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Globalization And Engineering Education For 2020

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Global Engineering in an Interconnected World

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.787.1 - 12.787.22



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Paper Authors


Michael Mariasingam University of Wisconsin - Madison

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Research Associate, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin – Madison

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Sandra Courter University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Director, Engineering Learning Center, University of Wisconsin - Madison

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Thomas Smith University of Wisconsin - Madison

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Faculty Associate, Engineering Professional Development Department, University of Wisconsin – Madison

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Gregory Moses University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Professor, Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Globalization and Engineering Education for 2020

Introduction The emerging global trends in business have a great impact on the workforce needs, and the education and training of the workforce. The engineers of tomorrow will be expected to function differently from today as they face new ever changing work environment that includes globalization, outsourcing and emerging technologies. What do these emerging changes and challenges mean to the employers, the institutions that prepare engineers, and the organizations that assure quality? What should be their response to these trends as they unfold? In this paper the authors answer these questions. In particular they investigate what the nature and focus of engineering education of the future should be so that the discrepancy between the professional practice and professional preparation could be at least reduced. The following issues are discussed: emerging global trends in engineering, trends in the developed economies, impact of global trends on engineering enterprise, implications for engineering education, features of engineering education for 2020, other institutional requirements, and some existing models of engineering education for the future. The authors point out that the engineering enterprise is responding to the emerging trends and it is time educational institutions that provide the workforce to the enterprise begin the transition to a new relevant form of education and training.

Background Globalization is not a new phenomenon. Carthage, Rome, the Ottomans, several European powers, and mercantile city-states had multicontinental trading networks….. The globalization we are experiencing today is unprecedented in its magnitude and reach. The whole world has become a market for the economies of many countries, and globalization is transforming not only the location and organization of production and services, but also social and economic patterns. The long-term consequences are still unfathomable.

These emerging global trends, as noted by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)1 above, have transformed businesses and have a great impact on engineering workforce needs as well as the education and training of the workforce. Purdue Engineering Dean Katehi2 observes:

The engineers of tomorrow will be faced with a world much different than today. As technological advancements continue to erase our globe's geographical borders and the world population continues to balloon, our students will be asked to solve pressing issues dealing with economic development, poverty, the environment, healthcare, and energy—to name a few

Stephen Director, provost at Drexel University, speaking at a workshop on engineering curriculum reforms said in his message: "The world has changed…Globalization will dramatically impact what engineers do. A lot of routine engineering we've been teaching is likely to be subject to outsourcing." 2

Small and mid-sized enterprises are following the lead of their larger counterparts in establishing branches overseas. Industry requires a workforce that has been prepared for and can adapt to changes in this expanding global market

Even the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) 3 asks:

Mariasingam, M., & Courter, S., & Smith, T., & Moses, G. (2007, June), Globalization And Engineering Education For 2020 Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--3022

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