Frequently Asked Questions

First, spend some time looking around the CDIO Web site. Then you can email to introduce yourself and ask specific questions. We invite you to contact any of the participating schools.

Implementation Kits (iKits) provide information, tools, models and templates to help schools implement CDIO and comply with the Standards. Instructor Resource Materials (IRMs) offer course materials and other resources to support instructors in teaching various elements of the CDIO Syllabus (e.g., ethics, communications).

The CDIO Initiative has adopted 12 standards that describe CDIO programs and enable schools to evaluate themselves with respect to the CDIO goals. These principles, or best practices, distinguish the specific qualities of CDIO programs and their graduates.

The CDIO Standards define the distinguishing features of a CDIO program, serve as guidelines for educational program reform, create benchmarks and goals that can be applied worldwide, provide a framework for continuous improvement, form the basis of a program's self-evaluation, and provide academics and employers with attributes that distinguish graduates of CDIO programs.

The CDIO standards may also form a framework for certification. The CDIO Initiative is in the process of developing a set of rubrics that a program may use for certification purposes.

At this time, CDIO is in use in university aerospace, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering departments.

All schools willing to commit to CDIO are welcome to apply. We particularly encourage schools to join that will apply CDIO to engineering disciplines not currently represented in the Initiative.

You are welcome to attend a meeting! In fact, attending a meeting is a great way to learn more about CDIO and to meet others who are implementing CDIO programs. Some of the meetings include workshops specifically for schools that are not yet part of the Initiative. If you decide you want to attend a specific meeting or you have questions about the meetings in general, email

The Initiative is overseen by the CDIO Council, which consists of the original developers (Chalmers, LiU, and KTH in Sweden, and MIT in the US) and the early collaborators (Technical University of Denmark, Queen's, Belfast; Queen’s, Ontario; The US Naval Academy; and the University of Pretoria). Schools joining the Initiative are accepted as Regional Collaborators and welcomed into the appropriate regional group.

Currently, regional groups are established for the Nordic countries (jointly headquartered at Chalmers, KTH, and Linköping), North America (headquartered at MIT), Southern Africa (headquartered at U. Pretoria), and U.K.-Ireland (jointly headquartered at Queen's U., Belfast and U. Liverpool).

There is no fee or charge to belong to the CDIO Initiative. CDIO operates on an open architecture model; all CDIO materials are available for free. Schools are encouraged to adapt and use them in the manner they find most appropriate. Collaborating schools are expected to provide funds for their own CDIO-related expenses (e.g., attending CDIO collaborator meetings).

When a school indicates an interest in CDIO (usually by emailing, it is contacted by the CDIO Collaborator and Communications office to determine the specifics of its interest. The school is then referred to materials available online and/or sent printed informational packages. It is welcome to attend a CDIO Council or Regional meeting and make a presentation about itself.

The school is also invited to an implementation workshop. Finally, when a school decides to join the Initiative, it formally applies to the CDIO Council by completing a questionnaire. The questionnaire seeks information on how the institution plans to participate in the Initiative, the programs to which it plans to apply CDIO, and the resources it will devote to its involvement.

Upon acceptance to the CDIO Initiative, the school becomes a Regional Collaborator and a member of the appropriate Regional Group. More detail on this process appears in the CDIO Policies.

By joining the worldwide CDIO Initiative, your school can:

  • Complete access to a growing array of instructor tools and resources designed to support the application of CDIO
  • Be matched with a mentor school(s) that has already embraced and applied CDIO
  • Tap the expertise (curriculum design, workspace design and use, assessment, online content development. etc.) of the CDIO professional staff
  • Team with other schools in your region to apply for private and public funding
  • Attend regional and international meetings of all collaborating schools

But, most importantly, you will share the experiences, resources and expertise of schools throughout the world that are working in concert to reform engineering education.

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