Asee peer logo

LEADing The Way: A Review of Engineering Leadership Development Programs

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Assessment of Engineering Leadership Skills

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development Division

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Joshua C. Palmer Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

visit author page

Joshua Palmer is a Ph.D. student in the Organizational Behavior and Human Resources program at Florida State University. He received his M.A. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (2016), and his B.A. from Florida Gulf Coast University (2014). His primary area of interest is investigating how contextual factors (e.g., organizational and individual differences) affect the relationship between dark personality (e.g., narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) and workplace behaviors. Other research interests include the use of political skill and interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace. Joshua's post-graduation plans include pursuing a career as a Researcher and Professor in the College of Business at a research-oriented university.

visit author page

author page

Kenneth D. Birchler Southern Illinois University

author page

Joseph David Narusis Southern Illinois University


Rhonda K Kowalchuk Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

visit author page

Rhonda K. Kowalchuk is an Associate Professor of Quantitative Methods at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). She also serves as the Director of Applied Research Consultants in the Department of Psychology at SIUC. She received her B.A. (Hons., 1990), M.A. (1993), and Ph.D. (2000) from the University of Manitoba, Canada. She joined SIUC in 2004 and prior to that she worked at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Her research interest focuses on the performance of statistical procedures when applied to data that do not satisfy the assumptions underlying these procedures. A goal of her research is to provide recommendations to improve the quality of data analyses. Other research related activities involve working as a statistical consultant. She teaches courses in Research Methods, Inferential Statistics, Multiple Regression, Experimental Design, Program Evaluation, and Survey Methods.

visit author page


Bruce DeRuntz Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

visit author page

Bruce DeRuntz, PhD, is a Professor in the College of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he teaches classes on project management and leadership. He consults with universities and companies on their leadership development of human resources for six sigma and project management teams. He is the Director of SIUC’s Leadership Development Program and the former Editor of the ASQ’s Quality Management Forum. He is a Fellow with the American Society for Quality and holds certifications for Six Sigma Black Belt and Quality Engineer.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The United States’ global leadership is predicated upon not only a sufficient technical workforce, but more critically, leaders among them who will inspire them to create the technology better and faster than our competitors. Caterpillar, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, and Siemens among others have created their own internal leadership development programs. This not only highlights the need for strong leadership in a work environment, but it also reveals the necessity for leadership education in new engineering employees. Industry is also responding to this shortage by supporting the creation of technical leadership development programs at universities. Leadership development is a relatively new and growing trend in engineering colleges with an estimated 80% of the programs in North America having been created in the past ten years. Through this partnership, a corporate sponsor and university can work together to implement a specialized curriculum that makes program graduates skilled and competent in their field upon graduation. A review of these leadership development programs will evaluate their key components that facilitate accountability, achievement, and excellence. This paper is based upon the results of a national survey of ASEE Engineering Leadership Division (LEAD) members to compare and contrast the innovative components that have been implemented within various engineering leadership development programs. The following components will be examined: cross-cultural education, team-based applied projects, leadership coursework, mentorship, and corporate sponsorship, among other components. The main objective of this paper is to examine these components, identify innovative practices, and promote the importance and growth of engineering leadership education.

Palmer, J. C., & Birchler, K. D., & Narusis, J. D., & Kowalchuk, R. K., & DeRuntz, B. (2016, June), LEADing The Way: A Review of Engineering Leadership Development Programs Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25525

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: © 2016 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