June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.1271.1 - 11.1271.8
The Development of a Global Worldview
Several of the more open ended ABET Criterion 3 outcomes have the potential to significantly change engineering education. Unfortunately, these outcomes are difficult to measure and, as such, are not well understood. In particular, outcome (h), which states that graduates must demonstrate “the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.” This one outcome has the potential to impact student education more than any other. The importance of this topic is reinforced every day as engineering jobs are facing global competition. Industrial Advisory Boards are also suggesting that this internationalization of engineering education be emphasized more in the classroom. Young engineers need to develop strategies that can address the challenges presented by globalization. The globally-oriented engineer must understand others in terms of life perspectives, must learn how to interpret international events and circumstances, must explore how one interacts with the world and its environment, and must learn how to apply engineering methodologies to solve societal problems (i.e. clean water, energy, food, health problems, etc.). The paper will address some of the issues related to engineering in the global context and how Baylor University is approaching the integration of this subject through its curriculum and extra curricular activities (i.e. language requirement, interdisciplinary overseas summer school, classroom exercises, and appropriate technology studies/trips) and what is planned for the future (School Committee on Global issues, Advisory board activities, and Classroom Activities).
The U.S. production of scientists and engineers has continued to fall in relative terms when compared to Asian rim countries.1 For example, in 2005 Indian schools awarded approximately 112,000 engineering bachelors degrees, China 351,537, and the U.S. 137,431.2 It appears that fears of “outsourcing”, fueled by the growing availability of international technical labor and population demographics, has driven some U.S. students from high-tech programs; a trend that may be irreversible. The international business climate of the last decade has taught U.S. companies to think in terms of strategic partnerships and alliances to penetrate and expand markets. Considering the apparent irreversibility of market forces, engineering educators should consider how best to prepare students to participate and thrive in this new economic climate.
Only training engineers to be participants in the present global consumerist economy may be missing the mark. The events of the last decade have clearly pointed to the growing social and economic interdependence of previously independent societies. This fact is clear when one considers the impact of health issues related to HIV, SARS, and H5N1 in the presence of inadequate third world health systems or the impact of rising energy prices on the green revolution. A significant percentage of the world’s food production is underpinned by agricultural mechanization and the use of fertilizers and chemicals; all of which are energy intensive. The implication being that the rising energy prices may soon translate into growing and endemic famine in many parts of the world.3
Van Treuren, K., & Eisenbarth, S., & Fry, C. (2006, June), The Development Of A Global Worldview Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/819
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