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Work Design For Engineering Education In A Flat World: A Global, Virtual, Collaborative Model

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Focus on Emerging Topics Around the World

Tagged Division

Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1408.1 - 13.1408.16



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Paper Authors


Arunkumar Pennathur University of Texas-El Paso

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Arunkumar Pennthur is Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at UTEP. He teaches work design, senior design and human factors engineering. His research interests are in virtual collaboration and problem representation in engineering education.

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Louis Everett University of Texas-El Paso

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Louis Everett is Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering at University of Texas at El Paso. He teaches Dynamics and Controls. His research interests are in metacognition in engineering education.

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Tzu-Liang Tseng

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Bill Tseng is Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at UTEP. His research interests are in internet-based manufacturing and virtual data mining.

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Noe Vargas Hernandez

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Noe Vargas-Hernandez is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UTEP. His research interests are in design ideation and modeling the design process.

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Samuel Riccillo University of Texas at El Paso

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Samuel Riccillo is Associate Professor of Communication at UTEP. His research interests are in modeling and measuring brain activity for engineering problem solving, and modeling virtual communication.

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

Work Design for Engineering Education in a Flat World: A Global, Virtual Collaborative Model Introduction

Every society in the world is confronted with real world problems that need engineering input and solutions. Some of these problems are shared by the global community, while others are local problems. Two major members of the engineering community that respond to these engineering challenges in the world are industry and academia. Industry responds to these challenges by helping create and realize the “technological and engineering solutions.” Academia helps solve these problems with scientific research, and by training future generations of engineers with both research (at the graduate level predominantly) and engineering skills (at the undergraduate level to work in industry).

This cycle of research and technology development for solving engineering problems in the world, and solving and sharing of successful solutions for engineering problems, is limited, however, by two important factors:

1. geography and distances;

2. limited engineering skills/expertise in local communities.

Given these limitations, this paper proposes a cyber-infrastructure framework among global engineering communities for engineering education, training, learning and problem-solving, and for sharing successful engineering solutions among world communities.

The framework in this paper is based on the following principles:

1. to generate the best engineering solutions for engineering problems in the world community, one local community may not have all the skills and expertise needed to solve the problem, but may still have a core competency needed to solve the problem;

2. to solve the problem, partners with core competencies from the global engineering community (industry and academia) join together in a virtual manner to solve the problem, and document the solution; and

3. based on a service learning paradigm, the infrastructure can use engineering education and training of students as the medium for generating solutions to engineering problems in the community.

Background and Literature Review

Our research framework in the paper is driven by prior research findings in creating virtual organizations. We briefly review prior research in virtual organizations in the following paragraphs.

Pennathur, A., & Everett, L., & Tseng, T., & Vargas Hernandez, N., & Riccillo, S. (2008, June), Work Design For Engineering Education In A Flat World: A Global, Virtual, Collaborative Model Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3267

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