’ creative capabilities. Those creative activities provide students with an opportunity to share different ideas, absorb various information and validate interesting and valuable thoughts in practice. In order to tackle complex challenges and find creative solutions, students need allow their qualities of invention, discovery, innovation and intuition full play during the events. These experiences will prompt students to learn more things that could not be easily achieved from textbooks and classes and help them discover their potential creativity.


What's coming?

In the next five years, trans and inter disciplinary education, project based learning & modular course structures will be widely adopted in TJU. Over forty degree programs will be upgraded and offered to undergraduates. The comprehensive training in labs, maker spaces and technical incubators will enable students to create their own techno logy and products. Meanwhile, National Innovation Centre for 3E will systematically investigate and develop 3E education experience and theory, and share exploratory experiences with others through IAEEE and Tianjin Alliance of 3E. TJU will cooperate with other universities to promote engineering education development, and produce engineering graduates addressing challenges facing the future world.



undergraduates involved in the Future Intelligent Machine and System Program (FIMS)


CNY invested in FIMS education facilities


centers or institutes established for 3E research and exploration


new engineering research and practice projects


universities involved in new International Alliance of Emerging Engineering Education (IAEEE)

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