tekom - Europe

International University Network in Technical Communication

Organised by the tekom Europe Advisory Board for Professional Development and Training

Your participation in the International University Network inTechnical Communication is free of charge.

To join the IUNTC mailing list, contact Dr Daniela Straub (d.straubdontospamme@gowaway.tekom.de) or
Dr Yvonne Cleary (yvonne.clearydontospamme@gowaway.ul.ie).

 

 

Current events

Designing Empirical Research in Translation Studies

Dear IUNTC members,

we are very pleased to announce that the next meeting of the International University Network in Technical Communication will be on Thursday, May 23rd, at 3 PM (Central European Summer Time).

"Designing Empirical Research in Translation Studies"

Join us as Dr. Caiwen Wang, Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster, delves into the essentials of empirical research in translation studies. Discover how empirical research, with its focus on observing and describing real-world phenomena, aims to establish general principles for understanding and predicting translation processes. Dr. Wang will share insights from her experience as an author, reviewer, and editor in translation studies, highlighting key considerations in research design, from formulating meaningful questions to selecting appropriate methods and interpreting findings. 

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To participate, please contact Yvonne Cleary:  Yvonne.Cleary(at)ul.ie

We hope you can participate!

The online meetings lasts one hour.

They will be held on zoom - click here to join.

The IUNTC Program 2024

We are very pleased to announce that there are several meetings of the International University Network in Technical Communication will take place.

For 2024, the IUNTC is once again offering an interesting and varied program on different topics and in different formats, from lectures to presentations of research projects and results, discussion panels with input speeches and much more on methods, research and teaching in technical communication and related fields.

What? Title

Who? Speaker

When?  Date

Human augmentation for AI in Technical Communication

In the talk, I plan to discuss practical ways for technical and professional communicators to engage in ethical AI development using familiar approaches such as User experience design, Human-in-the-loop using AI augmentation and Communicating for AI transparency. 

Nupoor Ranade, George Mason University - USThursday, 29th of February 3:30 PM 
AI in practice: balancing benefits and challenges: Example where/how AI is already used in the information development/translation process. 

The IUNTC event "AI in Practice" invites you to discuss the important topic of how AI is already being used in TC practice. The event starts with two keynote speeches by Claudia Sistig and Prof. Dr. Rössler, moderated by Prof. Sissi Closs, and invites you to participate in a lively exchange afterwards.

Claudia Sistig, Compart GmbH - Germany
Claudia Sistig, a graduate of the Technical Writing program at Hochschule Hannover, has been working as a Technical Writer at Compart GmbH since 2011. 
In 2016, she advanced to managing an agile development team as a certified Scrum Master. Beginning in early 2022, she has been engaged in exploring the potential of AI-based content generation and management in the field of technical writing.

Dr. Jeremias Rößler - Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences - Germany

Jeremias Rößler, Professor for IT and Media Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe and former founder and CEO of ReTest GmbH, is an award-winning author of the book "Artificial Intelligence and Software Testing", a well-known keynote speaker, and an enthusiastic software developer.


Moderation: Prof. Sissi Closs. Karlsruhe University - Germany
Sissi Closs, Professor of Information and Media Technology, Managing Director of C-Topic Consulting and inventor of Klassenkonzept-Technik®, is a software documentation pioneer and one of the leading experts in technical communication. 
She is a member of the standards group responsible for revising the 2651x series of standards. She is involved in many areas at tekom, for example on the advisory board for standards, on the editorial advisory board of 'technische 
kommunikation', on the European Academic Colloquium Review Board, as a speaker, author and reviewer.

Thursday, 25th of April at 4 PM 

What matters in the Design of Empirical Research for Translation Studies

With its inductive nature, empirical research is first of all intended to observe and describe one or more aspects of a phenomenon as these occur in “the real world’ (Toury, 2012, p. xi). The ultimate aim of empirical research is however ‘to use observation and description as a means to establish general principles that can explain and predict the phenomenon under investigation’ (Kotze, 2019, p.333). It follows that the design of an empirical study needs to be sound so that the means will serve the ends and the ends are justifiable by the means.

In this talk, I will discuss the conceptual contents of empirical research with a focus on the essential procedures involved in empirical research in translation. Drawing upon my own experience as an author, academic reviewer and editor of empirical studies in translation, I will then talk about issues that researchers will need to pay special attention to when they design their empirical research, from identifying a meaningful research question, to selecting research methods and finally to the extrapolation of research findings.

