Stepping outside the box: Education of global engineers

Samuel P. Clemence, Sharon W. Alestalo, Shobha K Bhatia, Eric M Lui, Ossama Salem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Learning to work effectively within the global context of today's world requires both technical and intercultural competency beyond what is gained in a traditional course of study. Global engineers should possess cultural sensitivity and knowledge, as well as the interpersonal skills, to adapt within a variety of cultural contexts and with people that differ from their own experiences. A positive attribute of this intercultural literacy is that designs and solutions are no longer bound within the technical domain, but should be reflective of the engineer's cultural understanding and interpersonal competence. Working closely with the Dubai Contracting Company (DCC) and in collaboration with the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Syracuse University, the authors have successfully designed and implemented an innovative program to provide students with distinctive skill sets to enhance their capacity as global civil engineers in real and practical ways through university-industry partnerships and networks. The result is a unique program that engages American and Middle Eastern civil engineering students to work together in a summer internship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Dubai Contracting Company (DCC). Through a combination of learning and discussion sessions at corporate headquarters, hands-on experience on actual project sites, and visits to architectural/engineering firms and fabrication/machine shops, students learn the detailed workings of the contracting and construction industry in Dubai and the region. During this time, American and Middle Eastern students also work collaboratively on team projects. By working, learning and living side-by-side with professionals and students from other countries and disciplines, lessons learned in the preinternship seminars focusing on the history, geography, culture, political systems, traditions, languages and customs of the Middle East are reinforced. Thus, the program commendably inculcates the skills and behaviors essential to global competency. Program evaluations show that students are positively influenced by each component; the experience-based learning with an industry partner and the cultural awareness seminars. In addition, the combination of both components unequivocally creates substantial growth in students, especially the myriad of professional skills that go beyond technical expertise and are deemed so critical to professional success in a global world. This paper will discuss the program design, implementation, evaluation results and implications for engineering education and study abroad programs.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
ISBN (Print)9780878232413
StatePublished - 2012
Event119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2012Jun 13 2012

Other

Other119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period6/10/126/13/12

Fingerprint

Education
Students
Engineers
Technical presentations
Civil engineering
Industry
Machine shops
Environmental engineering
Engineering education
Construction industry
Fabrication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Clemence, S. P., Alestalo, S. W., Bhatia, S. K., Lui, E. M., & Salem, O. (2012). Stepping outside the box: Education of global engineers. In 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition American Society for Engineering Education.

Stepping outside the box : Education of global engineers. / Clemence, Samuel P.; Alestalo, Sharon W.; Bhatia, Shobha K; Lui, Eric M; Salem, Ossama.

119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education, 2012.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Clemence, SP, Alestalo, SW, Bhatia, SK, Lui, EM & Salem, O 2012, Stepping outside the box: Education of global engineers. in 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education, 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio, TX, United States, 6/10/12.
Clemence SP, Alestalo SW, Bhatia SK, Lui EM, Salem O. Stepping outside the box: Education of global engineers. In 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education. 2012
Clemence, Samuel P. ; Alestalo, Sharon W. ; Bhatia, Shobha K ; Lui, Eric M ; Salem, Ossama. / Stepping outside the box : Education of global engineers. 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition. American Society for Engineering Education, 2012.
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