Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) students can create products based on real business problems (apps, works of art, various strategies, innovations or other solutions) and develop various ideas in the Product Development Project module, which has begun for the second time. Students from different faculties and fields of study participate in this module in the spring semester. They not only have the chance to learn how to work together, but also to select the most meaningful and interesting topic suggested by the university’s social partners or teachers. At the KTU Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture (FCEA), products are created according to the principles of design-based thinking.
This year, the focus is on the European Green Deal. The partners of the KTU Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture (FCEA) “YIT Lithuania” and “Peikko Lithuania” offered the students two extremely relevant topics: sustainable and smart solutions for sorting mixed construction waste at the construction site and secondary use of metal waste. These topics were chosen by two international teams. Lecturers introduce subject knowledge – teamwork features, the process of design-based thinking, market and financial analysis, and the product development process. During the module, students are accompanied by lecturers and business partners who mentor the teams, provide suggestions, advise and try to help students implement their ideas as efficiently as possible.
In the first week of the semester, the teams met with company representatives who presented their proposed topics and answered the questions that arose. The mentor of one of the teams, KTU FCEA professor Lina Šeduikytė, was happy with such active involvement of students and social partners. Her group is working on a topic proposed by the “YIT Lietuva” company. Last week, they visited the construction site of the Piliamiestis micro-district that the company is building in the center of Kaunas. During the visit, students inspected the construction site. They discussed the need for sustainable and intelligent management of construction waste with company representatives Jonas Baziukas, Monika Dobrovolskytė and Marius Sabaliauskas.
The module is divided into several stages – during the intermediate project presentations students have the opportunity to present their visions, ideas and receive feedback from other teams, company representatives and teachers. The first presentation of the PDP idea is expected in a few weeks, followed by further product development.