June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.82.1 - 12.82.13
A New Required Senior Course: The Engineering Profession
S. Trimble, R. Bengelink, and V. Wells
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 85287-6106
This paper describes the development and implementation of a new required course called “The Engineering Profession” for senior mechanical and aerospace engineering students at Arizona State University. Based on the needs of industry and the ABET guidelines, this course provides a bridge between engineering coursework and industrial application. The course prepares students to be global leaders by emphasizing the skills of communications, teamwork, integrated product development, systems engineering, project management, business acumen, professional ethics and life-long learning.
Industry demands graduating engineering students who have abilities in addition to traditional analytical and design skills. The current focus on meeting customer needs through the use of values-driven, multifunctional project teams has recruiters looking for graduates that possess “soft skills” such as communications, teamwork, project management, and professional ethics. Moreover, the rapid pace of technological innovation and changing markets requires graduating engineers to be skilled in the art of life long learning. As society becomes evermore driven by technology, there will be a growing need for articulate, team-oriented, socially-aware, and values-driven engineers to move into positions of global leadership. ABET 2000 challenges engineering schools to produce graduates with these skills. The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at Arizona State University (ASU) has integrated these skills into the various courses within the engineering curriculum. However, recent assessments of the Capstone Design Course indicate that seniors need even more opportunities to gain these skills. In addition, the Dean of the Engineering School directed departments to have a course primarily focused on engineering business practices such as ethics, finance, and entrepreneurship. As a result, MAE has created a new senior-level course called “The Engineering Profession”.
This paper (1) discusses course development, (2) summarizes the course content, (3) describes initial implementation results, and (4) makes recommendations for course improvement.
Initial Course Planning
Previous and current department vice-chairs began planning discussions for the new course in 2002 by addressing the ABET (1997) criteria for “soft skills” as given in Table 1. In addition, these planners wanted the content to contain sufficient communications outcomes to qualify as a
Trimble, S., & Bengelink, R., & Wells, V. (2007, June), A New Required Senior Course: The Engineering Profession Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1958
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