Caiwen Wang, University of Westminster - UK
Dr Caiwen Wang is a Senior Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting Studies
in the School of Humanities of the University of Westminster and an Associate Professor
in Translation and Interpreting at the Centre for Translation Studies of UCL, UK.
She teaches translation and interpreting at both the theoretical and the practical level.
Her research interests are translation and interpreting studies, and applied linguistics in general.
She has published in leading T&I journals, such as Perspectives,
Translation and Interpreting Studies, Across Languages and Cultures.
Her recent co-edited book Translation and Interpreting as Social Interaction:
Affect, Behaviour and Cognition
 by Bloomsbury (www.bloomsbury.com/9781350279315
is listed in the Bloomsbury Advances in Translation series, with Professor Jeremy Munday being the series' general editor. Her co-edited book Empirical Studies of Translation and Interpreting: The Post-Structuralist Approach by Routledge (https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003017400) is listed in the Routledge Advances in Translation and Interpreting Studies series.

Thursday 23th of Mai at 3 PM

The Process Is Not the Job: A Technical Writer's Journey in a Regulated Industry

"What does it mean for an expert technical writer to work for the first time in his career in a highly-regulated industry without any previous specific training?
This presentation will share the story of my four-and-a-half-year journey in the medical device industry—a tale of challenges, learning, and a quest to uncover the true nature of the job." 
 

Gianni Angelini, Senior technical writer - Ireland 
Gianni Angelini is an Italian senior technical writer with 14 years of experience in various industries (machinery, software, fire systems, and lately medical devices).
He lives in Ireland, where he earned a master's degree in Technical Communication from University Limerick.
Gianni has published a beginner's guide on the knowledge and skills required by modern technical writing for the Italian audience. He is currently working on his second book on technical communication, for an international audience.
In the meantime, he is enjoying a 1-year career break.

Wednesday 12th of June at 3 PM 

A Framework for Understanding Cognitive Biases in Technical Communication 

The communication of technical information is often susceptible to cognitive biases. Technical communicators need to understand cognitive biases and know how to tackle them accordingly. This talk devises a framework of principles that provides technical communicators an operable affordance and a vocabulary to approach cognitive biases and to communicate empathetically.

Quan Zhou
Quan Zhou is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Technical Communication & Interaction Design in the School of Communication, Writing, and the Arts at Metropolitan State University in the Twin Cities, U.S.A. Quan also directs the Design of User Experience graduate certificate. He has more than a decade of teaching and research in technical communication, user experience, information design, and content strategy. His experiences range from American and Chinese academia to corporations including Microsoft and MSNBC.com. He was a visiting researcher at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands in 2017. Quan has numerous publications and presentations across journals and conferences. Quan holds a Ph.D. in Technical Communication from the University of Washington, Seattle. He lives in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
Thursday, 19th of September.  at 4 PM 

Artificial Intelligence Literacy and Adjacent Digital Literacies for the Digitalised and Datafied Language Industry

Multimodal large language models such as OpenAI’s GPT-4 or Google’s Gemini models are general-purpose artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, which increase to a considerable degree the scope of human intellectual tasks that can be (semi-)automated through cognitive technologies – both in the language industry and in a wide range of other professional fields. In this “AI-saturated world” (Markauskaite et al. 2022:2), the division of labour between humans and machines is being reconfigured and new human competences are required in order to live and work in tandem with powerful AI technologies. In this talk, I will discuss a range of literacy frameworks that aim to capture an extensive set of digital competences that stakeholders require in light of the AI-fuelled automation of the language industry: 1) A professional machine translation (MT) literacy framework; 2) an MT-specific data literacy framework; 3) an artificial intelligence literacy framework for translation, interpreting, and specialised communication (cf. Krüger 2023, Krüger submitted for publication). In this context, I will also present the outcomes of the DataLitMT project (cf. Hackenbuchner/Krüger 2023), which provides training resources for developing data literacy in the context of professional MT literacy, and I will sketch the agenda of the recently established ERASMUS+ consortium LT-LiDER: Language and Translation: Literacy in Digital Environments and Resources, which will also

Prof. Dr. Ralph Krüger, University of Applied Sciences, Cologne - Germany

Ralph Krüger is Professor of Language and Translation Technology at the Institute of Translation and Multilingual Communication at TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany. He received his PhD in translation studies from the University of Salford, UK, in 2014 and completed his habilitation at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, in 2024. His current research focuses on the performance of neural machine translation (NMT) and large language models (LLMs) in the specialised translation process and on didactic strategies and resources for teaching the technical basics of NMT/LLMs to students of translation and specialised communication programmes. ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-1009-3365

Wednesday 2th of October at 4 PM

AI-based iiRDS tagging of technical documents as an example of applied and collaborative research

