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Career Paths Of Non Engineers Into Engineering Practice In The Midst Of Globalization: Implications For Engineering Education

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

A Focus on Industry Partnership

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.284.1 - 8.284.19



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Paper Authors

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Juan Lucena

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

Session 2322

Career paths of non-engineers into engineering practice in the midst of globalization: Implications for engineering education

Juan C. Lucena Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies Colorado School of Mines, Golden, 80401 Phone: (303) 273-3991; e-mail:


Corporations, governments, and the employees they hire, face increasing challenges of the global

economy such as mobility of capital and labor, organizational re-structuring across national

boundaries, development and implementation of more efficient production and manufacturing

practices. Yet we know very little about how engineers understand and experience globalization,

and how globalization impacts their education, practices, and collaborations with non-engineers.

For example, organizational changes and initiatives implemented to respond to global

competition, such as mergers, joint ventures, product customization, subcontracting, etc, create

circumstances for non-engineers to be hired as engineers as actually practice engineering. Under

these circumstances, non-engineers’ knowledges and skills become important for the solution of

technical problems. Collected through ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, the data presented

here show how processes of globalization open engineering practice to the application of non-

engineering knowledge by non-engineers to complex technical problems. The analysis of this data

has a number of implications for engineering education for it shows to non-engineers alternative

career paths into engineering, reveals the value of non-engineering knowledge and skills in the

solution of technical problems, and sheds light into the limitations of the educational engineering

pipeline as a metaphor of engineering education.


Lucena, J. (2003, June), Career Paths Of Non Engineers Into Engineering Practice In The Midst Of Globalization: Implications For Engineering Education Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11859

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