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Engineering Leadership Development Programs: Universities Respond to Critical Needs in the US and Internationally

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2015 ASEE International Forum


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 14, 2015

Conference Session

Concurrent Paper Tracks - Session II

Tagged Topics

Diversity and International Forum

Page Count


Page Numbers

19.14.1 - 19.14.11



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Paper Authors


Nicolas Couto Giffoni dos Santos SIUC Leadership Development Program

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I am an Industrial Engineering undergraduate student at Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil and being sponsored by the Brazilian government for a study abroad program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. I was member of two leadership development programs, the Brazilian Junior Enterprise Movement and the SIUC Leadership Development Program.

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Bruce DeRuntz Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

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Bruce DeRuntz, PhD, is a Professor in the College of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he teaches classes on project management and leadership. He consults with universities and companies on their leadership development of human resources for six sigma and project management teams. He is the Director of SIUC’s Leadership Development Program and the former Editor of the ASQ’s Quality Management Forum. He is a Fellow with the American Society for Quality and holds certifications for Six Sigma Black Belt and Quality Engineer.

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Rhonda K Kowalchuk Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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Rhonda K. Kowalchuk is an Associate Professor of Quantitative Methods at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). She also serves as the Director of Applied Research Consultants in the Department of Psychology at SIUC. She received her B.A. (Hons., 1990), M.A. (1993), and Ph.D. (2000) from the University of Manitoba, Canada. She joined SIUC in 2004 and prior to that she worked at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Her research interest focuses on the performance of statistical procedures when applied to data that do not satisfy the assumptions underlying these procedures. A goal of her research is to provide recommendations to improve the quality of data analyses. Other research related activities involve working as a statistical consultant. She teaches courses in Research Methods, Inferential Statistics, Multiple Regression, Experimental Design, Program Evaluation, and Survey Methods.

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Engineering Leadership Development Programs: Universities Respond to Critical Needs in the US and InternationallyIn a world that is technologically advancing at an ever-increasing rate, university programs playa critical role in preparing students to not only be lifelong learners—but also leaders. In a 2014global survey by the Deloitte University Press called Global Human Capital Trends, leadershipwas considered the most important skill with 86 percent of the respondents rating it “urgent” or“important”. Universities in the US and abroad are responding to this need by developingEngineering Leadership Programs (ELPs).Two examples of ELPs are the Leadership Development Program (LDP) at a medium-sizedMidwestern university and the Junior Enterprise (JE) developed in Brazil’s universities. Bothshare similar visions to graduate technical leaders that will lead their company’s project teams toachieve world class results and strengthen their country’s economy. The way these programsdevelop leadership is through a blend of formal academic training and experiential learning inthe engineering field. Learning is best achieved when students apply their technical knowledge tolead real-world projects.These two programs have already produced significant results. In the LDP, 95 percent of thegraduates have received career offers prior to graduation and have generated over $2 million insix sigma cost savings through industrial projects and internships. Additionally, over half of theLDP students have served as presidents of the college’s Registered Student Organization (RSO)project teams. This rigorous program teaches students character, interpersonal, and leadershipskills that are then applied to leading their project teams, such as ASCE Steel Bridge, ConcreteCanoe, and SAE Baja competitions. Similarly in Brazil, Junior Enterprise is a universitysupported program that is a blend of undergraduate courses and applied service projects in thestudent’s field of study such as; engineering and business. In 2014, the JE movement had anetwork of over 8,000 students in 248 chapters that performed 2,216 projects and generated over$4 million dollars in revenue.Both programs have demonstrated success and have prepared graduates to have acceleratedcareers based on their leadership skills training. However, the credit for the program’s successis anchored in the support of the university’s programs and partnerships with industry, whichprovide sponsorships, internships, and opportunities for leadership development and lifelonglearning.This paper will address the value of leadership skills in an engineer’s career and the critical rolethat universities play in providing ELPs that inspire lifelong learning. Further, the paper willcompare and contrast the two program’s methodologies, successes, challenges, and futureopportunities.

Santos, N. C. G. D., & DeRuntz, B., & Kowalchuk, R. K. (2015, June), Engineering Leadership Development Programs: Universities Respond to Critical Needs in the US and Internationally Paper presented at 2015 ASEE International Forum, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--17137

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