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Producing Globally Competent Engineers: Results Of Two Workshops

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Faculty Involvement in International Engineering Education

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Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1027.1 - 11.1027.14



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Paper Authors


Mark Henderson Arizona State University

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Mark Henderson is professor of Engineering at Arizona State University at the Polytechnic Campus in Mesa, AZ. He received the MS degree in biomechanical engineering and the Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. Henderson is co-author of the textbook, Computer-Integrated Design and Manufacturing. His major research includes computer-aided design and global engineering. He directs international educational programs including the Global Engineering Design Team for undergrads and the Nomadic Design Academy summer study abroad program with 6 other multi-national universities. Henderson is co-director of the research center Partnership for Research on Spatial Modeling (PRISM; and the undergrad transdisciplinary design studio entitled InnovationSpace (

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

Offering Global Competency in Engineering Education: The Results of a Symposium on Global Engineering Education


Global Competency is a desired quality in engineering graduates today. Global Engineering Education to produce such graduates comes in many sizes and styles. Some universities concentrate on sending students abroad while others create globally distributed teams based at home and abroad to give students a taste of the global economy and supply chain after graduation. Companies agree that global competency is an important attribute of new graduates in many fields including engineering. Universities and faculty are struggling with knowing how best to both define Global Competency and to implement and fund global education to give both students and industry what they need. The first Global Engineering Education (GEE) Symposium at Arizona State University, held in February 2004, was designed to allow free-form, yet directed conversation about how best to produce globally competent engineering graduates. Results included ranked issues and strategies to address barriers to GEE, together with a prediction of what GEE will look like in the year 2030. The participants’ enthusiasm has carried over and they are organizing a follow-up GEE Symposium to be held in 2006. This paper presents, but does not analyze the results of the first symposium to characterize definitions and approaches to Global Engineering Education from the standpoint of faculty, students, government and industry. The emphasis on the first workshop was in defining the environment and goals. The second workshop will focus on strategies both directly about program implementation and in how to assess Global Competency.


Many conferences and symposia have been held in the past few years with the format of presenting papers on progress in global engineering education (GEE). By GEE, we mean educating engineers with a global mindset to improve their Global Competency. This can be done in many ways and many conference papers explain how a given university has created programs to help engineers be exposed to global technology, culture, communication and collaboration. Typical programs offer study abroad for engineering students, but some also offer multi-national teaming on projects with common objectives.

Conferences and symposia have their place, but sometimes the participants need extended time for goal-directed discussion. With this purpose in mind, faculty who were known to be involved in GEE programs gathered for a workshop held at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, February 26-27, 2004.

The workshop structure included sessions entitled Inspiration, Discernment, Breakout Discussion and Collective Summation and Planning. The overall goal was to define the major issues in GEE and to reach consensus on action items to further the success and spread of GEE. Concluding with action items was a strategic necessity. Ending the workshop with a list of issues and conclusions without “marching orders” would have been incomplete. The action items help the attendees to continue the workshop discussion as they return home and give a sense of purpose and a plan for continuing the workshop in coming years.

Henderson, M. (2006, June), Producing Globally Competent Engineers: Results Of Two Workshops Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--689

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