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Title: Holistic Engineering: A Concept Exploration in a Cross- Disciplinary Project Course Experience
Holistic engineering is an approach to the engineering profession, rather than an engineering discipline such as civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering. It is inspired by the realization that traditional engineering does not adequately harness professional skills in its problem-solving repertoire. Holistic engineering asks engineers to look outward, beyond the fields of math and science, in search of solutions to entire problems. While engineering graduates are well prepared in the technical aspects of the engineering profession, they lack non-technical professional skills (e.g., strategic communication, social science perspective of engineering problems, and others) that can help them think through diverse social aspects posed by current complex engineering grand challenges. In this paper, we review the concept and origins of holistic engineering and we present an application of this concept in a Holistic Engineering Project Course (HEPC) developed as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. HEPC is developed in such a way that engineering students work with social science students on a complex and open-ended engineering grand challenge problem. We hypothesize that such collaborations can significantly improve the professional formation of well-rounded, and effective engineers. The paper also draws lessons learned from the first offering of the course, titled Technology Innovations: Engineering, Economics, more » and Public Relations, which was offered in the spring semester of 2020 in the Wadsworth Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in coordination with the John Chambers Department of Economics and the Reed College of Media in West Virginia University. « less
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2020 ASEE North Central Section Conference
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National Science Foundation
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