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Comparison of Engineering Education in the United States versus the United Kingdom

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 4

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Pete Hylton Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Pete Hylton is the newly appointed Curriculum Leader for Mechanical Engineering for North Highland College (NHC) of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) in Scotland. He continues his association with Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) where he was Director of Motorsports Engineering for ten years. He earned his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, M.S degrees from Purdue University (Mechanical Engineering) and IUPUI (Applied Mathematics) and Ed.D. from Grand Canyon University (Organizational Leadership).

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Wendy Otoupal-Hylton Indiana University - Purdue University, Indianapolis

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Suggested Session Topics: Faculty Scholarship, Research, and Development in Engineering Around the Globe Innovation and Best Practices Around the Globe International Collaborations, Experiences, Partnerships, Service Learning

Title: Comparison of Engineering Education in the United States Versus the United Kingdom

There is debate within history books as to exactly who first made the assertion that "America and Britain are two countries divided by a common language." However, no matter who said it first, the statement is an acknowledgement that despite centuries of common goals and aspirations, as well as historic and cultural ties, the two countries have some very distinctive differences. A recent opportunity to teach for two terms at a major university in the United Kingdom, as part of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Exchange program, provided an opportunity for one U.S. engineering faculty member to examine not only the gaps in our common language, but also the major differences in our university educational systems. Opportunities to associate with four different campuses in Scotland and England provided an excellent chance to compare and contrast how engineering higher education is conducted within these two English-speaking countries on opposite sides of the Atlantic. This paper will examine significant differences which were found in the areas of course conduct, projects, assignments, exams, expectations of student work, coursework assessment and program assessment. Additionally, differences in campus life, pre-collegiate education and general work-life philosophy of both faculty and students will be discussed.

Hylton, P., & Otoupal-Hylton, W. (2016, June), Comparison of Engineering Education in the United States versus the United Kingdom Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26533

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