G-TRAIN: Supporting Education and Training in GNSS
Background & Objectives
GNSS technology and its related applications are booming worldwide. In Europe, the development of the Galileo and EGNOS systems highlight both the increased interest towards satellite navigation and the urgent need for highly qualified personnel in this field. Satellite navigation has shown to be a complex environment where several disciplines are involved, from the basic technologies to the capabilities of pushing the market and creating innovative and effective products. However, in Europe, the offer of GNSS education is still limited.
The aim of the G-TRAIN project is to set up a European framework for higher education in the GNSS field, addressing different educational initiatives and boosting networking activities among academia. G-TRAIN aims at covering different needs of GNSS training, expressed both by the companies and by the R&D world at large (universities, research centres and public bodies).
The project is structured in five work packages.
The coordination work package will address both project management and the assessment of initiatives being put in place, as well as coordination with other institutions dealing with GNSS education.
The other work packages will address the different educational initiatives. The creation of a collaborative Joint European Master of Science (MSc) in GNSS is one of the most significant goals to achieve. This MSc will be taught entirely in English and will be fully compliant with the Bologna process. The project will then focus on bringing the Specialising Master in GNSS to a more European level by encouraging the mobility of students and teachers. At the PhD level, specific actions will foster the co-operation among PhDs in GNSS, for their training and for supporting their participation to international GNSS conferences and other events.
G-TRAIN will finally implement a SatNav University network, which aims to create a proper framework to encourage exchanges and co-operation among universities, and also educational institutions and companies.
The general objective of G-TRAIN is to strengthen the GNSS education in Europe, focusing on higher education. This is achieved by both coordinating and upgrading some already existing educational initiatives, and creating new opportunities for students and teachers to become networked. The project will start from some already existing educational initiatives provided by universities located in European regions where training, research and innovation in GNSS is of an excellent level. The offered programmes differ in scope and characteristics, coverage and focus, quality and organisation.
The objective is to coordinate and improve such initiatives and also to develop new GNSS education opportunities at different levels in order to cover the different needs in the GNSS fields. In detail, the project addresses:
- the creation of a collaborative Master of Science;
- the strengthening of a Specialising Master for long-term professional education;
- support to PhD training and networking.
Another relevant task will be the creation of a network of universities in Satellite Navigation (SUN), which is expected to involve other educational institutions beyond the project partnership.
Work performed & results
G-TRAIN is the first project addressing GNSS education from a European-centric perspective. The collaboration between centres of excellence is structured to reach a common goal: the growth of a new generation of European GNSS experts. Moreover, G-TRAIN will put the basis for a long-term and European-wide educational approach in the GNSS field based on the coordination of universities and on the exchange of students/researchers. It will develop a functional model that aims at carrying on beyond the project’s timeframe.
Many of the actions are directly addressing students, researchers and teachers, supporting their mobility and educational initiatives. This ‘investment in people’ will create a community of GNSS experts fundamental to the development of a good GNSS education environment. G-TRAIN aims at creating a generation of European experts who are open to cross-border and international co-operation. Furthermore, the creation of a strong framework for qualified GNSS education will be beneficial for the competitiveness of European companies and for the scientific level of Europe in GNSS at large. Last but not least, the forthcoming Galileo system is expected to boost even more GNSS-based applications which will require more specifically trained manpower so that there will be a larger number of technicians ready to cover the new job positions.