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Alumni Feedback and Reflections on Industrial Demands and Transdisciplinary Engineering Design Education

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Experiences of Multidisciplinary Engineering Students

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32052

Download Count

14

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Paper Authors

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Alyona Sharunova University of Alberta Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-7305-040X

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Alyona Sharunova, BSc., is an Education Consultant at the Faculty of Engineering and a former Research Assistant at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. Her background is in Psychology, Design, and Educational Development. The scope of her work lies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Education, Design Processes, Teaching and Learning Methodologies, Cognitive and Educational Psychology, and Curriculum Design and Enhancement.

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Mehwish Butt University of Alberta

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Mehwish Butt, BSc., is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. Her research area lies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Design Processes, Product Development and Evolution, Design interface across disciplines, and identifying the commonalities of design concepts across disciplines.

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Jason P. Carey University of Alberta

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Jason P. Carey, PhD., PEng., is a Professor and Associate Dean of Programming and Planning, in the Faculty of Engineering, at the University of Alberta. He is a collaborator of the Transdisciplinary Design Education for Engineering Undergraduates research project. Dr. Carey research interests are in Biomedical Engineering and Composite Materials.

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Ahmed Jawad Qureshi University of Alberta

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Ahmed Jawad Qureshi, PhD., PEng., is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. Dr. Qureshi leads the Additive Design and Manufacturing Systems (ADaMS) Lab and his research interests include Additive Manufacturing, Product Design, Design for X Design Optimisation, Manufacturing Systems Design, Process Automation, and Design Theory and Methodology. Dr. Qureshi is a Principal Investigator and one of the leading collaborators of the teaching enhancement research project entitled Transdisciplinary Design Education for Engineering Undergraduates.

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Abstract

This research paper is dedicated to questions related to transdisciplinary engineering design education. Contemporary product design has become highly transdisciplinary, as a collaboration of engineering specialists and designers from multiple disciplines is required for the development of integrated products such as automobiles. The new transdisciplinary nature of industrial design practice inevitably affects recent engineering graduates. Today, employers seek well-rounded engineering graduates with well-developed technical and professional skills. This new reality as well as industrial demands and employers’ expectations should be properly reflected and accounted for in engineering design education system, which still often remains strongly mono-disciplinary. To enhance engineering design curriculum and account for industrial demands, one first needs to understand how it affects recent graduates when they enter the workplace and what difficulties they may encounter during the first few years of industrial practice.

This paper presents the results of the two focus group interviews with engineering alumni of the Faculty of Engineering from the University of Alberta who graduated in the last 8 years and are currently employed in various engineering companies. The focus group interviews are a part of the empirical research project entitled Transdisciplinary Design Education for Engineering Undergraduates, which goals are to establish a common understanding of the design processes across multiple engineering disciplines and develop a first-year transdisciplinary engineering design course to facilitate overall design curriculum enhancement. This paper presents and discusses alumni feedback and reflections regarding their early experiences in the workplace when they just entered the industry, the transdisciplinarity in the workplace and in design practice, their employers’ expectations regarding the qualifications of the new graduates, and alumni suggestions for the curriculum enhancement. The results support the findings of other studies regarding graduates’ knowledge base and qualifications that industrial employers look for today as well as what is missed in graduates’ knowledge base, which points out to the gaps in the Faculty curriculum. In addition, alumni provided a fresh perspective on how to approach engineering curriculum enhancement in light of expectations of contemporary employers. These findings are important to consider when developing and/or re-designing engineering design curriculum to account for industrial demands as of today.

Sharunova, A., & Butt, M., & Carey, J. P., & Qureshi, A. J. (2019, June), Alumni Feedback and Reflections on Industrial Demands and Transdisciplinary Engineering Design Education Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32052

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015