Asee peer logo

Virtual Engineering Design Teams

Download Paper |


2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Frontiers in Engineering Management Education

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1348.1 - 14.1348.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

David Wyrick Texas Tech

author page

Adji Cisse Texas Tech

Download Paper |

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

Virtual Engineering Design Teams

Abstract Globalization has moved to the forefront in industry today; more and more companies have to face a global work environment. As a result, global teams with members scattered across the globe have progressively emerged. At the same time, a revolution, coined as the “v-revolution,” is slowly creeping into business proceedings. The v-revolution describes the emerging growth in the use of virtual worlds. Virtual worlds, such as Second Life®, are gradually evolving as common business practices. Some companies, such as IBM, currently use the medium to conduct meetings and others, such as Nissan, are using its 3D design capabilities to build prototypes. These two emerging tendencies are being integrated to create what is known as the virtual engineering design team. These are global teams consisting of several engineers geographically distant, aiming at a common design.

In light of these progressive changes in industry, notable in engineering as well, it becomes apparent that a new generation of engineers will be needed; a generation of virtually apt engineers. This paper will present a thorough literature review of the characteristics and specifics of such teams; particularly it will look at the problems and advantages portrayed in the available literature. As a result of our findings, improvements, adaptations, and possible new directions in the education of the future engineers will be suggested.

Introduction Virtual engineering teams may become dominant in a future where globalization and competitiveness will require faster and more international team settings. As the environment requires more cost containment, organizations are transforming into virtual organizations. Even engineering organizations are following the trend and developing virtual engineering design teams, also known as e-engineering teams, which have the capability to have a distant panel of experts who not only improve the design process, but also deliver a more cost competitive product. Virtual teams are also able to provide flexibility in product design which has become more and more crucial to companies as they seek to meet the needs of their widespread and diverse markets Furthermore, even if business itself does not push the transition into virtuality, this will be brought forward by the upcoming workforce. In fact, virtuality already is the common practice of the uprising workforce. This uprising workforce which is none other than the Y generation is mainly characterized by its technology affinity, with their use of social networks, instant messaging, blogging, virtual worlds immersion etc. In fact, as the Y generation, also known as the “digital natives,” is progressively entering the workforce; the “virtual world” will progress into reality as well.

As we advance further into the digital age, virtual engineering teams may become the norm for engineering teams; a key imperative for modern business proceedings. As a result, more research as to be undertaken in order to understand the dynamics of these teams along with the other key characteristics.

Wyrick, D., & Cisse, A. (2009, June), Virtual Engineering Design Teams Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5494

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015