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Preparing Engineers for Global Challenges

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2014 ASEE International Forum


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 14, 2014

Start Date

June 14, 2014

End Date

June 14, 2014

Conference Session

Track 3 - Session 2

Tagged Topic

Student Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

20.29.1 - 20.29.9



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Paper Authors


Souhail Elhouar Bradley University

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Dr. Elhouar is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Construction at Bradley University. He holds a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in structural engineering from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma and a BSc in Building Engineering and Construction from the University Of Tunisia School Of Engineering in Tunis (ENIT). He specializes in the analysis and design of industrial and non-industrial steel buildings and has been teaching steel design and other related courses for many years. His research interests include the design and implementation of artificial intelligence applications in structural engineering, modeling the behavior of structural systems and components under typical and extreme loading conditions (including the effect of fire and collapse analysis), the study of connection design methodologies, and the analysis of the behavior of composite members. Dr. Elhouar has practiced structural engineering at the international level and has participated in his department’s internationalization program numerous times by accompanying students and teaching overseas.

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Amir W Al-Khafaji Bradley University

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Preparing Engineers for Global ChallengesWhen it comes to preparing engineering faculty and students to meet global engineeringchallenges, nothing compares to bringing together business executives, government officials, andeducators from around the world to explore uncommon solutions to common global problems.The world of the twenty first century faces many challenges that future engineers are expected toconquer. As a matter of fact, problems such as climate change and global warming, watershortages, depletion of energy resources, scarcity of materials, overpopulation, and poverty areno longer bounded by geographic and cultural divides. As a result, engineering education mustrise to the challenges of tomorrow and produce engineers and constructors who possess theneeded knowledge, skills, global perspective, and social awareness to succeed. This is aformidable challenge that educational institutions are unlikely to be able to meet alone as the taskgoes beyond ensuring student technical competency. It must involve collaboration with globalbusiness partners, international institutions, and employers seeking engineering graduates.This paper describes a highly successful effort consisting of an international conference thatbrought together prominent leaders from the industry, government, policymakers, and scholarsfrom 31 different countries to discuss a multitude of relevant topics such as sustainable buildingsystems, construction markets around the world, risk management, housing shortages, on-lineconstruction management, world-wide innovations in materials, and the status of public-privatepartnerships around the world, just to name a few. The conference also created opportunities fora fortune 500 company to hold two ideation sessions to seek input from 40 prominent guestsattending the conference. Twelve ministers, 97 CEOs and presidents, and 49 scholarsparticipated in the International Construction Innovations Conference (ICIC) and theEngineering News Record published a special article on its significant scope and substance.The paper presents the vision behind the creation of the conference and describes its mission andimpact on students. The authors describe the outcomes and deliverables achieved through theICIC. The unique ICIC organizational structure helped maximize the number of countries to berepresented and play major roles in the conference. This ICIC created a network of businessleaders, government officials, and scholars from participating countries and provided a firmfoundation for effective international cooperation. This paper provides synopses of theconference diversity of expertise and describes the unparalleled opportunities provided tostudents to network with professionals and scholars from around the globe. Businesspartnerships were developed by decision makers from different nations and between companiesfrom across the globe. Subsequently, CEC led successful trips by major business groups to othercountries to seek business alliances and joint ventures, students trips, and faculty exchanges.Ultimately, the partnership between educational participating institutions, faculty and studentsproduced exchange programs involving hundreds of students and more than ten faculty membersfrom the Civil Engineering and Construction programs at Bradley University. Our students andcolleagues were exposed to engineering topics and cultures that they would have never been ableto experience otherwise. The authors also describe ongoing efforts to develop futurecollaborative initiatives to promote global engineering education and expand businesspartnerships and enterprise.

Elhouar, S., & Al-Khafaji, A. W. (2014, June), Preparing Engineers for Global Challenges Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--17192

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