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Managing Dilemmas Embodied in 21st Century Engineering

[+] Author Affiliations
Salman Ahmed, Minting Xiao, Janet K. Allen, Farrokh Mistree

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Jitesh H. Panchal

Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Paper No. DETC2012-71168, pp. 175-184; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 9th International Conference on Design Education; 24th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4506-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


In this session we describe in four parts the pedagogy and out-comes of a course Designing for Open Innovation designed to empower 21st century engineering students to develop competencies associated with innovating in an inter-connected technologically flat world:

1. Competencies for Innovating in the 21st Century, [1].

2. Developing Competencies In The 21st Century Engineer, [2].

3. Identifying Dilemmas Embodied in 21st Century Engineering, [3].

4. Managing Dilemmas Embodied in 21st Century Engineering - this paper.

In the first paper we describe the core characteristics of the engineering in an interconnected world and identify the key competencies and meta-competencies that 21st century engineers will need to innovate and negotiate solutions to issues associated with the realization of systems.

In the second paper, we describe our approach to fostering learning and the development of competencies by an individual in a group setting. We focus on empowering the students to learn how to learn as individuals in a geographically distanced, collaborative group setting.

We assert that two of the core competencies required for success in the dynamically changing workplace are the competencies to first identify and then to manage dilemmas. In the third paper, we illustrate how students have gone about identifying dilemmas and in the fourth paper how they have attempted to manage dilemmas. In papers three and four students have briefly described the challenges that they faced and their takeaways in the form of team learning and individual learning.

In this the last of four papers in this session, we focus on how students learned to manage dilemmas associated with the realization of complex, sustainable, socio-techno-eco systems, namely, energy policy design. The example involves the identification of a bridging fuel that balances environmental, economic and socio-cultural concerns. The principal outcome is clearly not the result attained but a student’s ability to learn how to learn as illustrated through the development of personal competencies in a collaborative learning framework and environment.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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