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The EWB Challenge – Preparing engineers to work globally through international development design projects

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2017 FYEE Conference


Daytona Beach, Florida

Publication Date

August 6, 2017

Start Date

August 6, 2017

End Date

August 8, 2017

Conference Session

Enrollment, Instruction and Pedagogy - Focus on Design-Based Projects

Tagged Topics

Diversity and FYEE Division - Paper Submission

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Paper Authors


Alistair Cook Colorado State University

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PhD Candidate in Education Sciences

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Mona Hemmati Colorado State University

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Mona Hemmati is a Ph.D. candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the Colorado State University.
She received her B.S.E. (2011) and M.S.E. (2014) in Structural Engineering from the Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran.

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Thomas J. Siller Colorado State University Orcid 16x16

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Tom Siller served as the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at Colorado State University for 13 years. He recently returned to the faculty in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has been a faculty member at CSU for 29 years.

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Since 2014 Colorado State University College of Engineering has been involved with the first United States based pilot of the Engineers Without Borders Australia global design challenge (EWB Challenge). The EWB Challenge is a series of design challenges in different technical areas, created in cooperation with a local community and non-government organization in a different development setting and location each year. Challenges in previous years have been based in Vietnam, Nepal, Timor Leste, Cameroon, and India in partnership with NGO’s such as the Nepal Water for Health and Habit for Humanity. The EWB Challenge utilized in the design class this year at Colorado State University was based in the Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement in Zambia, partnered with the United Nations Refugee Agency. The EWB Challenge has been developed to be flexible for multi-disciplinary, intra-disciplinary or single discipline engineering design courses in the first and second year of undergraduate engineering degrees. The EWB Challenge program has been embedded into the curriculum of over fifty universities in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

This paper reports on the change in one hundred and eighteen first year civil and environmental engineering student’s global preparedness attributable to their taking a one semester, first-year civil engineering design class in which the EWB Challenge is taught at Colorado State University. The change has been measured utilizing the validated Engineering Global Preparedness Index (EGPI) as a pre-test and posttest (with retrospective pretest to account for response shift bias). The EGPI instrument measures the students self-identified changes regarding engineering ethics, efficacy, global-centrism and community connectedness. Students responses have been compared through segmentation, to understand how gender, age, previous international travel, or involvement with student organizations such as the universities Engineers Without Borders USA student chapter affect student’s self-efficacy responses

Cook, A., & Hemmati, M., & Siller, T. J. (2017, August), The EWB Challenge – Preparing engineers to work globally through international development design projects Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida.

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