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Achieving A Global Academic Industrial Network For Students And Faculty

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

International Engineering Education I

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.155.1 - 8.155.8



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Paper Authors

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David Holger

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James Melsa

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Loren Zachary

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

ACHIEVING A GLOBAL ACADEMIC INDUSTRIAL NETWORK FOR STUDENTS AND FACULTY James L. Melsa, Dean David Holger, Associate Dean Loren Zachary, Assistant Dean College of Engineering Iowa State University Ames, Iowa 50014

Abstract It is clear that the engineer of the 21 st century will be required to spend an appreciable portion of his or her career in an environment rich with a variety of global connections. Colleges of engineering must develop ways to prepare their students for this world. Students, of course, will only fully understand global concepts through the role models that their colleges provide. The Global Academic Industrial Network (GAIN) is an attempt to create multi- organizational, international partnerships of academic and industrial organizations that emphasize collaborative educational programs and research that meets the global needs of faculty, students, and industry.

Introduction The need for a global perspective in engineering education is, perhaps, best understood from a quote by Peter Drucker1, “In the new mental geography created by the railroad, humanity mastered distance. In the mental geography of e-commerce, distance has been eliminated. There is only one economy and only one market.” For example, when using the Internet to purchase an item, a consumer has no idea of the locations of the server on which the transaction is taking place or the warehouse from which the product will be shipped. In fact, little or no attention is given to location when one transacts business on the Internet. We in engineering education must begin to understand the reality of one economy and one market. We must learn to think globally but act locally; that is, we must understand the importance of a global perspective for our students and take action to ensure that our local environment satisfies this need and that our efforts at globalization fit the local culture. For educational programs to have a real impact on global perspective, the vast majority of students and faculty must be exposed to international engineering educational and work experiences. To date, colleges of engineering have made little progress towards international goals because the approaches used by most programs are fragmented and individual. At the same time, most universities have not involved industrial organizations in helping them to achieve their international goals. It is clear that a different approach is needed if meaningful improvement is to be made in the global skills of engineering students and hence early career practitioners. In forming an international experience for students, it is important not to get too involved with defining the concept. After all, any experience is better than none. It is equally important not to get bogged down in a search for the ideal or perfect experience; six weeks in a structured summer program is a beginning. There are many forms of international experience, and no single

1 Managing in the Next Society, Peter Drucker, 2002

Holger, D., & Melsa, J., & Zachary, L. (2003, June), Achieving A Global Academic Industrial Network For Students And Faculty Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11468

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