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Global Engineering Competencies and Cases

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2013 ASEE International Forum


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 22, 2013

Start Date

June 22, 2013

End Date

June 22, 2013

Conference Session

Track 4 - Session II - Student and Curriculum Development II

Tagged Topic

Student and Curriculum Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

21.28.1 - 21.28.13



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Paper Authors


Brent K Jesiek Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Brent K. Jesiek is Assistant Professor in the Schools of Engineering Education and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech. Dr. Jesiek draws on expertise from engineering, computing, and the social sciences to advance understanding of geographic, disciplinary, and historical variations in engineering education and professional practice.

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Qin Zhu Purdue University Orcid 16x16

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Qin Zhu is a PhD student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. His main research interests include global engineering education, engineering ethics, and philosophy of engineering and technology. He received his BS degree in material sciences and engineering and first PhD degree in philosophy of science and technology (engineering ethics) both from Dalian University of Technology (China).

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Julia D Thompson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Andrea Mazzurco Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Sang Eun Woo Purdue University

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Engineering in Global Context: Cases and CompetenciesWhether working on multi-national project teams, navigating geographically dispersed supplychains, or engaging customers and clients abroad, engineering graduates encounter worlds ofprofessional practice that are increasingly global in character. This new reality poses challengesfor engineering educators and employers, who are faced with the complex task of preparingengineers to be more effective in diverse global contexts. In response, more global learningopportunities are being made available to engineering students, as reflected in gradual yet steadyincreases in the number of global engineering programs and participating students. Manycompanies are also offering professional development opportunities to help their employeeslearn foreign languages and cultures, cultural etiquette, and global leadership skills. Nonetheless,there remains a lack of clarity about what specific competencies are most important for globalengineers, much less what training techniques best support development of such capabilities.These difficulties are further compounded by a large and diffuse body of literature discussingtechnical work practices in global context, including for engineers and other professionals.In response to these challenges, this paper reports preliminary results of a comprehensiveliterature review focused on engineering in global context. The analyzed literature includesarticles, papers, and reports drawn primarily from the fields of engineering education, businessand management, organizational psychology, and human resources. The primary inclusioncriteria for creating this collection centers on identifying documents that: 1) present challenges,situations, and/or stories related to working across countries/cultures, and 2) involve technicalwork and/or professionals (e.g., engineers, scientists, technologists, etc.). Particular emphasis isplaced on finding case studies that provide detailed, practice-based accounts of global technicalwork. Analysis of these documents is focused on two complimentary themes: competenciesrequired for global practice, and representative types of work scenarios that require globallycompetent behaviors. In addition to presenting the results of our literature review, the papersummarizes the authors’ novel efforts to elicit cases and competencies through interaction withsubject matter experts (SMEs), i.e. global engineers working in industry. As further illustrationof this effort, the authors’ conference presentation will include a brief hands-on activity withattendees. In the paper we also briefly describe examples of how we are translating our researchresults into situation-based assessment questions.The primary audience for this paper includes engineering educators and representatives ofindustry who seek clarity regarding desirable attributes for global engineers. Additionally, manyof the case studies and other instructional materials presented in this paper can be leveraged insupport of ongoing professional development and training efforts.

Jesiek, B. K., & Zhu, Q., & Thompson, J. D., & Mazzurco, A., & Woo, S. E. (2013, June), Global Engineering Competencies and Cases Paper presented at 2013 ASEE International Forum, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--17233

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