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An Active Learning Approach to Core Project Management Competencies

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Engineering Management: Project Management and Partnerships

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Mark Angolia East Carolina University Orcid 16x16

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Mark Angolia, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Industrial Distribution and Logistics degree program in the College of Engineering and Technology at East Carolina University (ECU). Prior to entering academia in 2005, he held industrial positions in engineering, manufacturing, quality, materials, and operations management for manufacturing companies within the automotive supply chain. Dr. Angolia’s teaching focuses on Enterprise Resource Planning with SAP software, Distributor Sales and Branch Management, and Transportation Logistics. His research interests include improvement of supply chain efficiency through the application of technology and best practices for logistics and inventory management. Dr. Angolia is highly engaged with regional and national companies in recruiting students from ECU for both internships and full time positions. In addition to a PhD from Indiana State, he holds a Master of Engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and professional certifications of CPIM and CSCP from APICS, The Association for Operations Management, and a PMP from the Project Management Institute. Dr. Angolia also conducts consulting projects and professional development seminars for local industry on topics including forecasting, inventory control, production planning, project management, transportation logistics, procurement, and supply chain management.

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The Engineering Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK) establishes required competencies for engineering managers, practicing engineers, and educators. As stated in the EMBOK, practitioners utilize their “professional judgment, experience, and discretion” to determine appropriate practices to situations. Included in Domain 4 are the generally recognized best practices and concepts for engineering projects and process management. The Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and Project Management Maturity Model (PMMM) also provide a foundation to analyze project management.

Utilizing a qualitative research approach through open-ended interviews, direct observation, and fieldwork, a core set of project management competencies is defined through development of numerous customized project management seminars for engineering staff members from diverse manufacturing industries. These competencies represent the typical needs of manufacturing engineering managers who may be considered as primary consumers of bachelor degree engineering students.

This paper maps the customized field training needs to the EMBOK, PMBOK, and academic project management textbooks in order to define a framework for teaching a core set of competencies integrated into an Active Learning environment. In order to create a project management pedagogy, the Kolb Learning Cycle and the Felder-Soloman Index of Learning Styles are used as foundational theories to design active learning pedagogy with consideration to student learning styles. Provided in this paper is a comprehensive, balanced approach to teach currently demanded project management core competencies, as well as to provide a structure and methodology that includes engineering discipline specific learning objectives.

Angolia, M. (2016, June), An Active Learning Approach to Core Project Management Competencies Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26555

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