Attributes of a Global Engineer

Published Date: 
Sun, 06/01/2014

For the past several years, the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Corporate Member Council’s (CMC) Special Interest Group (SIG) for International Engineering Education developed, presented, and vetted with its stakeholders a series of attributes representing the desired competencies and characteristics needed by engineers in order to effectively live, work, and perform in a global context.

In conjunction with the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES) and the Global Engineering Dean’s Council (GEDC), a global online survey was launched to validate the performance and proficiency levels of each attribute, including the stages at which attributes were essential to the preparation, performance, and employability of global engineers. Furthermore, a series of focus groups and workshops held at numerous venues around the world provided an opportunity for additional input, amplification, and refinement of the attributes.

Through input from CMC member organizations, an initial set of forty-eight competencies were identified. These were further refined to twenty specific attributes of a global engineer. The twenty have been further vetted through a series of survey and focus group research, and organized into a framework that encapsulates the attributes into five broad competence categories needed for global engineering effectiveness: Technical; Professional; Personal; Interpersonal; and Cross-cultural.

A principal goal of this project is to enhance the employability of engineering graduates and increase the international competitiveness of ASEE’s corporate members. The support that the CMC organizations have provided to this endeavor has contributed to the longevity and credibility of the corporate perspective of these attributes. While there exist numerous other initiatives to which the Attributes of a Global Engineer Project are linked, and from which the project sought inspiration and input, the perspective offered by the CMC provides a unique basis of distinction and differentiation from those other efforts.

The SIG members gratefully acknowledge the support of ASEE, the CMC, IFEES, the GEDC, and The Boeing Company, the latter of which provided philanthropic support in late-2012 to permit the continuation and expansion of project-related activities.

Stephen Huntley