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Work in Progress: Teamwork Skills Development in ChemE Car

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Chemical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Declan Thomas Mahaffey-Dowd University of California, Berkeley Orcid 16x16

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I am a B.S. student at UC Berkeley studying Chemical Engineering interested in improving professional skills development in undergraduate engineering co-curriculars.

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Shannon Ciston Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Shannon Ciston is the User Program Director for the Molecular Foundry, a Nanoscale Science Research Center, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Ciston has formerly been a Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Education in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and as Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at the University of New Haven. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in technical communications, applied pedagogy, engineering laboratory, engineering design, and other engineering fundamentals. Dr. Ciston holds degrees in chemical engineering from Northwestern University (PhD) and Illinois Institute of Technology (BS).

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Negar Beheshti Pour University of California, Berkeley Orcid 16x16

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Teamwork is widely recognized as an important skill for engineers in the professional workplace. ABET includes teamwork skill development in their accreditation criteria, and recent alumni report that teamwork is among the most important skills in their professional lives (1,2). However, the typical undergraduate classroom consists of a lecture format, which does not help foster teamwork skill development (3). An alternate space in which teamwork skills can be fostered is in undergraduate technical clubs, such as those that compete in the AIChE annual ChemE Car regional competitions. The present research study attempts to assess the development of teamwork as a professional skill in a ChemE Car club at a large public university through observations of team laboratory time and interviews of team members. We chose the Katzenbach and Smith teamwork framework, and the related teamwork performance framework developed by Davis and Ulseth (2013), to evaluate ChemE Car teamwork based on the professional context of the Katzenbach and Smith model (4,5). We contextualized this model with details salient to the specific ChemE car teamwork context, to develop an observation rubric and interview script for data collection in this study. The results of this study will be used to develop methods for ChemE Car project managers to optimize their laboratory time to develop general members’ teamwork skills. Literature Cited 1. Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. (2015). Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs. Retrieved from

2. Passow, H. J. Which ABET Competencies Do Engineering Graduates Find Most Important in Their Work? Journal of Engineering Education 2012, 101 (1), 95–118.

3. Smith, K. A. Cooperative Learning: Making “Groupwork” Work. New Directions for Teaching and Learning 1996, 1996 (67), 71–82.

4. Katzenbach, J. R.; Smith, D. K. Harvard Business Review. 1993.

5. Davis, D.C. & Ulseth, R.R.. (2013). Building student capacity for high performance teamwork. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings.

Mahaffey-Dowd, D. T., & Ciston, S., & Beheshti Pour, N. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Teamwork Skills Development in ChemE Car Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38200

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