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Incorporating Global and Ethical Issues in a Freshman Engineering Design Course through Collaborative Design Projects

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Collaborative Learning, Project-Based, Service Learning, and Impacts on Engineering Education

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Page Count


Page Numbers

22.846.1 - 22.846.12



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Paper Authors


Ivan E. Esparragoza Pennsylvania State University, Media

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Ivan E. Esparragoza is an Associate Professor of Engineering at Penn State. His interests are in engineering design education, innovative design, global design, and global engineering education. He has introduced multinational design projects in a freshman introductory engineering design course in collaboration with institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of his effort to contribute to the formation of world class engineers for the Americas. He is actively involved in the International Division of the American Society for Engineering Education and in the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institution (LACCEI) as Vice-President for Research.

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Incorporating Global and Ethical Issues in a Freshman Engineering Design Course through Collaborative Design ProjectsAbstractGlobal collaborative design is a common practice nowadays due to the international nature and businessscope of many corporations. More and more, the new engineers are working in concurrent design teamsgeographically disperse around the world. They are designing products and systems which have a broaderimpact due to the free-trade agreements and globalization effects that are making the national boundariesdisappear in the global market. Future engineers will be also challenged to find solutions to problemsoutside of their social, cultural and economical environment forcing them to make responsible decisionsin different settings. Besides that, the rapid developments of new products and the shorter life cycle ofthem, driven by the fast pace of technology advances and the increasing competition in the market, arecreating new problems that are having a direct impact in the environment and ecosystems compromisingthe sustainability for future generations. The existing design solutions are satisfying immediate demandswithout considering future consequences. As a result, it is important to start educating students not only tobe aware of the world with clear understanding of cross-cultural differences, but also with very highethical standards and the ability to assess the local and global impact as well as the short and long termimpact of their decisions during the design of products, systems and processes. This paper describes theapproach used in a freshman Introduction to Engineering Design course to incorporate global and ethicalissues through a collaborative design project carried out in collaboration with other students in LatinAmerica.

Esparragoza, I. E. (2011, June), Incorporating Global and Ethical Issues in a Freshman Engineering Design Course through Collaborative Design Projects Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18127

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