Panel: Engineering and development: Facilitating successful project work in diverse global contexts

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Over the last decade, a growing number of initiatives have emerged to provide engineering students, faculty, and professionals with opportunities to work on service-oriented projects in developing contexts. And while these courses and programs provide needed resources and services to communities in far-flung locations, they also pose unique challenges and difficulties. For example, projects of this type often require knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are not typically covered in traditional engineering courses nor possessed by many faculty. Additionally, there is growing recognition regarding the need to predict and evaluate the full range of impacts that student projects have on partner communities - both positive and negative. This panel engages these kinds of challenges by bringing together a group of individuals with extensive experience preparing engineering students for project work in developing contexts. In addition to representing programs at four institutions (Colorado School of Mines, Michigan Technological University, Purdue University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute), the presenters are involved with a host of related national and international initiatives. Each panelist will give an overview of their efforts, with particular emphasis on observed successes and failures, conceptual hurdles faced by students and professionals, pedagogical approaches employed, and most useful resources. The primary audience for this panel includes faculty, staff, and students who lead, support, and/or study global service learning. To enable a more engaging, interactive, and productive session, ample time will be provided to allow attendees to describe their own experiences, share resources, and pose questions. The primary intent of the panel is to help university students, faculty, and staff be more effective when undertaking engineering work in developing contexts. including by promoting scholarly community and collaboration, sharing resources, and seeding new research initiatives. © 2012 IEEE.

Publication Title

Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE