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Educating Engineers For The Global Workplace

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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

Preparing Engineers for the Global Workplace

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Page Count


Page Numbers

12.569.1 - 12.569.6



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Paper Authors


Bernd Widdig Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bernd Widdig is Associate Director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI), MIT's cornerstone program of International Education. In this position he is involved in the coordination and expansion of MISTI's eight country programs around the world and in the overall strategic planning of MIT's efforts in international education. In addition, he is director of the MIT-Germany Program, which he founded in 1996. He received his Ph.D. in German studies from Stanford University in 1988.

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Jack Lohmann Georgia Institute of Technology

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



O r ae wlg e bi r otn h s d “ Sa h f l aE g er g xeec: u ppr i i a r fe ro t t y I er o Go l ni e n E clne lv e p eu n c b n i l E uan t N x G nr i o E g erfrh GoaWokl e t ti tn raoa dct gh et ee t n f ni e o t l l rp c”h e h i e t nl i e ao n s e b a a g tn i universities undertook between November 2005 and November 2006. The research team focused on the main areas: Engineering in a Global Context. Team members first considered the historical, social, and economic context of engineering in their countries, and the trends and challenges with respect to their engineering workforce. They also studied the skills and abilities industry expects from engineers—now and in the future—and considered whether the emerging engineering workforce is well prepared. Preparing Global Engineers. The team then reviewed the various educational approaches used to prepare engineers for global practice, including an examination of their own engineering programs and universities. They considered all levels, undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education, as well as organizational and faculty development. Recommendations. Finally, based on their observations of the state of the global engineering workforce and engineering education programs, they identified four critical challenges to better prepare engineering graduates for global practice.


O r ae wlg e bi r otn h s d“ Sa h f l aE g er g xeec: u ppr i i a r fe ro t t yI er o Go l ni e n E clne lv e p eu n c b n i l E uan t N x G nr i o E g erfrh GoaWokl e t ti tn raoa dct gh et ee t n f ni e o t l l rp c”h e h i e t nl i e ao n s e b a a g tn i universities undertook between November 2005 and November 2006. The results were first presented at a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany on November 10, 2006. We would be delighted to give you a copy of the entire study at the end of our session. Globalization is radically changing the way national economies around the world design, produce, distribute, and consume goods and services. Engineers are in the midst of this dynamic development. They use their knowledge of foreign cultures in designing products and services for global markets. They often work in teams on projects with members from different continents and cultures. They must be internationally mobile, whether physically or virtually. These requirements raise critical questions: Is tomorrow's engineering workforce—whether in Africa, Asia, Europe, North or South America—being well prepared to meet the demands of the global economy? What new skills are required to be not only a "good engineer" but also a “l aeg er H wd w i tlhs sis Wi g b g blni e ? o o en i t e k l o n ” sl e l? l l alization lead to an increasing lo employait ad tu gp e en g bleg erw o o fr b m nuei a b i n s t a bt e “l a ni e h cm ot l aevrn n ly as w o ” n s ay international environment and "local" engineers who do not? To respond to those question in particular and to the growing international concern about the preparation of the engineering workforce of the future in general, the German automotive splr ot et gnrulspot t s d “ Sa h f l aE g er g up eC n nn lee s upr d h t y I er o Go l ni e n i i a o y e eu n c b n i Excellence: Educating the Next Generation of Engineers for the GloaWokl e I bl rp c. t a ”s participants came from universities known for their expertise in engineering education around the world: ETH Zurich , Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China), Technische Universität Darmstadt, Tsinghua University, Universidade de São Paulo, and the University of Tokyo.


Widdig, B., & Lohmann, J. (2007, June), Educating Engineers For The Global Workplace Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1955

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