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  1. We are focusing on three interconnected issues that negatively impact engineering disciplinary cultures: (1) diversity and inclusion issues that continue to plague engineering programs; (2) lack of adequate preparation for professional practices; (3) and exclusionary engineering disciplinary cultures that privilege technical knowledge over other forms of knowledge [1]. Although much effort has been devoted to these issues, traditional strategic and problem-solving orientations have not resulted in deep cultural transformations in many engineering programs. We posit that these three issues that are wicked problems. Wicked problems are ambiguous, interrelated and require complex problem-scoping and solutions that are not amenable with traditional and linear strategic planning and problem-solving orientations [2]. As design thinking provides an approach to solve complex problems that occur in organizational cultures [3], we argue that these wicked problems of engineering education cultures might be best understood and resolved through design thinking. As Elsbach and Stigliani contend, “the effective use of design thinking tools in organizations had a profound effect on organizational culture” [3, p. 2279]. However, not all organizational cultures support design thinking approaches well. Despite increasing calls to teach design as a central part of professional formation (e.g., ABET, National Academy of Engineers, etc.), many engineering programs, especially larger, legacy programs have not embraced fundamental design thinking [4-5] strategies or values [6-7]. According to Godfrey and Parker, many engineering cultures are characterized by linear epistemologies, “black and white” approaches to problem solving, and strategic “top down” ways of designing [8]. In contrast, design thinking approaches are characterized by ways of thinking and designing that prioritize prototyping, multiple stakeholder perspectives, and iterative problem-solving to address complex problems. In this paper, we examine the effectiveness of design thinking as a tool to address wicked problems in engineering education cultures, and the role of engineering culture itself in shaping the application and effectiveness of design thinking. More specially, we evaluate the role of design thinking in seeking cultural transformation at a School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Purdue University. We analyze interviews of members of the School after they participated in six design thinking sessions. Our previous research explored the effect of design thinking sessions on participant understanding of diversity and inclusion in biomedical engineering [9]. Herein, we explore participant experiences of design thinking sessions toward cultural change efforts regarding diversity and inclusion (D&I) within professional formation in ECE. We identified three tensions (push/pull dynamics of contradictions) that emerged from the participants’ experiences in the design sessions [10]. We conclude by discussing our emerging insights into the effectiveness of design thinking toward cultural change efforts in engineering. 
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  2. The low numbers of women and underrepresented minorities in engineering has often been characterized as a ‘pipeline problem,’ wherein few members of these groups choose engineering majors or ‘leak out’ of the engineering education pipeline before graduating [1]. Within this view, the difficulty of diversifying the engineering workforce can be addressed by stocking the pipeline with more diverse applicants. However, the assumption that adding more underrepresented applicants will solve the complex and persistent issues of diversity and inclusion within engineering has been challenged by recent research. Studies of engineering culture highlight how the persistence of women and minorities is linked to norms and assumptions of engineering cultures (e.g., [2], [3]). For example, some engineering cultures have been characterized as masculine, leading women to feel that they must become ‘one of the guys’ to fit in and be successful (e.g., [4]). In the U.S., engineering cultures are also predominantly white, which can make people of color feel unwelcome or isolated [5]. When individuals feel unwelcome in engineering cultures, they are likely to leave. Thus, engineering culture plays an important role in shaping who participates and successfully persists in engineering education and practice. Likewise, disciplinary cultures in engineering education also carry assumptions about what resources students should possess and utilize throughout their professional development. For example, educational cultures may assume students possess certain forms of ‘academic capital,’ such as rigorous training in STEM subjects prior to college. They might also assume students possess ‘navigational capital,’ or the ability to locate and access resources in the university system. However, these cultural assumptions have implications for the diversity and inclusivity of educational environments, as they shape what kinds of students are likely to succeed. For instance, first generation college (FGC) students may not possess the same navigational capital as continuing generation students [5]. Under-represented minority (URM) students often receive less pre-college training in STEM than their white counterparts [6]. However, FGC and URM students possess many forms of capital that often are unrecognized by education systems, for example, linguistic capital, or the ability to speak in multiple languages and styles) [7], [8]. Educational cultures that assume everyone possesses the same kinds of capital (i.e. that of white, American, high SES, and continuing generation students) construct barriers for students from diverse backgrounds. Thus, we propose that examining culture is essential for understanding the underlying assumptions and beliefs that give rise to the challenging issues surrounding the lack of diversity and inclusion in engineering. This case study examines the culture of a biomedical engineering (BME) program at a large Midwestern university and identifies underlying assumptions regarding what sources of cultural and social capital undergraduate students need to be successful. By tracing when and how students draw upon these forms of capital during their professional development, we examine the implications for students from diverse backgrounds, particularly FGC and URM students. 
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