The presentation gives an insight into the different phases of the implementation of an application-oriented research project in cooperation with an SME. At the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences, Campus Hagenberg, the research group AIST (advanced information systems and technology), together with text-it Produktdokumentation GmbH, is developing an AI-based research prototype to automatically tag technical documents with iiRDS tags. For this purpose, LLMs (large language models) is extended in their context by the iiRDS standard in order to be able to assign the metadata automatically. The focus is on the evaluation of the results using manually tagged reference documents. Distance metrics for the tags and semantic word similarities for the user-specific free-text tags can be used for this purpose. The research project will therefore analyse the extent to which LLMs develop an ad hoc understanding of overarching technical standards or whether parts of the iiRDS standard need to be "trained" using practical examples. The presentation concludes with an outlook on current technical developments in the field of AI-based document analysis, such as RAG (retrieval augmented generation). 

Gerald Adam Zwettler completed his diploma and master's degree at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Hagenberg Campus and received his doctorate from the University of Vienna with a thesis on feature-based generic classification. Since then, he has been teaching and researching at the Hagenberg Campus of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria in the fields of signal and image processing, computer vision, project development and machine learning. Since 2018, he has headed the AIST (advanced information systems and technology) research group, which conducts application-oriented research in the fields of data science, machine learning and computer vision.

Thursday 14th of November  at 4 PM

 

AIWorkbenchSince the beginning of 2023, Harald Schenda and Laura Habich have been overseeing the AI Workbench of tekom Regional Group RG-Mitte and managing the AI Workbench at their company. During this period, the applications of AI for technical writing and more broadly in technical editing have undergone significant changes. In our IUNTC presentation 'Best of AI-Workbench 2024,' we reference our IUNTC talk from 2023 and highlight these changes. This time, we also delve into selected theoretical concepts of AI research. Our aim is to engage as many educators as possible in the topic and motivate them to gather their own experiences with AI.Wednesday, 4th of December at 5 PM

The online meetings lasts one hour.

They will be held on zoom - click here to join.

Meeting-ID 534 482 5910

Code 04711

 

That was the first IUNTC in person meeting

Why taking partin the International University Network in Technical Communication

Would you like to join?

Your participation in the International University Network in Technical Communication is free of charge.

Information about Data Privacy and the Conditions of participation

An agenda for your benefit

The purpose of this International University Network in Technical Communication is to support university teachers and staff who already run, or are interested in developing programmes or modules in technical communication: through this network they will be able to exchange experience and ideas for launching or strengthening their programmes, or for research projects.

The network will facilitate online meetings, mentoring partnerships, and research projects and dissemination of university teachers and staff throughout Europe.

We meet regularly, about every 6 to 8 weeks in one-hour online meetings. Anyone who wants to can contribute a topic. We work in different formats: presentations, presentation of research projects and results, discussion rounds with input presentations, exchange of potential project partners, clarification of questions and concerns and much more.

Whoever wants to can actively contribute here or just take part.

The network is also relevant for teachers and staff in related disciplines, such as engineering, language studies, computer science, marketing, and communication studies. 

A working group of the tekom Europe Advisory Board for Professional Development and Training is responsible for running the network and organizing meetings or events. The network was first established as an Advisory Board project in March 2020.

So far, the working group includes universities from more than 30 countries, from Europe and worldwide, including China, Austria, Belgium, China, Czechia, Danmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, the US and other countries. 

You are welcome to join any network meetings that interest you.

Our next network meeting will take place online. If your are interested to join, get in touch with us: d.straub@tekom.de

Why is the network necessary?

Throughout the world, millions of people work in technical communication roles, but the profession is still not very well known. 

Technical communication education is at different stages of development in each European country. 

In many European countries, no academic programmes are offered in technical communication.

The TecCOMFrame project identified ways to increase the number of programmes offered, and developed resources for people who are interested in designing modules or full programmes. This network follows on from that project. 
 

Benefits for all

Benefits for universities:
Universities involved in this network will be able to create opportunities for students and will attract more visibility and higher participation in technical communication modules and programmes.

Benefits for students:
This network will help universities to develop and offer modules and programmes in technical communication. This is a growing field, with work opportunities for students with interdisciplinary skills, especially skills in languages, media, communication, and technology.

Benefits for industry:
This network will help to meet the recruitment needs of companies operating in the field of technical communication, by training graduates to meet the labour market shortage, and by helping young people seeking job opportunities in technological and innovative contexts.

What is technical communication?

According to the tekom Europe definition, “technical communication is the process of defining, creating and delivering information products for the safe, efficient and effective use of products (technical systems, software, services).”

This video shows a typical working day in the life of a technical writer at a large software company.