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The article presents an innovative educational project to introduce systems engineering to third year students in industrial design engineering at the University of Twente. In a short period the students are confronted with new technology, namely sensors and actuators. They have to apply this technology in a complex situation, the design of a home climate system or an intelligent automobile. They work in large groups without tutor. In parallel a basic course on systems engineering is given to provide the students with tools for handling this situation. The aim is that students are forced to apply the systems engineering tools in a concrete situation, thus directly experiencing the benefits. The project is implemented and the article describes the context, the goals, the setup, and the experiences of both teachers and students. The article concludes with an evaluation of the first and second year it has been executed.