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Engineering Futures: Updating a Successful Professional Development Program to Address New Challenges

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Continuous Improvement in Engineering Leadership Development Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32724

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32724

Download Count

90

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Paper Authors

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Katy Luchini-Colbry Michigan State University

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Katy Luchini-Colbry is the Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services at the College of Engineering at Michigan State University, where she completed degrees in political theory and computer science. A recipient of a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, she earned Ph.D. and M.S.E. in computer science and engineering from the University of Michigan. She has published more than two dozen peer-reviewed works related to her interests in educational technology and enhancing undergraduate education through hands-on learning. Luchini-Colbry is also the Director of the Engineering Futures Program of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, which provides interactive seminars on interpersonal communications and problem solving skills for engineering students across the U.S.

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Christopher McComb Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Christopher McComb is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs with courtesy appointments in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering and the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. He earned dual B.S. degrees in Civil and Mechanical Engineering from California State University Fresno as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. His research merges perspectives from psychology, computer science, and engineering design to create better human systems. This includes both systems of humans (teams, organizations, marketplaces) as well as systems that interact with humans (intelligent design tools, smart products).

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Julie Rojewski Michigan State University

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Julie Rojewski is the Program Manager of the Michigan State University Broadening Experience in Scientific Training (BEST) grant (funded by NIH). Previously, she was the Director of the MSU ADVANCE grant (funded by NSF), and has worked in several dimensions of graduate student and faculty development around teaching, mentoring, leadership, communications, and teamwork. She has a particular professional expertise with program planning, management, and evaluation and an academic interest in leadership development in academic contexts. She holds a M.A. in Education from Michigan State University and an M.A. in English from The Ohio State University.

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Astri Briliyanti Michigan State University

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Astri is a graduate student in the Department of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University. She previously worked as a researcher and urban planner consultant in Indonesia, helping the government with the creation of spatial and development plan, as well as policy analysis and program evaluation. She is interested in program evaluation, sustainable tourism planning, and urban design.

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Dirk Joel-Luchini Colbry Michigan State University

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Dr. Dirk Colbry is the Director of HPC Studies in the newly formed Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering (CMSE) at Michigan State University. Dr. Colbry earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science and his principle areas of research include machine vision and pattern recognition (specializing in scientific imaging). Dr. Colbry also conducts research in computational education and high performance computing. From 2009 until 2015, Dr. Colbry worked for the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER) as a computational consultant and Director of the HPCC. Dr. Colbry collaborates with scientists from multiple disciplines including Engineering, Toxicology, Plant and Soil Sciences, Zoology, Mathematics, Statistics and Biology. Recent projects include research in Image Phenomics; developing a commercially-viable large scale, cloud based image pathology tool; and helping develop methods for measuring the Carbon stored inside of soil. Dr. Colbry has taught a range of courses, including; communication "soft" skills, tools for computational modeling, Numerical Linear Algebra, microprocessors, artificial intelligence, scientific image analysis, compilers, exascale programing, and courses in program and algorithm analysis.

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Abstract

Engineering Futures (EF) is a professional development program developed by Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, in the 1980s to provide undergraduate engineering students with the “soft skills” necessary for professional success. Originally, the EF program included a series of day-long, interactive workshops led by volunteer facilitators and hosted on-site at college campuses. The original sessions included People Skills (interpersonal problem communication and resolution); Team Chartering (understanding team dynamics); Group Process (tools for effective meetings); and Analytical Problem Solving (brainstorming, list reduction and evaluation criteria). Over the decades, the EF program adapted to meet the changing needs of undergraduate students, with options for shorter sessions and the addition of a module on Effective Presentation Skills in the early 2000s.

In the 2010s, the EF program directors began to explore opportunities to expand the curriculum to address new challenges. A new partnership in 2015 led to the addition of two new modules: Equity, Inclusion & Engineering Ethics; and Research Mentoring. In 2017, Tau Beta Pi partnered with several other organizations in a successful proposal to the National Science Foundation to develop updated training materials focusing on communications, teamwork and leadership skills. These materials are being designed in a modular fashion that allows them to be adjusted for different audiences (undergraduates, graduate students, professionals) and the project includes funding for a “train the trainers” program that will enable the EF materials to be deployed nationally at little or no cost to hosting organizations.

This paper provides a historical context for the EF program, describes the recent efforts to update and expand the curriculum, and provides insights from several years of participation and program evaluation data.

Luchini-Colbry, K., & McComb, C., & Rojewski, J., & Briliyanti, A., & Colbry, D. J. (2019, June), Engineering Futures: Updating a Successful Professional Development Program to Address New Challenges Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32724

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015