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Enhancing the career impact of design courses

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1 Author(s)
Bond, R.H. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., New Mexico Inst. of Min. & Technol., Socorro, NM, USA

Design courses are a multifaceted educational tool. The primary goal of these courses is to allow students to synthesize solutions to real, open ended engineering problems. However, these courses also provide a laboratory for the learning, development and practice of those nontechnical skills that turn good engineering graduates into outstanding new engineers. Many years of experience as a practicing engineer, engineering manager and recruiter of engineering graduates has shown the author that the “great” new engineer is the student who has learned the required technical material plus basic interpersonal skills, the dynamics of teams, conflict resolution, project definition, communication and meeting skills that would normally be thought of as management/leadership skills. Design courses are an ideal place to introduce these leadership concepts, and to practice and demonstrate their importance. These skills are important for many reasons. Most engineering projects are carried out by groups of people, and most engineers will not only participate in these groups, but will from time to time be chosen to lead the group's activities. Beyond that, many graduates will become formal managers at all levels in all types of organizations

Published in:

Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 4 )