June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1443.1 - 12.1443.7
The INTEnD Education Program A New Model for Multidisciplinary, Dispersed Education Introduction
Since 1998, engineering, cultural anthropology and telecommunications faculty at Michigan State University and several other universities around the world have collaborated to develop a multidisciplinary engineering design program for the purpose of studying and practicing how internationally-dispersed engineering product design teams may function more effectively1,2.
The INTEnD (International Networked Teams for Engineering Design) program has studied and taught students of several collaborating disciplines in universities around the world about the critical barriers that leadership, power, trust, language, time, cultural, communication and educational differences pose to dispersed teams in addition to the many technical issues the engineering design process normally poses on a design team3,4.
Globalization and the Engineer of 2020
In 2003, the National Academy of Engineering published the report “The Engineer of 2020; Visions of Engineering in the New Century”5. It defines the concept of requirements for engineers beyond basic fundamentals; beyond current, traditional courses. That is, the need to evolve traditional classroom courses into dispersed virtual learning experiences.
Much of the motivation for writing such a report hinges on globalization. Without the current status of globalization, the report would not have been written. The process of globalization has created an environment where we must do more for engineering education to influence the US economy such that the United States is able to retain its leadership position.
Globalization will drive more uniformity in the educational systems between that of the United States and those around the world. We will require additional knowledge to remain globally competitive and maintain that global leadership.
Globalization also levels the playing field for competitiveness. For both industry and education, it redefines societal, geopolitical, and technical contexts of how engineers function. Thus, globalization drives the necessity for revolution of our educational system. This applies not only to engineering, but to all fields of professional study.
Capabilities of 21st Century Professionals
As defined in the “Engineer of 2020” report, engineers must not only possess strong analytic skills, but must also have the ability to communicate effectively. For engineers to be successful, that communication must span diverse cultures, languages, and disciplines. The new professionals we are educating and will educate must also be the drivers of innovation. This differs greatly from the old business processes we are used to and are comfortable employing.
Hinds, T., & Lloyd, J. (2007, June), The Intend Education Program: A New Model For Multidisciplinary, Dispersed Education Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2675
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