Engineering in a global context is the primary expansion of the engineering consulting industry now and for the forseeable future. Engineering consulting firms have been expanding their international portfolios for over a decade. Today, the largest engineering firms earn over 50% of their income from internationl projects. There are urgent global problems (both short and long term) that can and should be addressed by engineers with global training.
Research endeavors require global engineers to be able to collaborate with and lead international, multicultural teams. Engineering design and production are likewise impacted by the reality that sales and markets are global. Engineers working in global sales need to be versed in local and global customs.
Many of our engineering students fully appreciate these new global conditions in the profession and seek opportunities to gain international experience despite the constraints of their highly-structured and demanding majors. They also report a desire to broaden their knowledge by experiencing international culture, mastery of a second language, and IT-driven international communication and collaboration.
The College of Engineering’s First-Year and Graduating Senior surveys indicate that students are highly motivated to focus on global engineering as a growth field and as an area of crucial personal development. Students who intend to or already participate in Engineers Without Borders and the International Engineering Certificate welcome the opportunity to speak their target foreign language within a community of students with shared interests, both as incoming freshmen and as returning upper-division students.
It can be difficult to schedule and adequately prepare for a study abroad experience within the constraints of the engineering curricula. The Global Engineering RAP provides students with the opportunity to practice, consolidate, and improve their foreign language communication skills in a supportive, immersive environment with resident native speakers. It complements many students’ choice to fulfill their humanities and social sciences requirements through foreign language coursework.
Having grown up in Spain, Diane Sieber is fluent in Spanish and French, the first two target languages of the Global Engineering RAP, and has extensive international experience. She was formerly a tenured associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Diane has received a number of major teaching awards: she is a Presidents Teaching Scholar, a Carnegie Fellow, and has been awarded the BFA Teaching Excellence Award, the SOAR Teaching Excellence Award, the GTP Best Should Teach award and 16 other awards and citations for teaching excellence.
Dr. Sieber was the co-director of the campus ATLAS Institute (The Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society) for many years; in that capacity, she has taught interactive design and media production, computer programming, as well as the social implications and impacts of new and emerging information communications technologies.
RAP retreat at Glen Eyrie
All students in the RAP come together to participate in this interactive seminar–taught by Faculty Director Diane Sieber–on Information Technology and Global Communications. This 3-credit course fulfills 3 credit hours of the College of Engineering Humanities and Social Sciences requirement. The course will take place in both English and other languages, adjusted to the needs of class members. In this course, we will consider what it means to be engineers and active citizens in a networked digital age. We will examine how your digital devices work, and how they affect how you interact with others. We will look at digital rights management, government regulation of IT and the legal and personal implications of being public on the web, and we will consider the concept of privacy as a recent societal value. We will examine the big thematic thread of the search for authentic information, whether in digital imagery, viral video, or sound formats. The largest portion of the semester will be dedicated to the examination of IT’s modification of our social behavior, and of our means of gathering, interacting with, producing, displaying and using information. We will consider who we are and who we become in social networks, online games, virtual worlds and global collaborative networks. Most fundamentally, we will explore the question of what it means to be human in a rapidly-changing world. You will also get hands-on experience using the basic global collaboration tools used in engineering firms, learn to “read” the cultural cues of colleagues in other countries, and develop your own professional telecommunications presence and style. Finally, you will examine your online presence, clean up anything you find that does not reflect who you think you are, and develop the public professional identity that you wish to project as an engineer.
Peru Program in the CU chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA
Global Engineering Minor