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Engineering workshop addresses opportunities and challenges associated with educating global engineers

Engineering workshop photo

What is a global engineer and how can engineering education prepare students for international careers and challenges that transcend borders? These were among the questions tackled by a group of engineers from around the globe brought together by the workshop “International Differences in Engineering Education” that took place August 16-18 on Cornell’s campus.

Hosted by Daniel Selva, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and International Faculty Fellow of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, in partnership with the Cornell Institute for European Studies through a Luigi Einaudi Chair Innovation Group, the workshop featured engineer-educators from Cornell as well as countries including France, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, China, and Australia.  

During the workshop the participants were broken up into groups and asked to analyze and discuss a range of issues including the importance of cultural differences across borders, defining what a global engineer is and does, and how engineer-educators can approach internationalization so as to help students achieve the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in an increasing global environment for engineers.

In addition to their work in breakout sessions, workshop participants engaged with faculty, administrative, and student presenters from Cornell.

The workshop’s first keynote address was given by David Lee, International Professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and Provost’s Fellow in the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs. Professor Lee spoke on the topic of “Internationalizing Higher Education: Why, What, and How?” and was introduced by Vice Provost for International Affairs, Laura Spitz, who welcomed visitors to Cornell.

The second keynote address was delivered over dinner by Dean of College of Engineering, Lance Collins, who addressed workshop participants on “Architecting a university to train the next generation of global engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs.”

Beyond the keynote addresses, student presenters engaged with workshop participants regarding the benefits of hands-on learning experiences they had taken part in while at Cornell. Sophia Yan, who is currently a Master’s in Engineering candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering, discussed her research internship in a nanosatellite lab at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Hadar Sachs, who will complete her B.S. in Urban  and Regional Studies this spring, described her experience as an intern in Central Java, Indonesia, where she worked as an intern at Koto Kita, an NGO focused on issues of inclusive urban planning and governance.

Moving forward, Professor Selva’s next step in this project is to review the ideas produced by the various breakout groups and summarize their primary findings. For more information about the workshop, engineering internships in Europe, or CIES’ Faculty Innovation Grants program, please contact CIES Associate Director, Jason Hecht (jdh293@cornell.edu).   

What is a global engineer and how can engineering education prepare students for international careers and challenges that transcend borders? These were among the questions tackled by a group of engineers from around the globe brought together by the workshop “International Differences in Engineering Education” that took place August 16-18 on Cornell’s campus.

Hosted by Daniel Selva, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and International Faculty Fellow of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, in partnership with the Cornell Institute for European Studies through a Luigi Einaudi Chair Innovation Group, the workshop featured engineer-educators from Cornell as well as countries including France, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, China, and Australia.  

During the workshop the participants were broken up into groups and asked to analyze and discuss a range of issues including the importance of cultural differences across borders, defining what a global engineer is and does, and how engineer-educators can approach internationalization so as to help students achieve the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in an increasing global environment for engineers.

In addition to their work in breakout sessions, workshop participants engaged with faculty, administrative, and student presenters from Cornell.

The workshop’s first keynote address was given by David Lee, International Professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and Provost’s Fellow in the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs. Professor Lee spoke on the topic of “Internationalizing Higher Education: Why, What, and How?” and was introduced by Vice Provost for International Affairs, Laura Spitz, who welcomed visitors to Cornell.

The second keynote address was delivered over dinner by Dean of College of Engineering, Lance Collins, who addressed workshop participants on “Architecting a university to train the next generation of global engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs.”

Beyond the keynote addresses, student presenters engaged with workshop participants regarding the benefits of hands-on learning experiences they had taken part in while at Cornell. Sophia Yan, who is currently a Master’s in Engineering candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering, discussed her research internship in a nanosatellite lab at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Hadar Sachs, who will complete her B.S. in Urban  and Regional Studies this spring, described her experience as an intern in Central Java, Indonesia, where she worked as an intern at Koto Kita, an NGO focused on issues of inclusive urban planning and governance.

Moving forward, Professor Selva’s next step in this project is to review the ideas produced by the various breakout groups and summarize their primary findings. For more information about the workshop, engineering internships in Europe, or CIES’ Faculty Innovation Grants program, please contact CIES Associate Director, Jason Hecht (jdh293@cornell.edu).