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Cultivating T-shaped Engineers for 21st Century: Experiences in China

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.372.1 - 25.372.10



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Paper Authors


Jingshan Wu Zhejiang University

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Jingshan Wu, Ph.D. candidate, majors in educational economy and management. Her research interest is the cultivation of engineering talents. She has been working for “Research on International Engineering Education: Frontiers and Progress” and “Model Innovation on Engineering Education” recently.

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Xiaodong Zou Zhejiang University

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Xiaodong Zou,Ph.D., Vice President of Zhejiang University, professor of Public Administration School, Zhejiang University. His research area is administration and strategic planning of science, technology and higher education, organization management, and innovation. He teaches education planning for graduate students. Zou has published 70 papers and a book on discipline organization innovation of research universities,innovation of S&T education.

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Hanbing Kong Zhejiang University

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Hanbing Kong, PhD
Deputy Director, the Research Center for S&T, Education Policy, and Associate Professor of Management, Zhejiang University, and JEE Liaison for Research in Higher Education of Engineering.

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Under the background of "Excellent Engineers Training Project”: A study on “T-shaped” talent cultivation with Chinese characteristics 【Abstract】  Although China has the largest scale of higher engineering education in the world, itseducational pattern is still dominated by old-fashioned professional education, leading tounqualified engineers. In recent years, China has launched the "Excellent Engineers TrainingProject”, aiming to cultivate and bring up a large number of engineering talents who areinnovated, market-oriented and adapt to the need of economic and social development.However, problems such as, what is excellent engineers, how to design the reasonableknowledge structure, trigger heated discussion.This paper introduces the concept of “T-shaped Professionals”, which is closely concerned inEurope and the United States. The author holds the idea that the “T-shaped Professionals”corresponding with the educational model of "wide-special-cross”, which is short for wideningthe area of basic knowledge, concentrating on special professional field and linking both withcross-disciplines, would be crucial to highly qualified engineering education.Specifically, the characters of “T-shaped Professionals” cannot always be static and constant;instead, it should vary with a country or region's education situation, cultural environment andeconomic conditions and make corresponding adjustment. This paper first explores a model of“T-shaped” talent cultivation with Chinese characteristics, and then seeks a balance between"wide" and "special" and the linking point of cross-disciplines, aiming to provide some newideas to the exploration of international engineering education reform.【Personal Information】   Name: Ms. Wu, Jingshan    Education Background: PHD Candidate (March 2011 till now)  University:  Research  Center  for  Science,  Technology,  and  Education  Policy  (RCSTEP),  Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China    Major: Educational Economy and Management      Research Project:  ⑴Engineering Education;  ⑵Science and Technology Policy 

Wu, J., & Zou, X., & Kong, H. (2012, June), Cultivating T-shaped Engineers for 21st Century: Experiences in China Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21130

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