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The Challenges of Developing Engineering Management and Leadership Curriculum for Students Planning RIPE careers

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Continuous Improvement in Engineering Leadership Development Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Leadership Development

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--33375

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33375

Download Count

107

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Paper Authors

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C. Fred Higgs III Rice University

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I am the John & Ann Doerr Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University, where I am also the Faculty Director of the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) and the founding-director of the Particle Flow & Tribology Lab.
Outside of Rice's School of Engineering, I am also its Vice Provost of Academic Affairs.

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Kaz Karwowski Rice University

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Kaz Karwowski is the Executive Director of the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL). Kaz joined Rice after four years with the Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program (GEL) and three years with MIT’s Army ROTC Program. Prior to joining GEL, Kaz served in the U.S. Army Infantry branch for 20 years, where he developed military leaders and retired in 2009. Kaz has been developing engineering leaders on college campuses for 10 years.

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David Allen Van Kleeck Rice University

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David joined the staff of RCEL in August 2014 following a 34 year career as a Technologist and Manager in Shell’s research and development organization. During his Shell career, he held a variety of positions in which he was responsible for process development, manufacturing technical service, and product support to several downstream refining and chemical businesses. Dr. Van Kleeck's research and management experience includes work in the detergents, solvents, resins, and glycols businesses. He was also active in Shell’s recruiting efforts for over fourteen years as a campus interviewer (Princeton, MIT, University of Houston, Rice) and had a parallel career in the Army Reserve, retiring after 32 years of active and reserve service in 2005 as a Brigadier General. He was commissioned in the Army through ROTC at Princeton University (1973). During his Army career, David commanded troops at the Battalion, Group, and Brigade levels. His assignments included active duty tours in Italy and Germany. After active duty, he returned to Rice where he earned a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering in 1981.

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Thomas Edward Phalen Jr. Rice University

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Tom joined Rice in July, 2015 after a 38 year career with Fluor, a Fortune 100 Engineering and Construction Company. He has proven leadership and management skills, having led large multi-cultural and multi-discipline teams in executing projects. Throughout his career, he led teams varying in size from a few members to over 2,000. He has served as a Project Director on large projects and has led teams that included multiple offices and cultures simultaneously. Mr. Phalen combines technical engineering expertise with experience in leadership, project planning and control.

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Gayle Moran

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Cesare Wright Rice University

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My work centers on the intersection of technology and culture, and the driving belief that role of engineering is to solve real-world problems in ways that allow people to live happier, safer, more productive, and more fulfilling lives.

In my role as a Lecturer and Leadership & Outreach Specialist for the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership at Rice University, I teach and develop courses in the School of Engineering. I also lead RCEL's internship and K-12 STEM outreach programs, including the internationally acclaimed Rice Drone Camp and Rice ELITE Camp. During my time at Rice, I have also taught courses in Film Studies, Art History, and Visual Arts, and my goal is to help students better understand the socio-cultural impact of technology.

As the Director of the Kino-Eye Center (501c3), I lead a series of education and STEM initiatives in partnership with Microsoft, including the Microsoft Drone Academy and a variety of programs with Microsoft DigiGirlz, Microsoft Youthspark, and Microsoft retail stores and campuses nationwide.

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James Philip Hennessy Rice University

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Abstract

Increasingly, engineering management and leadership programs and initiatives are seeing broad ranges of students interested in pursuing grand challenge and blue sky type opportunities to ‘change the world’ without possessing the confidence and skillsets to lead the teams and organization that must execute the complex and often large project work of technology research and/or development. Students who possess the ability to manage budgets, solve technical problems, and apply basic business principles in an effort to develop a product or solution may become adept engineering managers. However, those students who can inspire the team to complete and deploy these products and solutions in a way where the whole team’s productivity is greater than the sum of the expertise of each individual team member can become engineering leaders. Engineering leadership programs at research universities often have the challenging problem of developing curriculum for students, who typically seek rigorous engineering degrees in a way that entices these students to gain the skills their institutions hope will enable them to graduate as technology and societal leaders. One major barrier that often arises are the faculty in the traditional engineering departments distinguishing such training as “hard” vs. “soft” engineering training. Thus, without a curriculum mandate, most undergraduate engineering students do not automatically choose courses or credential-bearing programs with engineering leadership and management training in them. Further, students who pursue careers outside of the mainstream engineering industry pathways, such as research or entrepreneurship, often do not automatically see or gain exposure to the leadership or management examples and experiences that align with these other career tracks. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to introduce the approach that Rice University’s Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) undertook to revamp and develop a new credentialed curriculum in engineering leadership aimed at students with broad career interests. There are two facets of this new certificate program, and it aims to create a viral experience that attracts an increasing number of engineering undergraduates over the next decade. First, RCEL will provide a rich, focused suite of fundamental engineering leadership development courses. Numerous core competencies, such as communication, decision-making, and self-leadership remained, but the curriculum has also been augmented with new competencies in project management and engineering ethics to ensure that RCEL students graduate with a mission-minded drive to lead and help organizations flourish. The second facet of the certificate requires each RCEL student to choose one of four career directions he/she is likely to pursue after graduation. These are research, industry, pathways that are non-engineering, and entrepreneurship (RIPE). The efforts to design this new curriculum and revamp our program will be presented, along with the future challenges we anticipate to scaling these efforts to the full engineering student population.

Higgs, C. F., & Karwowski, K., & Van Kleeck, D. A., & Phalen, T. E., & Moran, G., & Wright, C., & Hennessy, J. P. (2019, June), The Challenges of Developing Engineering Management and Leadership Curriculum for Students Planning RIPE careers Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33375

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