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Engineering Faculty Perspectives on Shared Global Experiences

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2014 ASEE International Forum


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 14, 2014

Start Date

June 14, 2014

End Date

June 14, 2014

Conference Session

Track 2 - Session 1

Tagged Topic

Faculty Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

20.17.1 - 20.17.9



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Paper Authors


Kerrie L. Schattler Bradley University

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Dr. Kerrie Schattler, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction at Bradley University. Dr. Schattler’s specific area of expertise in transportation engineering is highway safety. Over the past 10 years, she has been actively engaged in research and scholarship, having authored 30 papers in reputable journals, such as the ITE Journal, and the Journal of the Transportation Research Board, and conference proceedings. Dr. Schattler has led research teams for projects sponsored by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Center for Transportation, Peoria County Highway Department, FHWA, ITE, OSHA, Michigan DOT, AAA, and others.

Dr. Al-Khafaji is the Executive Director of the Center for Emerging Technologies in Infrastructure and a Professor of Civil Engineering at Bradley University. He earned his BS in Civil Engineering and MS degree in Construction Management from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He received a second MSCE in soil dynamics and a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Dr. Al-Khafaji is the co-author of 11 engineering textbooks including Numerical Methods, geotechnical, Statics and Dynamics, and software application. These books were used internationally by major institutions. He is also the author of many significant publications in internationally renowned journals. He is responsible for the Innovations Conference in Asphalt and Transportation and the International Construction Innovations Conference. He is the recipient of numerous leadership awards including the 2006 "Man of the Year" Award from the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association. He is also the only recipient in Bradley’s history of all three University excellence awards in Teaching, Scholarship and Public Service. He serves the Easter Seals, W.D. Boyce Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Muscular Dystrophy Association, A Safe Haven Foundation, and the Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce.

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Amir W Al-Khafaji Bradley University

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An Engineering Faculty Perspective on Shared Global Experiences  Studying overseas has a deep and profound impact on the intellectual and personal developmentof faculty and students. International experiences are needed in today’s society to shape the livesof students, and prepare them for a complex multi-cultural world with language barriers,different codes, and unparalleled competition. The promotion of a global vision of engineeringeducation is needed so that graduates are competitive with those of other nations around theworld. Faculty development and knowledge of international engineering practice is instrumentalin shaping students global perspective in classrooms here and abroad.This paper describes the Global Explorer Program (GEP) implemented in the Department ofCivil Engineering and Construction (CEC) at Bradley University, case studies of two specificoverseas programs to four countries, benefits of such a program for faculty personally andprofessionally, and examples of how a faculty’s growth and development can result in theintegration of international concepts into various courses taught on campus. More importantly,the faculty developed a deeper understanding of other cultures, global engineering practice, andtime management that profoundly impacted the educational experiences of students at Bradley.Since its inception in1996, the GEP has been offered through the CEC Department permittedstudents study abroad with CEC faculty, international faculty, and guest lecturers in Egypt/Jordan, England/ France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Malta. The GEP is much more thanjust teaching classes in other countries; daily excursions are made to historical engineering sitesin the region, supplemented by tour guides, and professional guest lecturers, who share theirexpertise about the engineering aspects and cultural dimensions of the sites visited. Technicallectures are also presented in class by professors from universities abroad, high-level governmentofficials, Prime Ministers, and business executives. Faculty and students gain unparalleledperspectives on global technologies, cultural business practices, engineering designconsiderations, employment opportunities, and worldwide competition.The authors have participated in several study abroad programs but will focus on: (1) Englandand France, and (2) Jordan and Egypt. As a part of the England-France GEP, daily excursionswere made to real world teaching environments to the reclamation of canals in Wales, the firstarch Iron Bridge, Stonehenge, Cambridge, Oxford, and London. The group then traveled toFrance through the Chunnel to visit the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Versailles, andLouvre Museum. The overall organization of the Egypt-Jordan GEP was similar, however thecultural dimensions were vastly different. Students and faculty visited various historical sitesthat highlighted the civil engineering marvels of the ancient engineers, such as Petra, Pyramidsof Giza, the open air museums of Luxor and Karnak, the ruins of ancient Memphis, Alexandria’sGreat Library and Roman Amphitheatre, and Suez Canal. Student gained insights and receivedlectures on the ingenuity and techniques used by Civil Engineers of the past and the present.The intensity of these programs challenged one’s ability to meet deadlines, mange timeeffectively while learning about different cultures. It is a life-changing experience inside andoutside the classroom that continues to shape our perspectives personally and professionally.This allows faculty to be more effective teachers, because now they have hands-on overseasexperiences and civil engineering design examples that can be shared in the campus classroomsetting to heighten the global awareness of all CE students.

Schattler, K. L., & Al-Khafaji, A. W. (2014, June), Engineering Faculty Perspectives on Shared Global Experiences Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--17180

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