June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.753.1 - 12.753.14
Forming Global Engineers: A Freshman Engineering Design Course with a Multinational Design Project Involving Latin American Institutions
The establishment of new regional economic alliances beyond the frontiers of a single nation has required that engineers be prepared to work in an economy that is now best seen as essentially international in nature. It is evident that future engineers should have a better understanding of the global economy, awareness of cultural diversity, and appropriate training to work in multi- disciplinary and multi-national teams. This paper describes an adaptation of the first year Introduction to Engineering Design course at Penn State that has been tailored not only to teach the basic concepts in design, innovation and creativity, but also to introduce in experimental sections the concept of global design, and expose the students to other cultures through multi- national projects. Students are required to work in global design teams with students from institutions in other countries. They are challenged to solve a design problem and to use effectively the available technology for communication. This multinational project provides students the opportunity to work in a global distributed team, learn the value of different ideas from different cultures, gain knowledge of design opportunities in other countries and become skilled at how to use collaborative tool effectively.
The growing integration of economies and societies around the world, better known as globalization, has been one of the most hotly-debated topics in international economics over the past few years.1 Its advantages and disadvantages have been discussed in many forums and both sides, in favor of and against globalization, have presented clear and strong ideas. Beyond the economic point of view, this international integration has multiple implications in the interaction between the different constituents. Understanding globalization means studying the changes in population, human resource flows (migration), the changing distribution of design and manufacturing/construction work, urbanization, diseases, resource management, environmental degradation, economic integration, knowledge dissemination, information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, conflict, and governance.2 Therefore, the best way to conciliate both pro and against positions is to understand the unavoidable changes and take the necessary steps in minimizing their impact in the society.
These rapid changes in the world entail a change in the role of engineers in the global economy and, as a consequence, in the engineering education. There is an increasing perception of the need to educate competent engineers for the global market; an engineer who must understand and accept diversity; be able to work in multi-national corporations; be able to work in multi- cultural teams; be creative in the solutions of problems impacting a wider and more diverse population; be able to communicate and socialize with people from different cultures; be knowledgeable in other language; be able to use the technology to exchange ideas, solve problems and present solutions; be a leader, an excellent team member, and an ambassador. The list of competences for the global engineer might include these and more attributes besides the technical knowledge required for each major, so the question is if the industry is expecting a
Esparragoza, I., & Devon, R. (2007, June), Forming Global Engineers: A Freshman Engineering Design Course With A Multinational Design Project Involving Latin American Institutions Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2147
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: © 2007 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