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The Development Of The Competencies Liinked To The Human Dimension Of Engineering

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Comparing National Styles of Engr. Educ.

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1139.1 - 7.1139.17

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Paper Authors

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Richard Thibault

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Rene Hivon

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Danielle L'Heureux

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Noel Boutin

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Main Menu SESSION 2361

The Development of the Competencies Linked to the Human Dimension of Engineering

Richard Thibault, Noêl Boutin, Danielle L’Heureux, René Hivon

Université de Sherbrooke


This article describes how a group of faculty members at the School of Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada, are going about implementing a novel and fully integrated approach to developing in engineering undergraduate students the competencies linked to the human dimension of engineering. First, a critical and skeptical eye is being used to describe and assess the results of the traditional modus operandi coined "the two solitudes": "soft" courses taught by non-engineers on one part, and technical courses taught by engineering professors who are ill- equipped to dwelve to any meaningful depth in such topics as ethics, team work, communication, leadership, creativity, critical thinking, engineering management, etc. on the other part. This article then describes how, after an exhaustive survey of the literature, a grant from the University’s Major Pedagogical Innovations Program is being used to devise ways in which the development of the interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies of engineering students will be intimately integrated throughout the whole undergraduate programs with that of the scientific and technical competencies. This entire process is under the responsibility of engineering professors. In order for this ambitious goal to be achieved, the group of faculty put together a strategic plan based on the professional aspects of engineering practice and which calls for five separate but complementary courses of action: a continuous technology watch, a research program, the design of appropriate pedagogical material, the training of engineering professors in the use of this material, the online classroom use of same material and, lastly, the publication of results. The article ends with an analysis of the results achieved so far and an optimistic look at the future that this novel approach allows to envisage.

Key words: integrated curriculum, human dimension of engineering, soft skills, competence- based curriculum

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Thibault, R., & Hivon, R., & L'Heureux, D., & Boutin, N. (2002, June), The Development Of The Competencies Liinked To The Human Dimension Of Engineering Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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