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Analysis of Personal Attributes and Skills of Mercer Undergraduate Engineering Students

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session


Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.191.1 - 23.191.15



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Paper Authors


R. Radharamanan Mercer University

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Dr. R. Radharamanan is currently working as Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of Mercer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MCIE) at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He has thirty nine years of teaching, research, and consulting experiences. His previous administrative experiences include: President of International Society for Productivity Enhancement (ISPE), Acting Director of Industrial Engineering as well as Director of Advanced Manufacturing Center at Marquette University, and Research Director of CAM and Robotics Center at San Diego State University. His primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship, manufacturing systems, robotics and automation, quality engineering, and product and process development. He has organized and chaired five international conferences, co-chaired two, and organized and chaired three regional conferences. He has received two teaching awards, several research and service awards in the United States and in Brazil. His professional affiliations present and past include ASEE, IIE, ASQ, SME, ASME, and ISPE.

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Analysis of Personal Attributes and Skills of Mercer Undergraduate Engineering Students ABSTRACTRecent studies conducted by Target Training International, Ltd. (TTI) have discovered that asmuch as 36% of incoming freshman engineers switch to non-engineering degree programs by theend of their first semester due to lack of academic success. TTI has attributed this downfall as aresult of the lack of focus in engineering schools on the personal attributes of students. As aresult, TTI has developed a trimetric survey for participating engineering institutions affiliatedwith the Kern Family Foundation and/or the KEEN Project as an assessment tool to determinewhere their students fall short in terms of their (1) Behavior Styles, (2) Attitudes, and (3) PeopleSkills.The purpose of this study is to evaluate the trends of students enrolled at Mercer UniversitySchool of Engineering (MUSE) by gender and class status (freshman, sophomore, junior, andsenior) for TTI’s three areas for personal attributes. The study will also quantify the need forMUSE to initiate a program to reinforce any skills the students’ lack.A total of 104 data point representative of TTI’s survey results from MUSE students were usedto carry out the study. Of these 104, 76 were male, 28 female; Male: 35 freshmen, 6 sophomores,9 juniors, and 26 seniors; Female: 9 freshmen, 2 sophomores, 7 juniors, and 10 seniors. Thefollowing statistical methods and techniques were used throughout the study: descriptivestatistics, analysis of variance (ANOVA) tables, spider charts, hypothesis testing, regressionanalyses, percentage change, and percent difference.From the sample data analyzed, MUSE students consistently demonstrate higher behavior stylesof S-Steadiness and C-Conscientiousness with slightly lower behavior styles of D-Dominanceand I-Influence. Most females at MUSE possess Social and Aesthetic attitudes, while males aremore Utilitarian; both are Traditional and Theoretical. For People Skills, MUSE studentsimproved and/or mastered 19 of the 23 areas by the senior level, but lack mastery of skills inConflict Management, Creativity/Innovation, Persuasion, and Empathy. Incoming freshmenprofile consists of more males than females, poor Problem-Solving skills and Conscientiousness,and a mixture of Individualistic and Utilitarian attitudes.

Radharamanan, R. (2013, June), Analysis of Personal Attributes and Skills of Mercer Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19205

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