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Moulding Cutting-Edge Engineers for the Borderless Century: The Constructive Role of the Social Sciences

Halib, Mohammed and Ghazali, Zulkipli (2005) Moulding Cutting-Edge Engineers for the Borderless Century: The Constructive Role of the Social Sciences. Regional Conference on Engineering Education 2005 .

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Abstract

The rapid pace of technological advancement of the 21st century provides a challenging landscape for engineers. The role of the engineer has seen a significant shift from the more conventional practices towards added responsibilities necessitating new knowledge. Apart from possessing the technical competence, engineers of the 21st century are expected to acquire life-long learning capacity, critical thinking, communication and behavioral skills, business acumen, and solution synthesis ability. Such changes entail a fresh look into existing engineering curriculum to incorporate subjects from the social sciences. The paper discusses Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS efforts to produce well-rounded engineers through the design of a new curriculum to cater for the changing industry needs. The university’s academic programs and the associated education delivery methods are looked into. In order to gauge the university’s progress, a study was conducted to identify the impact of the academic programs on students’ behavioral competencies. The behavioural anchors employed in the study include ‘goal and action management abilities’, ‘people management abilities’, and ‘analytical reasoning abilities’. Among others results showed that “written communication” and “oral communication” were rated highly by both students and external assessors. Both self and external assessments agree on “quantitative analysis” behavior being low in students. The empirical data from the research is presented as a platform for future research directions.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Departments / MOR / COE:Departments > Management & Humanities
ID Code:1825
Deposited By: Dr Zulkipli Ghazali
Deposited On:28 Apr 2010 06:52
Last Modified:28 Apr 2010 06:52

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