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Global Engineering Competency: Definitions, Development, and Situational Assessment - Seminar

Event Date: September 15, 2011
Speaker: Dr. Brent Jesiek
Speaker Affiliation: School of Engineering Education, Purdue University
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Forney Hall, G124
Contact Name: Dr. Demetra Evangelou
Contact Phone: 494-4158
Contact Email:

Amidst workforce diversification trends, the increasingly international character of industry and higher education, and rising concerns about national competitiveness and global "grand challenges," global competency is widely recognized as an imperative for a new generation of engineers who must be ready to work in a diverse, interconnected, and rapidly changing world. Yet paradoxically, there remains a lack of clear consensus about what counts as global competency for engineers, much less how it might best be developed and assessed. To demonstrate how these gaps are being addressed, this seminar reviews current research and practice in the field of global engineering education, including through a series of interactive exercises.

The presentation begins with definitional questions, leading to introduction of a new conceptual framework for global engineering competency that is based on a review of prior literature and other ongoing research. The second part of the seminar offers two specific toolkits—Engineering Cultures and Problem Definition and Solution—that can help engineering students and professionals practice more effectively in diverse, multi-national environments. The presentation concludes with summary of current assessment challenges and opportunities, including preliminary results from new situational assessment techniques being developed and piloted by the presenter¹s research group.


Brent K. Jesiek is Assistant Professor in the Schools of Engineering Education and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He is also an Associate Director of Purdue's Global Engineering Program, and leads the Global Engineering Education Collaboratory (GEEC) research group.

He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech.

Much of his current research involves social, cultural, historical, and epistemological studies of global engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and engineering education research.