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Growing Globalization Of Engineering Practice: Raising National Awareness

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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

International Engineering Education I - Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.794.1 - 12.794.10



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Paper Authors


Andrew Riha Iowa State University

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Andrew Riha received a BS in computer engineering at Iowa State University in 2005. Throughout his undergraduate career, he participated in international learning including a semester-long study abroad program at the University of Newcastle in Australia, and has been actively involved in the Society of International Engineers. Andrew is currently pursuing his MS in computer engineering at Iowa State University, and his technical interests include space-based embedded systems, communications, and Astronomy.

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Diane Rover Iowa State University

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Diane T. Rover, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, earned her PhD in computer engineering from Iowa State University in 1989 and served as assistant and associate professor at Michigan State University. In 2001, Rover returned to Iowa State as a professor in computer engineering and became Associate Dean of the College of Engineering in 2004. Her recent projects have included software systems for performance visualization, system-level design techniques and tools for embedded systems, models for interdisciplinary teaching and learning, and curriculum integration.

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Julia Apple-Smith Iowa State University

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Julia Apple-Smith, Director of International Programs and Services for the College of Engineering, has served the college since September 1999. After graduating from Iowa State University in 1983, she worked in human resources for Hewlett-Packard Co., Shaeffer Eaton, Inc., and returned to Ames at Sauer-Sundstrand (now Danfoss) Co. in 1989. Coming back to her alma mater in 1998 in the Program for Women in Science and Engineering, Julia joined the college as Assistant Director in Engineering Career Services, taking over the administration of EIPS in 2000.

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James Melsa Iowa State University

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James Melsa is Dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering. Dr. Melsa earned his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Arizona- Tucson in 1965. In addition to an active career in industry, he served on the faculties at Southern Methodist University-Dallas, the University of Arizona-Tucson, as professor and chair of the electrical engineering department at the University of Notre Dame, and as Dean of the College of Engineering at Iowa State University. Dr. Melsa is President Elect of ASEE.

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

Growing Globalization of Engineering Practice: Raising National Awareness


In this paper, we illustrate how a number of factors are driving the globalization of engineering practice, and we present the highlights of a recent survey that was conducted to better characterize the current state of international opportunities for engineering students, including the trends, general themes, and major exceptions.

1 Introduction

The value of an international cognizance, in the context of engineering education, has been the subject of much research. A recent study, In Search of Global Engineering Excellence1, summarizes the large majority of these findings:

The ability to live and work in a global community is — today — an important requirement for engineering graduates. They need to have broad engineering skills and know-how, and to be flexible and mobile, and able to work internationally.

Regrettably, the fulfillment of this international cognizance within the United States has gone largely unmet. Study and work abroad programs are driven by the priorities and plans of an educational institution, and when there is cooperation among universities, it is usually only ad hoc at best.

There is, however, a growing realization of the inadequacy of the United States’ approach. In this paper, we present how publications such as ABET’s Engineering Criteria 2000 and the National Academy of Engineering’s The Engineer of 2020 are bringing attention to globalization in engineering. Additionally, we offer the results of a recent non-scientific survey performed to help characterize how universities are attempting to increase their numbers of engineering students studying abroad.

2 Globalization in Engineering

As Friedman notes2, the world is becoming flat – economic competition between industrial countries and emerging market countries can no longer be separated. As an example, India and China are rapidly entering the complex global supply chains, primarily due to the Internet.

A flat world requires American engineers to be capable of working in a global context, whether they find employment within the United States or internationally. This fact is becoming apparent throughout organizations within the United States, with national engineering organizations emphasizing the importance of learning outcomes and related skills development for engineering students. Below we present how ABET’s Engineering Criteria 2000 and the National Academy of Engineering’s The Engineer of 2020 are bringing attention to the need for globalization in engineering. Collectively, these publications have raised both awareness within the engineering

Riha, A., & Rover, D., & Apple-Smith, J., & Melsa, J. (2007, June), Growing Globalization Of Engineering Practice: Raising National Awareness Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2580

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