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Assessing Engineering Disciplines with Expected Success for Females in Saudi Arabia

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Ahmed M. El-Sherbeeny King Saud University

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Ahmed M. El-Sherbeeny is an assistant professor at the Industrial Engineering department (since 2010) and head of the Alumni and Employment Unit (since 2013) at the College of Engineering, King Saud University. He completed both his PhD (2006) and Master's (2001) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University (WVU), where he was a graduate teaching and research assistant. He holds a BSME from the American University in Cairo (AUC, 1998). El-Sherbeeny's research interests include Cognitive Human Factors and Engineering Education. His teaching interests include basic courses in Human Factors Engineering, Manufacturing, introductory Engineering design, Engineering problem solving and programming (with C, C++, and Matlab), Engineering drawing (with both AutoCAD and manual drawing), as well as Mechanical Engineering courses such as Statics, Dynamics, and Thermodynamics.

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Hamed Dhafi Alsharari Saudi Elecrtonic University

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Hamed Dhafi . Alsharari, Ph.D. Former Member of Saudi Majlis Ash-Shura (Shura Council). Former Dean, College of Engineering, Aljouf University. He received the B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1993, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1998 and 2004, respectively, from Ohio University, Athens, OH, U.S.A. He is currently an assistant professor in College of Computing and Informatics, Saudi Electronic University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His research interests are in remote sensing applications, fiber optics, semiconductor, and in the area of wireless digital communications, especially spread spectrum (SS) communications and its applications such as CDMA, channels, and DSP board applications. Also, his research interests are in engineering education and transfer technology. He attended and participated in many local and international conferences. He has over twenty publications and also wrote more than seventy articles in well known Saudi newspapers in transfer technology and Saudi general affairs.

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Background. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has witnessed over the last few years a number of strategic developments in the higher education sector, particularly with the establishment of around a dozen new public universities, all seeking to be leading institutions in this educationally developing country. There have also lately been a number of official, strategic decisions pushing towards the equality of both males and females in different higher education disciplines. This has, incidentally, encouraged and invited the female sector to thrive towards STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education opportunities, particularly since engineering disciplines are currently almost solely offered to males nationwide. Purpose. This paper extends a previous study highlighting the importance of introducing engineering education for females in the KSA. The paper examines engineering disciplines where females are most expected to succeed from academic and career perspectives. Approach. First, the authors compare the presence and numbers of females in engineering education from an international and regional perspective for different engineering disciplines. This is then used to predict a list of engineering disciplines where Saudi females as expected to succeed, as well as discussing expected job market opportunities. Such is analyzed in view of the essential cultural and religious demands and constraints imposed by the deeply conservative Saudi society. In addition, the authors show the suitability of such disciplines in consideration of the superiority of female performance in pre-collegiate (K-12 grade) STEM education in the KSA. Discussion. The study substantiates that the Saudi culture is currently ready to accept the integration of females into STEM and particularly engineering education. Saudi girls are also shown indeed capable of competing with their male counterparts in engineering education in Saudi Arabia, as well as females in neighboring gulf and Middle-Eastern countries. Females are, furthermore, shown as very capable of entering and competing in the job market as effective engineers. Conclusion and Recommendations. In view of the challenging Saudi climate and various cultural and religious demands, Saudi females are most likely expected to succeed in engineering disciplines that do not require field-involvement and mixing of genders. However, a systematic, gradual approach is necessary for the successful implementation of such programs. Future recommendations are proposed involving a practical application of this study in the form of a nationally-funded project.

El-Sherbeeny, A. M., & Alsharari, H. D. (2018, June), Assessing Engineering Disciplines with Expected Success for Females in Saudi Arabia Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29819

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