Asee peer logo

Making Of A Global Engineer: Culture And Technology

Download Paper |


2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Global Engineering Education: Intercultural Awareness and International Experience

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.857.1 - 14.857.14



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Aparajita Mazumder Formerly Director of International Relations

visit author page

Dr.Aparajita Mazumder has both educational and life experience in international studies. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature (1990) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,USA. Specializing in cross-cultural studies, she devoted her professional career to directing, developing and administering global engineering education. She was the first Director of International Programs in Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Director of International Relations and Education at the University of Michigan.

visit author page

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Making of a Global Engineer: Culture and Technology

Abstract “Making of a global engineer” interfaces culture and technology. With the operation of technology on a global scale, comes the question of dealing with the complex dynamics of a global professional environment where world languages, cultures, educational and technical systems meet. This leads to the conclusion that technology and cross-cultural issues are intrinsically entwined in global engineering. What kind of specialized skills do we need to enable the crossing of different cultures and world systems with ease? Can we create a global engineer with both technical and cross-cultural skills through an educational system? What are the curriculum resources available in engineering education for creating the cultural competent technologist? This paper examines the interfacing of technology and culture in the global environment and shows the vital link between global technology and global culture. It touches on issues such as the meaning of culture, differences and commonality, verbal and non-verbal communication, differences in negotiation styles, cultural adaptation and integration, and phenomenon of cross- cultural refraction. It explores selective educational models for integrating global cultural education into the engineering curriculum. These selective models: concentrations and minors, cultural courses and cultural components in dual degree and simultaneous degree programs, global simulation projects, international internships and team projects, study abroad and global courses provide valuable information on different educational models currently in place in institutions. International leadership whether it be in academia, industry or government calls for motivation of a workforce coming from diverse academic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. “Making of a global engineer,” is a valuable tool for the global technical enterprise. It explores the twin questions of “why?” cross-cultural education is vital for the global engineer and shows “how?” to attain this education through an educational process. It tries to provide a direction to follow. Introduction The interfacing of culture and technology dramatically unfolds when we take a close look at international ventures in academia, industry or government. For illustrative purpose here are a few examples. Take the international space station venture as an example, which combines the resources and technological expertise of more than thirteen cooperating nations that include United States, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Brazil, Russia, Japan, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Sweden. The Russian team worked on the Soyuz capsule, USA on the Destiny lab, the European Space Agency on the Autonomous Transfer Vehicle, the Japanese on the Japanese Experiment Module, and the Brazilians on the Window Observational Research facility. The challenge of a global venture of this scale requires not only technical knowledge,but also global understanding and capacity forinternational teamwork. Chevron oil company’s initiatives to construct gas pipelines, take us to company projects in the Caspian Sea, the Russian Black Sea, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, South America and Thailand.The necessity for regional and cultural understanding and at times linguistic knowledge is apparent when we

Mazumder, A. (2009, June), Making Of A Global Engineer: Culture And Technology Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5870

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: © 2009 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