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Teaching Project Management With International Collaboration

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

EMD Curriculum Design

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1368.1 - 12.1368.7



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Paper Authors


Gene Dixon East Carolina University

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Gene Dixon is an Assistant Professor and Director of ECU Engineering, Inc. at East Carolina University. His research interests include engineering management themes including leadership, followership, team work, organizational culture and trust. Before coming to ECU, he worked in
various positions in industry for Chicago Bridge and Iron, E. I. DuPont, Westinghouse Electric, CBS, Viacom and the Washington Group. Dr. Dixon received a BS in Material Engineering from Auburn University, an MBA from Nova Southeastern University and PhD in Industrial and System Engineering and Engineering Management from The University of Alabama Huntsville.

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

Teaching Project Management with International Collaboration


Global project management is a natural context for training engineering students to meet challenges of the global economy. This paper describes the methods employed in an innovative project management course integrating lecture seminars with international engineering counterpart faculty in China, Czechoslovakia, and the United States. The US’s East Carolina University’s engineering program entered into reciprocal agreements with the Czech Technical University and SUST of China to integrate and collaborate the presentation of seminars related to ongoing course work in project management. The collaboration required establishing a network for live video feeds, time zone coordination and technology compatibility demonstrations. The tri-party collaboration required the integration of course materials across the time and space divides in order to provide seamless, coherent delivery. This paper summarizes the logistical hurdles in establishing the lectures and describes the curricular content coordination challenges required for success in expanding appreciation for international cooperation and levels of knowledge.


In the competitive market that represents engineering and project management today, understanding the particulars of customers representing a global clientele requires and understanding of local laws, customs, languages and cultural beliefs1. For cross-border teams executing any or all phases of a project, whether R&D, supply chain or construction the needs are similar. The project world issue is magnified due to the inherent nature of global customers and global team members. Separations of time and distance require project management teams to focus on robust communications and communications systems in order to survive and thrive. Communications issues are factors of time zone differentials, technology infrastructure disparities and technical proficiency levels among the project team’s members2.

The flattened opportunities in which current economies of the globe operate provide an expanding need for academicians to prepare students for professional life3 within the context of the global environment. The need is grounded in learning that prepares students for the reality of working across borders, virtually or in reality. In discussions with educators outside the US, it is common that university students seek exposure in international exposure including internships abroad4. While common in the non-US world, mainstream students in the US continue the traditional approach of study-here-work-here, all the while corporations clamor for international exposure5. Factor associated with engineering curriculum have been reported as a root cause for the lack on international opportunities for US based students6 The ABET criteria for accrediting engineering programs provides incentives for the encouragement of exposing US engineering students to a broader perspective7.

East Carolina University (ECU), in cooperation with the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague and the Shaaxi University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Xi’an, China has begun an effort to provide students at all three universities an opportunity for international exposure.

Dixon, G. (2007, June), Teaching Project Management With International Collaboration Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1951

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