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Teaming In Engineering Technology Education: Lessons Learned And Experiences That Work

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Non-Technical Skills for ET Students

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1240.1 - 10.1240.8



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Paper Authors

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McDaniel William

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Ferguson Chip

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Aaron Ball

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Phillip Sanger

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Wesley Stone

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

Teaming in Engineering Technology Education: Lessons Learned and Experiences that Work

Phillip Sanger, Aaron Ball, Bill McDaniel, Wes Stone, Chip Ferguson Western Carolina University


The efficiencies and benefits of multi-disciplinary teams are leading to their more widespread implementation into business and the engineering world. However this mode of problem solving and goal achievement clashes with the American culture of rugged individualism and personal advancement. The need to introduce teaming into engineering education has been recognized for some time and is part of ABET requirements for certification. Best practices and assessment of instructional approaches that work remain an on-going need.

In Western North Carolina, teaming skills are highly valued with regional enterprises. The Six Sigma quality program at Caterpillar and TEAM Industries and a supervisor-less, team manufacturing structure at Selee are examples of the heavy reliance that regional firms place on well developed teaming skills from Western Carolina University graduates. Critical skills in positive interdependency, individual accountability, face-to-face promotive interaction, interpersonal skills, and group processing are essential proficiencies for companies relying on healthy team dynamics. Team structures have been created in several areas of engineering technology instruction at Western Carolina University. Among these are project management, parametric modeling and engineering design, and rapid prototyping and component design. In this paper faculty experiences are shared, feedback from industry is provided, lessons learned are described, and techniques that we believe are effective in this area of education are identified and presented.


In the present global economy with stiff competition from abroad, the survival of most U.S. companies relies on the stimulation of innovation and creativity to generate new high margin, high value added products and processes for the marketplace. Short times to market and efficient product development processes are key ingredients to success. Concurrent interdisciplinary processing is commonplace. Teams and teamwork skills have been shown to be powerful assets in achieving business success. Without these skills, initiatives such as Six Sigma quality would lose their power and effectiveness.

Proficiency in working as a team has become a fundamental skill demanded of the graduating engineer. Beyond content competencies, businesses desire basic workplace skills, excellent listening and oral communications, creativity and problem solving skills, solid personal management, interpersonal skills including conflict management, and leadership and organizational effectiveness1. These skills are not explicitly taught in engineering curriculums

“Proceedings of the 2005 American society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

William, M., & Chip, F., & Ball, A., & Sanger, P., & Stone, W. (2005, June), Teaming In Engineering Technology Education: Lessons Learned And Experiences That Work Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14289

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: © 2005 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