Developing global engineers: a comparison between Chile, Scotland, and the United States

Patricia Munoz-Escalona, Luis Medina, Mervyn Marquez, Homero Murzi, Christopher Smith, Colin Miligan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Engineering-accredited programmes are reviewed every 4-5 years by professional bodies with the aim of assuring standards that guarantee that graduate engineers can fulfil the highest technical demands of the industry workforce in order to achieve a sustainable economy and society. The approaches to develop these require global engineering competences (GECs), such as international and intercultural teamwork, language skills, critical thinking, and ethical and human-centered problem solving, are proving insufficient to meet the emerging challenges that this century's society is facing. To develop these GECs, engineering programmes have been working on including physical and virtual mobility such as Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) together with other experiential learning interventions in order to provide the necessary requirements to become a global engineer. The aim of this practice paper is to compare and to discuss how three different universities, located in Chile, Scotland, and the United States have designed their engineering programmes to develop global engineers. This research provides preliminary results, based on an auto-ethnographic approach to analyse the curriculum design approaches and structures, that highlight opportunities for collaborative interdisciplinary experiences as well as more country- and institution-specific approaches (Engineers Without Borders) that support the development of these GECs. Analysis showed that the majority of the GECs are achieved by the three universities, however Virginia Tech is the only university that explicitly encourages and motivates other students through an assignment and cultural simulation activity. This research is part of a larger investigation that will analyse how engineering graduates perceive their development of GECs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 SEFI Annual Conference
EditorsGer Reilly, Mike Murphy, Balazs Vince Nagy, Hannu-Matti Jarvinen
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9782873520267
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2023
EventSEFI Annual Conference 2023: Engineering Education for Sustainability - TU Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 11 Sept 202314 Sept 2023

Publication series

NameSEFI 2023 - 51st Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education: Engineering Education for Sustainability, Proceedings


ConferenceSEFI Annual Conference 2023: Engineering Education for Sustainability
Abbreviated titleSEFI Conference 2023
Internet address


  • Global Engineering Competences
  • Comparative Higher Education
  • Engineering Skills
  • International Mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Education


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