Business and science work together to increase credibility of engineering profession

2016-04-20 Today Kauno Tiltai launched the “Akademija@Kauno Tiltai” project for specialists, researchers, students and pupils, the symbolic opening of which was at the Lithuanian Road Museum. This project is an initiative of the largest transport infrastructure construction company in the Baltics, which together with its partners aims to stimulate the sharing of good business and scientific practice.

Kauno Tiltai and its partners - Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU), Kaunas Technical College (KTK) and the Baltic Institute of Advanced Technology (BPTI) - will focus on helping students and pupils acquire theoretical and also practical knowledge. The project's partners hope that “Akademija@Kauno Tiltai” will open new modernisation opportunities for road infrastructure in Lithuania and will increase the credibility of the country’s engineering profession.

“The project's vision was borne through understanding that progress and innovations are created where business and science share the ideological and human potential. Being the market leaders we are often faced with the need to attract the best talents, create stimulating working conditions, and ensure continuous qualification improvement of the employees. “Akademija@Kauno Tiltai” will strive to demonstrate that engineering sciences can be an interesting and creative choice for Lithuania's youth, with the promise of a rewarding career,” stated Aldas Rusevičius, Director General of Kauno Tiltai AB.

According to Mr Rusevičius, researchers and students sometimes lack the appropriate conditions needed for the implementation of their ideas and the application of their theoretical knowledge. “Akademija@Kauno Tiltai” will allow valuable practical skills to be acquired. It will also serve as a platform for the exchange of ideas, which will also allow the company’s employees to improve their skills. 

“Business and higher education cannot work in isolation from each other. This is where the exchange of ideas, knowledge and specialists must take place. It is definitely beneficial for both parties, because business needs well-educated and highly-qualified employees, which can be provided by the universities. Universities themselves need contemporary information about the labour market and business environment, which, if integrated into the study process, could facilitate the preparation of professional and modern specialists,” said Prof Dr Alfonsas Daniūnas, Rector of VGTU, during the opening of “Akademija@Kauno Tiltai”.

He added that today’s growing interest in technological sciences has been achieved through  more active cooperation between universities and business enterprises.

“In the coming ten years we will experience a lack of engineering specialists, because the popularity of exact sciences is not as high as employers would hope. Young people today choose  professions with easier studies, not those with more opportunities and the graduates of which are welcomed by employees today. A real deficit of engineers around Lithuania will be clearly felt in a few years, when the market will not have enough specialists to fill work places. Understanding that it is the quality of human potential that determines the success of the entire engineering field, and in this case of the road infrastructure sector, we must show initiative and move forward side by side with business. I am happy to see the strategic attitude of Kauno Tiltai of planning ahead and seeking that the general public also understands the wide spectrum of engineering occupations and their demand, and values employees in this sector and their contribution to the modernisation of Lithuania and progress in general,” said Nerijus Varnas, Director of Kaunas Technical College.

“Akademija@Kauno Tiltai” is hoping to realise the following activities: scholarships for scientific research, and the opportunity for students to do internships at Kaunas Tiltai and obtain valuable information from its experts. They also aim to offer consultations with partners on the improvement of study programs, voluntary participation in various science promotion projects, introducing engineering specialities at schools, and other activities.