The European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) awarded Markku Markkula the Leonardo da Vinci Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution of international significance to engineering education, during the SEFI Annual Conference 2016 in Tampere, Finland. He is the thirtieth laureate of the distinction, which is the highest award in European engineering education.
"The President of the EU Committee of the Regions, Markku Markkula, is a personality who has put his mark on and influenced engineering education and inspired many educators for more than two decades" professor Martin E. Vigild, President of SEFI, said when announcing the decision. " Thanks to his leadership and his visionary thinking engineering education in Europe continues to develop."
Following in the footsteps of Jacques Delors, who was the first person to be awarded the Leonardo da Vinci medal in 1983, Markku Markkula stressed the importance of European dimension in achieving significant social changes, the value of an entrepreneurial mind-set and the need to continue learning beyond formal education.
"We should all be open and eager to react to the challenges around us. This requires seeing which opportunity doors or windows are open and then being ready to take immediate action" Markkula said.
He called for a continuous willingness to collaborate and co-create before recommitting to underline the importance of cities and regions as drivers of change in his capacity as President of the European Committee of the Regions.