SEFI Annual Conference edition:44 location:Tampere date:12-15 September 2016
The ability to live and work in a contemporary global community is an important requirement for engineering professionals. They need to have broad engineering skills and know-how, be flexible and mobile, and be able to live and work internationally. In a graduate-level course, jointly organized by The Pennsylvania State University (US) and KU Leuven (Belgium), cultural differences and the impact on business practices, communications, and team dynamics when solving engineering problems in global contexts is more broadly and deeply explored. The course takes the students on a journey from personal professional skills introspection and development towards intercultural and team competencies development. The course consists of synchronous videoconference lectures by faculty from both institutions and by guest speakers from the corporate and academic world, complemented by readings, case studies, individual assignments, group discussions and a major experiential learning project, in which the students tackle a concrete engineering problem in the global world in mixed teams across the ocean. A first edition of the course was offered in the Fall 2015 term, with a limited number of students (6 at both sides of the ocean). It was considered as a success by all actors. With the student feedback and the teachers’ own reflections, a new, improved version of the course is now under development.