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How Do We Frame Peace Engineering Education? A Complex but Vital Question

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

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Paper Authors


Ramiro Jordan P.E. University of New Mexico

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Ramiro Jordan is a faculty member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of New Mexico. He is currently the Associate Dean of Engineering for International Programs, and President Elect of IFEES. He obtained his PhD from Kansas State University in the area of Spectral Estimation. He holds a faculty position at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, and has served as visiting and resident professor at universities in Brazil, and many other countries in Ibero-America. He is the Executive Vice President and Founder in 1990 of the Ibero-American Science and Technology Education Consortium (ISTEC), a successful non-profit organization with the mission to accelerate STEM education, R&D and entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. He serves on the Board of Directors of several industrial and professional organizations. He served as Vice President for the Americas Region and Executive Committee in the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies. He is on the Board of the Engineering for the Americas Initiative, an initiative hosted by the Organization of American States involving all Heads of State in the Americas Region. He has been involved in the creation and enhancement of several international Technology Parks and has fostered entrepreneurial activities worldwide. He serves on the editorial board of Computers and Software Engineering, is editor of Journal of Computer Science and Technology, and is editor and advisor to The Ibero American Journal on Technology in Education and Education in Technology. He has received many national and international Honors and Awards including two Silver Quilt Awards, Motorola; International Excellence Award, University of New Mexico; Growing with Technology Award, Cisco Systems; Professional Progress Award, Kansas State University; Award for Contributions in Higher Education and Science and Technology, Organization of American States; Achievement Award for Innovations and Accomplishments in Multilingual IT Infrastructure in Engineering Education, iNEER-ICEE; and Award for Meritorious Work in Engineering and Computer Education, International Conference on Engineering and Computer Education. He is bestowed with the Order of Rio Branco, in the rank of Officer, by the Brazilian Government.

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Indira Nair Carnegie Mellon University

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Indira Nair retired from Carnegie Mellon University after 32 years. For the last 12 of those years, she was the vice provost for education and a professor in the department of engineering and public policy. She has designed and taught several interdisciplinary courses, including the ethics of science and technology, environmental science, technology and decision-making, and radiation, health, and policy. Her research has ranged over risk assessment and communication, green design, bioelectromagnetics, education in general, and pedagogy for modern-day literacy, such as scientific, environmental, and global literacy, and engineering ethics.

Dr. Nair chaired the national Global Learning Leadership Council of the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) from 2010 to 2013 and is currently a member of the Global Advisory Committee. She is also on the advisory panel of the Center for Engineering, Ethics & Society (CEES) of the National Academy of Engineering, and the Chair for paper reviews for the World Engineering Education Forum 2018 conference on Peace Engineering education. She advises several universities and colleges on incorporating global and environmental literacy throughout the curriculum. She has served on numerous national committees including National Science Foundation's Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) and on the Division of Education and Human Resources Advisory Committee (EHR), the Educators Advisory Panel of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Board of Student Pugwash USA. She has been involved in K-12 education and served as a member of the Board of the Pittsburgh Regional Center for Science Teachers, the School Reform Task Force of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, helping design the Science and Technology High School, the founding Boards of two charter schools –City High and the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park, and on the Winchester Thurston Advisory Board. She is co-author of a book, Journeys of Women in Science and Engineering: No Universal Constants, (Temple University Press, 1997).

She founded the Carnegie Mellon Chapter of Student Pugwash to encourage students to think about the social responsibility of science and technology.
Her current quests and involvements include: a new scheme for general education including the new literacies; pedagogies for engineering ethics education; increasing the inclusion of under-represented minorities across all segments of education; improving K-12 STEM education and bioelectromagnetics. She holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Northwestern University and a Pennsylvania teachers Certificate for high school science teaching.

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Kamil Agi SensorComm Technologies Inc.

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Dr. Agi speaks internationally on pollution monitoring, industry 4.0 and next-generation IoT solutions. As CEO of SensorComm Technologies, he identified core IP, negotiated license agreements, established a global IP portfolio, and began leading commercialization of the world’s most sensitive NOx emission sensor for the transportation and smart city segments. His team has developed an IoT-based NOx monitoring system (Wi-NOx™) that is the cornerstone of SensorComm’s global pollution mitigation strategy.

