The innovative learning methodology Project-based learning (PBL) has been functioning in the first semester of the first year of the Master Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) at University of Minho, Portugal, since 2004_2005. This methodology was implemented by a team of teachers from the Department of Production and Systems of the Engineering School just before the Bologna process was adopted in Portugal. The process required substantial changes in the teaching/learning methods and methodologies and had a significant impact on students’ learning and motivation. The team of IEM teachers designed a full semester project based on the contents of four project-supporting courses (PSC), and formed a coordination team involving PSC lecturers, tutors and educational researchers. The latter aimed to accompany students’ teams, assess the learning process and evaluate the PBL experience at IEM. After nine editions of PBL in the first year, the IEM curricular structure has been reformulated to include a semester-wide project course in the first semester, recognizing PBL as a distinct part of the curriculum. It is therefore time to reflect on the past experiences and the merits of the PBL experiences. After presenting the overview of PBL based on the IEM specific context, its merit will be discussed through the analysis of surveys results and workshops organized at the end of last three PBL editions. This learning approach has put many challenges to the coordination team, brought discussion and triggered research that supported PBL along the way.

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