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Attributes of Success for Engineering Ph.D.s: Perspectives from Academia and Industry

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Collection

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Educating Students for Professional Success

Tagged Divisions

New Engineering Educators, Graduate Studies, and Student

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

22.267.1 - 22.267.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/17548

Download Count

19

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Paper Authors

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Monica Farmer Cox Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Monica F. Cox, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She obtained a B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College, a M.S. in industrial
engineering from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Teaching interests relate to the professional development of graduate engineering students and to leadership, policy, and change in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Primary research projects explore the preparation of engineering doctoral students for careers in academia and industry and the development of engineering education assessment tools. She is a NSF Faculty Early Career (CAREER) award winner and is a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

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Jeremi S. London Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jeremi was the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) student working on the NSF EEP Research Project during the 2007 - 2008 academic year. Jeremi interned at the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch Companies, beginning in their Research Pilot Brewery during the summer of 2004, returning as an Analyst to their Corporate Quality Assurance Department in 2005, and working as a Product Supply & Transportation Coordinator for the Central Region in their Logistics Department in summer 2006. Jeremi graduated from Purdue University in May 2008 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, and immediately joined General Electric Healthcare in Wisconsin as a Quality Assurance Speciality in the Invasive Cardiology group. Recently, Jeremi returned to Purdue University to pursue graduate studies. Upon completion, she hopes to gain a M.S. in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education.

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Benjamin Ahn Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Benjamin Ahn, is a Ph.D student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University.
He received a M.S. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Purdue University and a B.E degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of New South Wales, Australia. His research interests are re-examining the professional engineering practice in U.S. universities and industries and, the role of the Graduate Teaching Assistants in engineering classes.

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Jiabin Zhu Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jiabin Zhu is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She
obtained a B.S. in Physics from East China Normal University, a M.S. in Optics from Chinese
Academy of Sciences (CAS), and a second M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University. Her primary research interests relate to comparative study methods and frameworks in engineering education, global engineering, professional development and mentoring of engineering graduate students. She is a student member of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

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Ana T. Torres-Ayala University of South Florida

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Ana T. Torres-Ayala is a doctoral candidate in Higher Education at the University of South Florida. She holds a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and a M.Eng. degree in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. She has experience in the telecommunications industry where she worked for Lucent Technologies. Before beginning her doctoral studies, Ana was also an Information Technology instructor. Her research interests include: preparing future engineering faculty, improving teaching and learning, distance education and underrepresented student success.

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Shree Frazier

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Osman Cekic Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey

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Osman Cekic holds a Ph.D. in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University at Bloomington and a master’s degree in secondary school administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a Bachelor’s degree in educational administration and planning from Ankara University in Turkey. He previously worked at the Indiana Education Policy Center, Project on Academic Success (PAS), as a graduate assistant to the vice president for enrollment services for Indiana University, and as a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue University, West Lafayette. Dr. Cekic’s research interests include higher education policy, finance and the linkages between budget and organizational culture, and college student retention. Currently Dr. Cekic works at as a research assistant at Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Faculty of Education in Turkey, where he continues to explore issues related to science and engineering at the graduate level, engineering education cultures, as well as leadership and policy issues in engineering education. Osman has authored and co-authored various scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and policy papers related to institutions of higher education, finance and financial aid in higher education, student success, and leadership and policy issues in engineering education.

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Rocio C Chavela Guerra Purdue University, West Lafayette

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James Edwin Cawthorne Jr. Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Abstract

Attributes of Success for Engineering Ph.D.s: Perspectives from Academia and IndustryAn exploration of engineering doctoral education is needed for several reasons. First, therealignment of undergraduate curricula based on studies of employers’ needs and expectationsare common in undergraduate education (i.e., Engineer of 2020) (National Academy ofEngineering, 2004). These types of studies are not usual in doctoral education but are needed forPh.D. programs to respond to the changing environments in industry and academia. Second, it isimportant to differentiate the industrial and academic expectations of engineering Ph.D.s since,according to NSF (2008), 73.3% of engineering Ph.D.s obtained jobs in industry. Finally, there islittle understanding about how graduate education facilitates students’ acquisition of theseattributes.In this study, eleven Ph.D.s were asked to describe the attributes for success as an engineeringPh.D., credentials expected for Ph.D. engineers working in academia and industry, and ways forinstitutions to develop these attributes among Ph.D.s. Related to attributes, the participantsidentified strong analytical skills, creativity, good communication skills, and multidisciplinary asvaluable. The least commonly mentioned attributes were business management principles andadaptability. In comparing industry and academic expectations, leadership, teamwork, businessmanagement and communications skills were identified as important in industry. In academia,obtaining funding, teaching, and research were mentioned as most important. Finally, theparticipants felt as though the most important ways for institutions to help develop theseattributes were to provide mentorship, facilitate research groups, and model behaviors. Futurework based on these findings is presented.References:National Academy of Engineering. (2004). The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in theNew Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.NSF/NIH/USED/USDA/NEH/NASA. (2008). Survey of Earned Doctorates. Data File.[Retrieved from] http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf10309/pdf/tab29.pdf

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