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Engineering Education And International Management Initiatives

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.427.1 - 6.427.17



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Paper Authors

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Maria Flores

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Arthur Gerstenfeld

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

Session 2460

Engineering Education & International Management Initiatives

Arthur Gerstenfeld, Maria F. Flores Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Worcester, Massachusetts


The purpose of this paper is to describe a project, which has been in work for the past two years, which we believe, has several implications for education. This project has been partially funded by the Department of Education, Business and International Education Division. While we all agree that the economic and technical world is smaller and closer every day, we do not agree on how we should handle that in terms of educating our students who will be the main drivers in this new world. This paper presents some ideas, which involve student projects in many parts of the world plus a program for faculty training and industrial interactions.

I. Introduction

The work for this project has taken place at a highly innovative university in New England, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). There have been three parts to this project, one part focuses on students, a second part focuses on faculty training, and while a third part is involved with industry.

In the past, traditional engineering education focused on fields such as mechanical, electrical, civil and chemical engineering. In management, fields such as marketing, production, organizational behavior and finance still dominate most curriculums. However, with Internet and ultra high-speed communication and with the world so interconnected, we believe it is time to change that thinking. That is why we at WPI have been focusing on global and on interdisciplinary project based learning.

In a recent article in The New York Times, it was stated "The world has been utterly transformed in recent years, globalization is sweeping old models aside, technology is bringing U.S. together faster and more furiously than ever before…"1

The old thinking used to be that universities should be teaching the fundamentals and that industry would teach the applications. The problem with that model is that industry no longer has the time to teach the applications and expects when our students report for work they are ready to “hit the ground running.” Industry needs persons who are aware of the global implications of their decisions and who are ready to work as part of a project team (in this

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Flores, M., & Gerstenfeld, A. (2001, June), Engineering Education And International Management Initiatives Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9189

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