June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.788.1 - 12.788.13
Going Global: Implementation of a College-wide Initiative to Prepare Engineering and Technology Students for the 21st Century Introduction
Engineering is a global enterprise. Markets are global. It is not uncommon for engineers to design products which will be manufactured in Asia and sold in the United States, Europe and many other countries. The design process itself may be a round-the-clock operation, with teams coming on-line across various time zones. Supply chains commonly stretch across the world.
Competition is also global. Perhaps ironically, the technology created by engineers now allows engineering to be done virtually anywhere. The rise in Asia and India of a well-educated and highly motivated workforce willing to work for lower wages means that many routine or easily transported engineering activities will shift to these countries.
But, global competition is also intensifying in innovative new product and process development. Cutting edge research and analysis is now also performed at research centers across the globe. The technological leadership enjoyed by the United States since World War II will be increasingly challenged as the educational and research institutions of formerly less developed countries continue to mature.
How will the United States meet these challenges? We must develop engineers with abilities and skill sets that prepare them to be the innovative leaders in this paradigm. As stated by Ron Barr, President of ASEE, “We have to produce American engineers who are not only obviously technically well-grounded but more talented at things like creativity, leadership, communication and professionalism so that when a company hires an American engineer it expects him or her to lead that company or an international group of engineers1.” This same view was emphasized in a recent study by the National Academy of Engineering on the required attributes of an engineer for the year 2020. Besides technical excellence, the attributes include creativity, communication skills, leadership abilities, integrity, flexibility, and a commitment to lifelong learning2.
In this paper, we describe the strategy that the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology at Brigham Young University (BYU) is taking to meet these challenges. The strategy involves five key areas of focus: 1) Technical Excellence with a systems emphasis, 2) Leadership, 3) Character Development (including ethics), 4) Global Awareness and 5) Innovation that address the attributes needed for success in a changing global environment. The paper addresses the attainment of faculty consensus and ownership, the empowerment of a college committee to develop strategic outcomes and recommendations, the strategy that was developed for implementation, and the results of efforts to date.
Having identified what the college administration viewed as both a challenge and an opportunity for growth, the ideas, support, and consensus of the faculty were sought. Efforts began with the department chairs who were asked to read “The World Is Flat3” in preparation for the annual
Harb, J., & Rowley, R., & Magleby, S., & Parkinson, A. (2007, June), Going Global: Implementation Of A College Wide Initiative To Prepare Engineering And Technology Students For The 21 St Century Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/3004
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