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A First-year Career Development Course: Securing and Succeeding in an Engineering Job

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

First-year Programs: Professional Development and Skills

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First-Year Programs

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Jennifer Sinclair Curtis University of California, Davis

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Jennifer Sinclair Curtis is Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of Engineering at University of California, Davis. She is a Fellow of ASEE, AAAS and AIChE. She is recipient of AIChE’s Particle Technology Forum’s Lifetime Achievement Award, a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award, AIChE's Thomas-Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems, ASEE’s Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award, ASEE’s CACHE Award for Excellence in Computing in Chemical Engineering Education, ASEE's Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering, and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. She also received the Van Antwerpen Award – the highest award for service to the Institute by the AIChE Board of Directors. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and her BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University which recently recognized her as a distinguished engineering alumna. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the National Academies’ Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology.Her research focuses on the development and validation of particle flow models which have been extensively adopted by both commercial and open source CFD software packages. She was the first to partner with ANSYS Fluent to greatly expand the multi-phase simulation capability of the code which is used by 96 of the 100 biggest industrial companies in the world and over 40,000 customers. Her particulate flow models are also included in the CFD Research Corporation software package and the open-source CFD codes OpenFOAM and MFIX.

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This paper summarizes the work in progress on the establishment of and, to date, three separate offerings of a career development seminar course aimed at first-year engineering students in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Davis. The course provides information to students on how they can start preparing for a successful engineering career early on in their academic studies. The course also helps students understand the career options available to them as an engineering graduate. Students gain information on how to successfully land an internship or job in the field of engineering and how to thrive in that role. Finally, this course helps students develop valuable professional, leadership and life skills. Student response to this course has been overwhelmingly positive.

Curtis, J. S. (2020, June), A First-year Career Development Course: Securing and Succeeding in an Engineering Job Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34001

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