In 1998, Dr. Agi founded K&A Wireless which continues to provide advanced technology solutions for law enforcement, firefighters and military. K&A’s wireless technology roadmap for first responders has helped save thousands of lives. Dr. Agi is a member of the Sensors and Instrumentation Technical Advisory Committee (SITAC) for the Department of Commerce in Washington, DC and has been a Principal Investigator and a regular reviewer in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.

Dr. Agi received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He received his MBA from the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program.

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Donna M. Koechner eNova Solutions, LLC

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Donna Koechner earned her BS in Electrical Engineering at Kansas State University and her MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico. She has worked in academia, research and industry on products and projects including image segmentation and pattern recognition, software design, software specification, development and testing, product engineering, technical writing, course development and project management. Ms. Koechner co-founded the Khoros Group/Khoral Research and was key in the design and implementation of the Khoros software system. She is the founder of eNova Solutions, LLC. Ms. Koechner has traveled extensively and has a broad perspective of cultures and insights into societies. She is proactive about the environment, conservation, sustainability and human rights. She was a member of the planning and organizing committees for the www.weef-gedc2018.og world conference where the theme was "Peace Engineering".

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How do we frame Peace engineering education? A complex, but vital quest.

This paper describes elements and questions of Peace Engineering education as they emerge from the VIII World Engineering Education Forum, X Global Engineering Deans Council, XIV Global Student Forum, held November 2018 in the USA for the first time.

Rather than long presentations by established scholars, we convened pioneers who have spent the last decades educating engineers to work in an engaged, compassionate, competent way with local and global problems of necessity and wellbeing. In the first Peace Engineering conference at Bucknell University (2004), the late Aarne Vesilind brought engineering educators together in a day-long event to ask: “Is the accumulation of technical skills enough for engineers to be effective in practicing peace engineering, or do they need social, political, communication, ethical and legal skills as well?” In the conference Proceedings, Richard Bowen of Wales wrote, “The absence of conflict is a necessary but not sufficient condition for peace. Peace is additionally characterized by relationships between individuals, and social groupings of all sizes, based on honesty, fairness, openness and goodwill. That is, peace requires justice….”. Fifteen years after he initiated a concerted effort to articulate the elements of peace engineering, we will see what it takes to continue the legacy of Aarne Vesilind, celebrate the continuing work of colleague Richard Bowen, and start a movement for peace engineering education.

The Engineering Social Justice and Peace conference initiated by Catalano and Baillie has continued this thinking. Three universities in the U.S. have initiated Peace engineering graduate programs.

The authors presented to the global community thought-provoking questions for the November conference. Sample questions opened the door to areas to explore:

1. The Global Engineer ● How to develop next generation engineers (principled leadership, accountability, curriculum reform, Socratic method in engineering, executive programs, joint and cross disciplinary programs)? ● How to bring Peace Engineering, ethics, employability, policy, mobility (displaced people), social responsibility into the classroom and our daily lives?

2. Societal Problems/Opportunities • How to reduce the gap between the haves and have-nots? ● How to contribute to specific global challenges (food, water, air quality, smart cities, security, food security, climate change, health)?

3. Effective Engagement ● How to address diversity (gender, political, geographical, religious, socio-economic, refugees, reintegration to society)? ● How to embrace personal accountability and hold each other accountable (local, national, global, public, private)?

4. Ecosystem Functions and Processes ● How to manage the impact of global engineering innovations and ventures (social and business innovation and ventures)?

5. Emergent Models ● What do emergent economic models imply as Engineering’s role (Circular Economy, Industry 4.0/5.0)?

We expect this conference to bring us closer to articulation. As papers are reviewed, themes are emerging: “moving beyond conflict”, “globally-minded education”, “engineering for disaster response “, ”vocational sustainability and economic development”, “environmental sustainability “and “community engagement” among them. Ethics is resonating at all levels. This paper will gather and characterize the various categories of peace engineering education and the central questions as they emerge from this global gathering of educators, educational groups and student organizations.

Jordan, R., & Nair, I., & Agi, K., & Koechner, D. M. (2019, June), How Do We Frame Peace Engineering Education? A Complex but Vital Question Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32893

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