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The Global Classmates Concept – Engineering Student Experience In A Global Team

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Curriculum: Ideas/Concepts in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1290.1 - 10.1290.7



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Paper Authors

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Michael Sanders

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Sanju Patro

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Global Classmates Concept – Engineering Student Experience in a Global Team

Dr. Michael Sanders and Dr. Sanju Patro Kettering University IMEB Department 1700 W. Third Ave. Flint, MI 48504 Email: /

Abstract Changes in technology and tightening global linkages are creating new challenges for the engineering profession today. The environment in which the future engineer will work will be shaped by these changes. Globalization, especially in the manufacturing industry, has already begun to change the way engineers work. In the automotive industry, these challenges have been most severe in the areas of supply chain integration, organizational culture shift, and communication. More and more newly hired engineers in the automotive/manufacturing industry are required to work in global team projects. In addition to the basics of engineering, the engineer of the future will need to have a thorough understanding of the extended network of entities that form the supply chain, need to be adept in dealing with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, and will need to stay abreast of the latest collaborative technology available. In this paper, we present a model for teaching engineering courses through which students experience working in a true global team. As a pilot practice, this model is offered to be used in sophomore or higher level courses and is structured to contain four universities’ participation. The students’ work is evaluated by the respective professors from each university and both the students’ and professors’ experiences on working with this model are designed to be captured through an ‘end project survey’ form.

Introduction Traditional Industrial Engineering (IE) courses may be taught in a student team project format, however, coupling IE courses with global manufacturing processes and requiring team projects through which IE students truly learn about global functional teams is not a usual practice in the classroom. Following the University Synergy Program international conference and the Cordys Grant [1], the “Global Classmates” initiative was recently introduced at Kettering University. Four different universities from around the globe have pledged to participate in this pilot initiative to educate the next generation of engineering students in a global setting. A global team of students in Industrial Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Manufacturing Process Engineering, with different functional roles in a virtual organization, will work in a live meeting environment to solve a real-life engineering problem.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Sanders, M., & Patro, S. (2005, June), The Global Classmates Concept – Engineering Student Experience In A Global Team Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14572

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