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Building Communication Skills In Supply Chain Management And Facility Logistics Curriculum Through Multi Institutional Virtual Teaming

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Frontiers in Engineering Management

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.248.1 - 15.248.9

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Paper Authors

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Suzanna Long Missouri University of Science & Technology


Hector Carlo University of Puerto Rico

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Hector Carlo is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at The University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. Dr. Carlo earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree (2007) and a Master of Science in Engineering degree (2003) from the Industrial and Operations Engineering department at The University of Michigan, and a Bachelors of Science degree (2001) from the Industrial Engineering department at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. Several of his articles have appeared or are accepted to appear in scientific journals as ASME's Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Computers & Industrial Engineering, and IIE Transactions. His research interests include Material Handling & Logistics, and Operations Research applications to non-traditional environments such as Education, Government, Healthcare, and Tourism.

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Jane Fraser Colorado State University, Pueblo

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Abhijit Gosavi Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Scott Grasman Missouri University of Science & Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Building Communication Skills in Supply Chain Management and Facility Logistics Curriculum through Multi-institutional Virtual Teaming


Engineering managers and other technology-based business professionals who possess cross- organizational and cross-cultural communication skills, along with traditional quantitative abilities, are more adept at handling the demands of the global supply chain environment. Mastery of these skills must begin in the classroom and should be an essential component of supply chain management curriculum in engineering management and industrial engineering departments. Providing real world opportunities that explore collaboration across organizational cultures, time zones, and practice gives students a tremendous competitive advantage as they enter the workforce and fosters experience-based learning. This paper details the creation of an integrated supply chain curriculum between engineering management and industrial engineering departments at four universities and examines the value-added skills achieved through the addition of a global, virtual student project environment. This partnership includes two universities in the U.S., one in Puerto Rico, and one in Spain. Assessment is addressed through both internal and external assessment mechanisms. These include the use of individual course evaluation data, pre and post-test measures of progress toward learning goals and evaluation by an external reviewer with expertise in curriculum design and course improvement.


Global strategies and skill sets are essential to meet the challenges of the modern business environment. Engineering managers and other technology-based business professionals must be prepared to excel in a variety of social, political, and cultural settings. Awareness of these business strategies must begin in the classroom and should be an essential component of supply chain-logistics management programs. The importance of globalizing the curriculum has long been recognized as an important facet of preparing students to meet the demands of the modern marketplace. Accreditation bodies stress the importance of building programs that not only contain a global emphasis, but also include adequate assessment measures to assure student learning and success with established objectives.

This paper details an ongoing curriculum development effort between four engineering departments, two in the U.S., one in Puerto Rico, and one in Spain. The partnership between Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T), Colorado State University- Pueblo (CSUP), University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM), and Universidad Publica de Navarra (UPNA) is developing an integrated supply chain management curriculum designed to foster effective communication skills. The collaborative environment created by the investigators allows for concurrent development of curriculum materials capable of addressing identified needs in the realm of global sustainability. The goal is to produce an educational curriculum that produces an engineer or engineering manager who has a thorough understanding of the logistics of sustainable manufacturing processes and is well able to communicate with colleagues from around the globe. The central topics will be integrated within existing course curricula in a seamless manner. A framework for using multi-institutional partnerships is developed to provide

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