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A Team Leader Selection Process For Project Based Learning Experiences

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Developing Communication/Teamwork Skills in ChEs

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.125.1 - 13.125.19



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Paper Authors


Sibel Özgen University Rovira i Virgili

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Sibel Özgen is currently a Research Assistant doing her Ph.D. at the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Ege University, Izmir, Turkey. She also received her M.Sc. in Chemical and Process Engineering from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in 2007. Her research interests include competency assessment, competency development, leadership, feedback 360 degrees, and teamwork.

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Joan Alabart University Rovira i Virgili

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Joan R. Alabart is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV). He received a B.Ch. and a Ph.D. from the University of Barcelona and an MBA from ESADE (Barcelona). His research, consultative, and training projects interests focus on the areas of Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership. He is co-founder and director of the Master in Business Administration program at the URV.

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Magda Medir University Rovira i Virgili

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Magda Medir is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. She received a BSCh from the IQS (Barcelona), a MASc from the University of Toronto, and a BSChE and a ScD from the University of Barcelona. She is the director of the Chemical Education for public Understanding Program in Spain and her research interests are related to science and engineering education.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Team Leader Selection Process for Project-Based Learning Experiences


First-year chemical engineering students at the University Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Spain) carry out an integrated design project organized in teams. This project lasts two successive fifteen-week periods and all of the first-year courses participate actively in it, hence the adjective integrated. The goal of this project is that first-year students learn by themselves certain contents of each first-year course and that they apply this knowledge to solve several design problems that may be posed when designing a specific chemical plant. Project teams must also identify and define these design problems taking into account first-year instructors’ requirements. To help first-year project teams cope with this challenging experience, project teams are led and managed by fourth-year students who are enrolled in the fourth-year Project Management in Practice (PMP) course. Leadership is a key component for the success of any team and consequently the selection of first-year project team leaders is a key process of the PMP course. The selection process has been designed to select about a dozen students, which represents about one third of PMP’s students, who have the highest potential to lead and manage a project team and who are willing to do so. The selection process is structured in three main steps: (1) pre-selection: academic qualification and motivation to be a leader, (2) screening: personality profile, (3) selection: demonstration of the leadership competence. In the first step, all students enrolled in the PMP course have to fill out a short form to check their academic eligibility for the position and their motivation to be a leader. In the second step, all PMP’s students are asked to complete three psychometric tests: Belbin’s Team Role Inventory, Myers-Briggs Inventory, and Leadership Style Inventory. The analysis of the results obtained from steps one and two using a set of research-based criteria yields a list of candidates. Finally, PMP’s instructors conduct behaviour-based interviews to all candidates to validate test findings and assess their level of leadership competence to ensure that the best candidates are chosen for the position.

1. Introduction

The School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Rovira I Virgili (Tarragona, Spain) deploys an Integrated Design Project (IDP) approach in which first and fourth year courses are horizontally and vertically integrated1. This 1st-4th year IDP approach integrates all first year courses horizontally into a design project by which first year students are teamed up and challenged to design a specific chemical plant or product by applying the theoretical knowledge from first-year courses. First-year teams work during two consecutive fifteen-week periods towards the development and accomplishment of the design project consistent with the requirements of clients; first- year course instructors.

To help first year students manage this challenging project, part of the fourth year students who are enrolled to Project Management in Practice (PMP) course are selected to take on the leader role of first-year project teams. PMP course, offered annually, places premium on the development of leadership competence of fourth-year

Özgen, S., & Alabart, J., & Medir, M. (2008, June), A Team Leader Selection Process For Project Based Learning Experiences Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3924

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