|Collaborations, Alliances & Partnerships|
Stevens Engineering & Science partners with the countries highlighted in red, orange and green through study abroad, online programs as well as educational and research partnersips. The national flags represent countries that host Stevens educational programs.
Collaborations, alliances and partnerships are empowering success at the Schaefer School of Engineering & Science. Our vision for the future is to bring our longstanding partnerships into higher levels of success while continuously cultivating new ones. Incentives and rewards are put in place to promote clustering of individual faculty, collaborations between departments, student teamwork and external alliances with industry, government and peer academic institutions. One of the most valuable outcomes is the sharpening of the relationship skills of our future leaders. Our success depends on them.
|Global Impact & International Engineering Experiences|
The engineering profession has seen dramatic changes in recent years, many driven by the effects of globalization. The more obvious examples include the outsourcing of information technology jobs, especially to Asia, and the off shoring of a broad swath of manufacturing activities that have traditionally represented major sources of employment for engineering graduates. Multi-national companies increasingly are expanding their design as well as research and development functions internationally to take advantage of lower cost; local integration with manufacturing facilities, markets and supply chains; and to leverage time zones to reduce design and development cycle times.
Multi-disciplinary International Teams
Concurrent with these changes, businesses have significantly restructured their organizational methods to emphasize flatter more agile structures with an emphasis on multi-disciplinary teams, often working internationally. As a result of these changes, the engineering graduate is emerging into a very different work world than a generation ago. It demands that they possess not only strong technical skills as a given, but also a range of other skills and attitudes. Stevens is well placed to respond to the challenge.
The broad-based Stevens engineering curriculum has a proven record since 1871 in preparing students to be successful beyond the confines of a narrow technical discipline. The curriculum has further evolved to respond to the increased workplace demands for stronger "soft" skills such as teaming, communications, problem solving, management, etc. In this regard, our unique Design Spine, a core design sequence running through all four years, has been a primary vehicle. In the Fall of 2005, we began implementing further modifications to the curriculum to address the globalization challenge. The Design Spine has been revised to further strengthen the development of multidisciplinary teamwork skills and also foster creativity. A new emphasis on systems thinking from the freshman year onward has been introduced to reflect the reality of the engineering enterprise as it has moved away from isolated disciplinary functions to a holistic integration that addresses the full life cycle for a product, process or service. The curriculum is also evolving to embrace the concepts embodied in the strategic direction of the Institute that has been labeled Technogenesis.
At the undergraduate level, this involves introducing elements that promote a more entrepreneurial mindset in all students, as well as providing them with more opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship. The initiative also encourages students to engage in faculty-mentored projects that have the potential to generate intellectual property and also support students developing their own entrepreneurial ideas. This new direction is seen as a key enabler to success in the new workplace paradigm.
In addressing the globalization challenge, international experience is highly desirable to develop cultural awareness and broaden perspective. The demands of engineering curricula tend to run counter to the facilitation of international experiences. It is usually a challenge to provide transfer credit that will enable a student to stay on track without overloading. That coupled with a lack of language skills and a predisposition against an international experience account for the very low participation of engineering undergraduates nationally. The recent changes to the core curriculum, now, provide for up to six credits that can be applied to international experiences that meet program educational outcomes in addition to traditional course transfer credits from study abroad. Thus, a student has a far stronger prospect of being able to complete a study abroad period without increasing time toward a degree. This change coupled with a strong new focus on international programs will go a long way to encourage Stevens’ students to participate in study and work abroad.
We have also been aggressively expanding our international agreements. New partnerships in the following cities will benefit undergraduates: Växjö, Sweden; London, England; Istanbul, Turkey; Buskerud, Norway; Beijing, China and Dublin, Ireland. These complement existing consortia arrangements in Limerick, Ireland; Madrid, Spain and Sydney, Australia, together with previous informal arrangements in Rome, Italy; Innsbruck, Austria; Tel Aviv, Israel and Monterrey, Mexico, among others.
Virtual International Design
An additional component of international experience being explored within the Design Spine is an initiative to engage students in international virtual design teams that emulate the real-world paradigm. This initiative can provide an enhanced experience for those students who have already interacted with their foreign design partners during study/work abroad. It can also engage other students, exposing them to the challenges of international teamwork and hopefully also encourage them to spend a broadening period overseas.
Master's, Certificate and Ph.D. Candidates
Professor & Associate Dean of Engineering & Science
Edwin A. Stevens Hall