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Identifying Best Practices to sustain a US-Mexico International Program integrated into an engineering curriculum

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 4 - Global South Engineering

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Paper Authors


Rodrigo Martinez-Duarte

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Rodrigo Martinez-Duarte is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University (USA) and Head of the Multiscale Manufacturing Laboratory His group’s expertise lies at the interface between micro/nanofabrication, carbonaceous materials, electrokinetics and microfluidics. Rodrigo is known as the pioneer of carbon-electrode Dielectrophoresis (carbonDEP), a technique for bioparticle manipulation using carbon electrodes and microfluidics devices with application to diagnostics and therapeutics. He is also internationally known for pushing the envelope on the use of renewable materials and non-traditional techniques such as origami and robocasting to manufacture shaped geometries that serve as precursors to architected carbon and carbide structures. At the nanoscale, his group is innovating ways to use microbial factories as nanoweavers of biofibers. A recurrent theme in his Multiscale Manufacturing Laboratory is assessing the effect of processing on the properties of carbonaceous materials and structures at multiple length scales, towards tailoring their performance. At Clemson University he teaches manufacturing processes and their application, as well as fundamentals of micro/nanofabrication. His pedagogical approach emphasizes teamwork, flipped classrooms, and project-based learning.
Besides the US, Rodrigo has lived and worked in Switzerland, Spain, India, Mexico and South Korea and has a track record of service and leadership. He is currently the Chair of the Clemson University’s Commission on Latino Affairs, Chair of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences (CECAS) Committee on Global Engagement, Chair of the Organizing Committee of Dia de los Muertos at Clemson, and Guest Editor and an active Reviewer for leading journals in his field. He is also a Past President of the AES Electrophoresis Society. He is or has chaired several sessions and international meetings on Carbon and/or Electrokinetics within the Electrochemical Society, Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers and AES. He was the recipient of the Public Impact fellowship at UC Irvine in 2010, in 2019 both Junior Faculty Eastman Award for Excellence in Mechanical Engineering, and the Esin Gulari Leadership and Service Award in CECAS at Clemson University, and in 2021, the Impact Award from the Hispanic Latinx Heritage Month at CU.

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Sallie Turnbull Clemson University

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Sallie Turnbull is the Director of Internships and Career Programming at API, a company providing experiential education for high school, undergraduate and graduate students. Sallie has been working in the field of international education since 2006, previously working at Clemson University as Associate Director for Program Management and Faculty Support. She became a Qualified Administrator of the IDI in 2016, and a Qualified Facilitator of the Global Competence Certificate in 2021. Sallie is passionate about inclusion and equity and works within the field of international education to provide programs that are accessible to all students and encourages discussions around intercultural competence.

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Tim Guggisberg Clemson University

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Tim joined Clemson University in 2020 as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering (ME) after an enriching career in Michelin. He joined Michelin in 1993 immediately after obtaining his BS in ME from Purdue University, and in his 26 years career in Michelin held a variety of roles in manufacturing operations and process development at a global scale. During this time, he also obtained a MS in ME from Georgia Tech (2002). He has lived and worked in multiple countries including the USA, France, where we worked on the development of a new mining tire manufacturing process and expanded his knowledge of the Michelin organization, and in China, where he led the project to build the rubber manufacturing portion of a new state-of-the-art factory. He has a 15+ years’ experience in international teamwork as well as leading international teams. For example, in his assignment in China, he worked alongside more than 150 inpatriates from 14 different countries, local employees, as well as many more on an extended international team supporting the interconnected projects. In his final role at Michelin, Tim was the North America process improvement manager for the rubber and tissue process perimeter.

At Clemson University, he teaches the senior design sequence (ME 4010 and ME 4020) and coordinates the industry sponsored projects in ME 4020. Design problems are inherently team-based and open-ended, like most challenges faced by industry. His teaching embraces these elements, using projects to enhance appreciation for recognizing uncertainty, developing and justifying solutions, and the importance of communication.

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Juan Dobarganes

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International teamwork is increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Multinational organizations must be able to apply the skills of their people to best address their business opportunities, whatever the origins of the team members or the geographic locations of the projects. Yet, the educational experiences that incorporate internationalization to prepare the students accordingly are limited. A small percentage of students get the opportunity to study abroad and/or benefit from working with international partners in their co-operative or internship programs. However, there is value in integrating international programs in the engineering curriculum to provide these experiences to most students, permitting them to get a global education and increase their value to potential employers. To this end, the authors at Clemson University in the US, and Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico worked together with an industry sponsor in a capstone design project course. The industry sponsor provided a problem common to their operations in the states of South Carolina, US and Guanajuato, Mexico and challenged the student teams to find a solution that would be as common to both locations as possible. Student teams were formed by mixing students from both partner institutions. The original problem description was deliberately written with multiple unknowns, towards encouraging collaborative active research and inquiry from the international student teams. 34 students from three different programs: mechanical, metallurgy, and mining engineering; and 6 faculty from both institutions and similar backgrounds than the students participated in this 5-week program in the summer of 2021. The program was held entirely online, and the official language was English. The course was a requirement for graduation for all students. Assessment was performed by implementation of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) before and after the program. Here we report on the challenges during the preparation of, during and after the program; as well as feedback from students and the result of the assessment. The overall objective is to identify best practices towards making this program sustainable.

Martinez-Duarte, R., & Turnbull, S., & Guggisberg, T., & Dobarganes, J. (2022, August), Identifying Best Practices to sustain a US-Mexico International Program integrated into an engineering curriculum Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--41633

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