Asee peer logo

Integrating professionalism in a project-based engineering curriculum

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Distance Education and Engineering Workforce Professional Development

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.3.1 - 23.3.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Cyrus Habibi P.E. Minnesota State University, Mankato

visit author page

Dr. Habibi is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrated Engineering at the Minnesota State University-Mankato. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering. Following his postdoctoral appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he joined the Iron Range Engineering (IRE) Program in August 2011. The IRE is an innovative, 100% project-based, upper division engineering program located in Virginia-Minnesota which promotes learning in the context of engineering projects, professionalism and reflection (metacognition). His research in the area of engineering education is focused on project-based learning, design and innovation, professionalism and self-directed learning.

visit author page

author page

Tina alaei

author page

Andrew Lillesve IRE

Download Paper |


Integrating professionalism in a project-based engineering curriculumSince the publication of Engineer 2020 (and before) and the modification on accreditationcriteria made by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), professionalismhas been an important subject in engineering education. The expectations of engineers have beenchanging due to the changes in technologies, societies and even global economy. Nowadays,engineers are expected to be competent in both technical and professional skills. It has alsocome to the attention of many engineering institutions to implement professionalism as a part oftheir engineering curricula.Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a learning method in which students learn their technicalknowledge in the context of an industry or faculty-defined project. Moreover, PBL provides anactive learning environment and increases students’ interests and motivations. PBL not onlyenables students to practice self-directed learning and to find sustainable solutions to designproblems, it creates an opportunity for students to recognize that they are part of a globalcommunity, as well as teaches students communication (written, verbal, presentation),organization and time management, research and inquiry, self-assessment and reflection,engineering ethics, group participation and leadership skills.Iron Range Engineering (IRE), a complete project-based program, has realized the importance ofprofessionalism and implemented professionalism as a part of the curriculum. The IRE studentshave to enroll and complete 12 credits professionalism in their last two years of their B.Sengineering degree. These 12 credits are divided into 4 courses called Professionalism I, II, IIIand IV. Each of these courses includes various components such as life-long learning, leadership,communication (written, verbal), teamwork, engineering ethics, community outreach, etc. In thispaper, we explain the structure, outcomes, syllabi and course material of these professionalismcourses. Additionally, we discuss how a PBL program, such as IRE, provides opportunities forstudents to practice and to integrate their professional skills in their team projects. We alsoinclude the feedback received from local industry; ABET evaluators and our academic advisoryboard.

Habibi, C., & alaei, T., & Lillesve, A. (2013, June), Integrating professionalism in a project-based engineering curriculum Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19012

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: © 2013 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