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Teamwork in Action: Collaborating Across Borders

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Cultural Issues in Engineering: International Division Technical Session 2

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Paper Authors


Arshia Khan University of Minnesota, Duluth

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Arshia A. Khan, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth, earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer-Engineering, M.S. in Computer Science and Ph.D in Information Technology. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and span the biomedical informatics, clinical/health informatics, and consumer health informatics. Her research is on sensor based wireless, robotic non-intrusive device development for monitoring physiological changes for population health management, mobile clinical decision support, and data analysis. She authored “Objective-C and iOS Programming: A simplistic Approach"

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Rania Al-Hammoud P.Eng. University of Waterloo

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Dr. Al-Hammoud is a Faculty lecturer (Graduate Attributes) in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Al-Hammoud has a passion for teaching where she continuously seeks new technologies to involve students in their learning process. She is actively involved in the Ideas Clinic, a major experiential learning initiative at the University of Waterloo. She is also responsible for developing a process and assessing graduate attributes at the department to target areas for improvement in the curriculum. This resulted in several publications in this educational research areas.
Dr. Al-Hammoud won the "Ameet and Meena Chakma award for exceptional teaching by a student” in 2014 and the "Engineering Society Teaching Award" in 2016 and the "Outstanding Performance Award" in 2018 from University of Waterloo. Her students regard her as an innovative teacher who continuously introduces new ideas to the classroom that increases their engagement.

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Ona Egbue University of South Carolina, Upstate

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Ona Egbue is an assistant professor in the Department of Informatics and Engineering Systems at the University of South Carolina Upstate. She holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology, a master's degree in Earth and Environmental Resource Management from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor of engineering degree in Electrical/Electronics Engineering from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria. Her research interests include sustainable energy and transportation systems, socio-technical system analysis, innovation management and engineering education.

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Teamwork in action: Collaborating across borders Academicians are often found working in silos, focused on producing scholarship to attain tenure. The initial years of an academician are intense and requires them to focus on output rather than forging collaborations. Essentially they may not have the time to pursue collaborations. Collaboration between faculty has the potential to increase their productivity and help achieve tenure and promotion quicker. In this paper, the authors discuss both challenges and opportunities that faculty face when they collaborate. The paper describes a case study of a team faculty including their efforts in creating an effective team and their guidelines to successfully work collaboratively over a 4 year period while addressing challenges that arose. The team comprises of three members coming from different engineering fields and different cultural backgrounds and working at different universities across borders. The paper discusses how the team were able to cross the different borders set in their way: cultural background, discipline, conflicts and physical borders by sharing their best practices for effective collaboration, the guidelines set for this collaboration to make it successful, the similarities and differences among the team members that drove to a stronger and more productive team. The team will also discuss their experiences that brought them together from across international borders, uniquely different engineering fields and the variety of experiences in conflicts. This paper uses the case study to address the research question of how prior experiences can affect team success and the likelihood of team success Furthermore, this study will shed light on important factors that could be transferable to other teams leading to more effective collaboration.

Khan, A., & Al-Hammoud, R., & Egbue, O. (2020, June), Teamwork in Action: Collaborating Across Borders Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35286

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