Incorporating global and ethical issues in a freshman engineering design course through collaborative design projects

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Abstract

Global collaborative design is a common practice nowadays due to the international nature and business scope of many corporations. More and more, the new engineers are working in concurrent design teams geographically disperse around the world. They are designing products and systems which have a broader impact due to the free-trade agreements and globalization effects that are making the national boundaries disappear in the global market. Future engineers will be also challenged to find solutions to problems outside of their social, cultural and economical environment forcing them to make responsible decisions in different settings. Besides that, the rapid developments of new products and the shorter life cycle of them, driven by the fast pace of technology advances and the increasing competition in the market, arecreating new problems that are having a direct impact in the environment and ecosystems compromising the sustainability for future generations. The existing design solutions are satisfying immediate demands without considering future consequences. As a result, it is important to start educating students not only to be aware of the world with clear understanding of cross-cultural differences, but also with very high ethical standards and the ability to assess the local and global impact as well as the short and long term impact of their decisions during the design of products, systems and processes. This paper describes the approach used in a freshman Introduction to Engineering Design course to incorporate global and ethical issues through a collaborative design project carried out in collaboration with other students in Latin America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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