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Recommendations for Promoting Desirable Characteristics in Engineering Ph.D.s: Perspectives from Industry and Academia

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Professional Aspects of Graduate Engineering Programs

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

25.1101.1 - 25.1101.8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--21858

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21858

Download Count

122

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Paper Authors

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Monica Farmer Cox Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jiabin Zhu Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jiabin Zhu is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She obtained a B.S. in physics from East China Normal University, a M.S. in optics from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and a second M.S. in biomedical engineering from Purdue University. Her primary research interests relate to comparative study methods and frameworks in engineering education, global engineering, professional development, and mentoring of engineering graduate students. She is a student member of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

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Jeremi S. London Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jeremi London is a graduate student at Purdue University. She is pursuing a M.S. in industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in engineering education.

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Benjamin Ahn Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Benjamin Ahn is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. His research interests relate to higher education reform, graduate teaching assistants' roles in engineering classes, undergraduate engineering syllabus and curriculum development, and professional engineering practices in universities and industries. Ahn's research has been strongly motivated by challenging, exciting, and inspiring experiences he has had as a teaching assistant in first-year engineering classes and as a Graduate Assistant for Purdue's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program and Purdue's Minority Engineering Program (MEP). In the future, he wants to be a global innovator for higher engineering education.

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Ana T. Torres-Ayala University of South Florida

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Ana T. Torres-Ayala is a doctoral candidate in higher education at the University of South Florida. She holds a B.S. degree in computer engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, and a M.Eng. degree in computer and systems engineering from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. She has experience in the telecommunications industry where she worked for Lucent Technologies. Torres-Ayala was previously an Information Technology instructor. Her research interests include faculty development, scholarship of teaching and learning, graduate education, and broadening participation of underrepresented groups in engineering.

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Kavitha D. Ramane Purdue University

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Abstract

Recommendations for Promoting Desirable Characteristics in Engineering Ph.D.s: Perspectives from Industry and AcademiaEngineering doctoral graduates often are criticized for being narrowly trained in their disciplines;for being ill-prepared for the professional workplace; for lacking leadership abilities; and for notbeing flexible in a changing global environment. According to the 2009 Survey of EarnedDoctorates, 69.2% of engineering doctoral graduates accepted positions in industry upongraduation, and 17.1% accepted academic positions. The remaining percentage of graduatesjoined the governmental sector (9%), accepted a position in a non-profit organization, or pursuedother options. Considering the challenges facing engineering Ph.D.s, it is necessary torecommend ways for engineering doctoral students to “hit the ground running” in their academicor industrial positions. This research presents information about the potential measures that canbe undertaken in graduate education to facilitate the academic preparation of current engineeringdoctoral students. The primary research question within this paper asks, “What can be done atthe graduate level to ensure that engineering Ph.D. students are acquiring the desiredcharacteristics to be successful in academic and industrial careers?”Authors conducted in-depth interviews among forty engineering professionals in academia andindustry representing several engineering disciplines. This paper provides an analysis of theresponses to the research question and provides suggestions for preparing current engineeringdoctoral students who may pursue careers in academia or industry upon graduation. Thesesuggestions may be used to facilitate the training of current engineering doctoral students in theiracquisition of knowledge, skills, or attributes that are essential to career success and may be usedto identify educational models for engineers who would like to explore multiple post-graduatepathways during their graduate experiences.

Cox, M. F., & Zhu, J., & London, J. S., & Ahn, B., & Torres-Ayala, A. T., & Ramane, K. D. (2012, June), Recommendations for Promoting Desirable Characteristics in Engineering Ph.D.s: Perspectives from Industry and Academia Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21858

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: © 2012 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