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Developing Global Engineers: An Integrated Approach To International Projects

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Educating Graduates in Engineering For A Flat World

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.497.1 - 12.497.11



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Paper Authors


Zenaida Otero Gephardt Rowan University

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Zenaida Otero Gephardt is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University where she has also served as Director and Assistant Dean of Engineering. Her interests are in the area of experimental design and data analysis. She teaches Process Fluids Transport and Process Dynamics and Control. She is a licensed professional engineer and holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.

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Joshua R. Wyrick Rowan University

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Joshua R. Wyrick is Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University. He holds a Ph.D. from Oregon State University and an M.E. from Texas A & M University. His research interests are in the areas of river morphology and restoration, sediment transport and megafloods. Dr. Wyrick teaches fluid mechanics and water resources courses.

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Dustin M. Kuzan Rowan University

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Carolyn D. Braun Rowan University

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Jared S. Krause Rowan University

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David M. Santino Rowan University

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Mary E. Wellspeak Rowan University

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

Developing Global Engineers: An Integrated Approach to International Projects


International service-learning projects offer students an opportunity to experience first hand the application of technology within the framework of cultural dynamics to benefit a community. International hands-on experiences play a key role in the development of future global engineers who can navigate the complexities of global market forces. These engineers have a better understanding of the global community and the role of engineers in improving the quality of life for the world’s people. Integration of the local community in project design, development and implementation results in a more sustainable solution with the needs of the community at the forefront. Students benefit from this integration by gaining a better understanding of the community and its culture. Adapting technology to fit the culture is an excellent technical and personal development exercise for students. This work describes the preliminary stages of a multidisciplinary project involving the departments of Civil and Environmental, Chemical and Mechanical engineering at Rowan University. The project is part of an effort to design and install a potable water delivery system. It involved land and community surveys in El Amatón, a community in Santa Ana, El Salvador, and water quality analyses. The project involved two components, Engineers -Without-Borders and an Engineering Clinic. Rowan Engineering Clinics are required project-based courses, often externally funded, wherein students apply technical concepts to an industrially or socially relevant problem. There are two unique aspects to this project; the integration of service learning in the curriculum and the integration of the local community in all aspects of the project. Students and their faculty advisors lived in the community and worked directly with the community and the local Peace Corps volunteer to develop strategies for design and installation that the community could support and maintain. This community-based approach involved the local community from the beginning stages of the project. This work describes the development of the project, the integration of the community in the project team and the integration of service learning in the engineering curriculum.

Introduction and Background

Internationalization continues to gain prominence in the present discussions on engineering education for the 21st century and beyond. Academics and industrial leaders realize a global economy requires global engineers. The internationalization of engineering education has become more important as trade barriers have been removed and the societal and technological impact of a global economy has become more evident. There is no general consensus on the definition of a global engineer. However, an international component in the curriculum designed to connect technology with engineers’ responsibility to enhance the quality of life worldwide is critical in the development of engineers that will be able to contribute to the global community.

There are few technical activities and problems that are not global in nature. Globalization continues to influence economies and communities strongly, and to shape the content and delivery systems of engineering education1. A high quality engineering

Gephardt, Z. O., & Wyrick, J. R., & Kuzan, D. M., & Braun, C. D., & Krause, J. S., & Santino, D. M., & Wellspeak, M. E. (2007, June), Developing Global Engineers: An Integrated Approach To International Projects Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--3055

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