Institutionalization of University Extension through Integrative Projects: An Experience between a Food Industry and the Production Engineering from Mackenzie Presbyterian University

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International Symposium on Project Approaches in Engineering Education
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Saut A.M.
Carvalhal M.A.
Helleno A.L.
Vicente S.A.S.
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© 2023 University of Minho. All rights reserved.The insertion of the university extension in academic curriculum has been a theme that arouses interest and provokes discussions in the academic sphere, mainly about how to put it into practice. The current legislation, through the Guidelines for Extension in Brazilian Undergraduate Education, regulates the academic activities of extension of undergraduate courses, in the form of curricular components. In this context, Mackenzie Presbyterian University (MPU) has been working extensively to comply with legislation to promote the social, economic, and cultural development of students through the extension activities. The Production Engineering course was the first from the MPU to propose the so-called Integrative Projects (IP), an academic activity of extension. The IP is a multidisciplinary project in which teachers and students, previously enrolled, work together with professionals from a partner company to solve a real problem. During the academic semester, the company's professionals present the problem and monitor the progress of students with the responsible teachers. The methodology allows the students to be the protagonist in the development of their knowledge and in the search for solving the problem. This article aims to present a case study of an integrative project carried out in partnership between the School of Engineering - Production Engineering course and a large company in the food industry sector. The project purpose was to map the pallet management process, used by the logistics department. The company's collaboration has been fundamental to the success of the project, allowing students access to data, visit to the distribution center and discuss the problem with professionals. From the students' perspective, the gains were the development of skills that the market seeks. For the industry, the main gains were identification of opportunities to reduce losses and improve the current controls. The project has increased the social bond and transformed education into authentic, relevant, and meaningful.
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