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A Coursework Plan for Improving Skills Necessary for Successful Capstone Projects

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

First-year Programs Poster Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.36.1 - 25.36.8

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Paper Authors


Jaby Mohammed Petroleum Institute

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Jaby Mohammed is a faculty at the Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE. He received his Ph.D. in industrial engineering from University of Louisville (2006), master's in industrial engineering from University of Louisville (2003), and also a master’s in business administration from Indira Gandhi National Open University (2001). His research interest includes advanced manufacturing, design methodologies, six sigma, lean manufacturing, and enterprise resource planning. He previously taught at Indiana Purdue, Fort Wayne, in Indiana and at Morehead State University in Kentucky. He is a member of IIE, SME, ASQ, ASEE, and Informs.

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Nicholas J. Dimmitt Petroleum Institute

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Nicholas J. Dimmitt is an Assistant Professor of communications in the College of Arts & Science at the Petroleum Institute of the United Arab Emirates. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of Southern California and his master’s from San Francisco State University. He previously taught engineering and management graduate students at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand for 16 years. He speciliazes in communication courses for engineers, business communication, corporate social responsibility, and business ethics. Dimmitt has also taught in universities in Armenia, Bahrain, Brazil, Laos, Vietnam, and the USA.

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Strategies for improving technical communication effectiveness skills in a Middle East Engineering ProgramOne of the main ABET outcomes is to have the students communicate effectively. As anengineer being brilliant and creative is just not enough, they should be able to work indiverse teams and should be able to influence and engage the coworker into discussionsand to make decisions is also equally important. Writing technical information effectivelyto communicate to others is called as technical writing and practicing technical writing ontechnical subjects is done to technical students who studies engineering.In this paper authors would discuss on technical communication strategy that is used atThe Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi. English is a second language in United ArabEmirates where The Petroleum Institute is situated. Teaching effective technicalcommunication is very competitive since most of the students are not native Englishspeakers and where teaching English itself is a hurdle. The paper will discuss aboutdifferent communication courses that students have to go through in the first years ofcollege, followed by the sophomore engineering design courses and getting studentsprepared for the capstone design. The goal of communication faculty and freshmenengineering design faculty is to have the students develop skills in both technical designand writing, and effective communication and to provide students with enoughopportunities to refine the skills that they had picked up in their freshmen year. The paperwill also discuss about the activities and strategies that they use in technicalcommunication, assessing the same, and a feedback mechanism to improve theeffectiveness. As a result of the various strategies used at The Petroleum Institute, thequality of writing in the final senior design projects have improved significantly.  

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