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  1. Improving team interactions in engineering to model gender inclusivity has been at the forefront of many initiatives in both academia and industry. However, there has been limited evidence on the impact of gender-diverse teams on psychological safety. This is important because psychological safety has been shown to be a key facet for the development of innovative ideas, and has also been shown to be a cornerstone of effective teamwork. But how does the gender diversity of a team impact the development of psychological safety? The current study was developed to explore just this through an empirical study with 38 engineering design student teams over the course of an 8-week design project. These teams were designed to be half heterogeneous (either half-male and half-female, or majority male) or other half homogeneous (all male). We captured psychological safety at five time points between the homogenous and heterogenous teams and also explored individual dichotomous (peer-review) ratings of psychological safety at the end of the project. Results indicated that there was no difference in psychological safety between gender homogenous and heterogenous teams. However, females perceived themselves as more psychologically safe with other female team members compared to their ratings of male team members. Femalesmore »also perceived themselves to be less psychologically safe with male team members compared to male ratings of female team members, indicating a discrepancy in perceptions between genders. These results point to the need to further explore the role of minoritized groups in psychological safety research and to explore how this effect presents itself (or is covered up) at the team level.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  2. Psychological safety and turn-taking have both been listed as key factors needed for collaboration in teams to emerge. Specifically, prior work has shown that increased communication in teams can lead to high psychological safety. Prior work on turn-taking as a measure of communication has mostly focused on its inclusivity in a team rather than its frequency. While the gender composition of the team can impact both participation as well as team psychological safety, there is a lack of research at the individual level. As such, this study provides the first attempt at connecting turn-taking, gender, and psychological safety through the analysis of members of fifteen engineering design student teams during the concept generation stage of their project. Specifically, we gathered video data to study how the number of turns and self- turns in a team impact psychological safety at both the individual and the team levels. We also examined how gender impacts participation and individual perceptions of psychological safety. The results found that turns and self-turns have a significant positive impact on an individual’s perception of the team’s psychological safety. However, no such relationship was found at the team level, indicating that there may be additional underlying factors in teammore »level psychological safety. While we found that gender did not impact individual turn-taking, it did affect an individual’s perception of their psychological safety. These results provide quantitative evidence of the role of team communication on psychological safety.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  3. There is growing evidence on the importance of psychological safety, or how comfortable participants feel in sharing their opinions and ideas in a team, in engineering team performance. However, how to support it in engineering student teams has yet to be explored. The goal of this study was to investigate whether a video intervention with assigned roles could foster psychological safety in student engineering teams. In addition, we sought to explore the impact of the frequency of the videos and the utility of the roles on the self-efficacy of students and the perceived psychological safety of the team. Specifically, this study introduces video interventions and the four lenses of psychological safety (Turn-Taking Equalizer, Point of View Shifter, Affirmation Advocate, and Creativity Promoter), and seeks to determine their effectiveness at increasing psychological safety self-efficacy and individual levels of psychological safety. A pilot study was completed with 54 participants (36 males, 17 females, 1 non-binary/third gender) enrolled in a cornerstone engineering design course. Over 10 weeks, data was collected at 5 time points. The results present four key findings. Most notably, 1) a video educating all students about psychological safety in general was effective in improving psychological safety self-efficacy and students retainedmore »this information to the end of the project;2) intervention groups taught to use the four lenses did not have a statistically significant higher level of psychological safety than non- intervention groups; and 3) intervention groups perceived the use of the lenses to increase psychological safety. These results provide a baseline understanding that is needed to support psychological safety including: when to intervene, how to intervene, and how frequently to intervene.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  4. Research on psychological safety has been growing in recent years due to its role in promoting creativity and innovation, among other items. This is because teams with high levels of psychological safety feel safe to express ideas and opinions. While we are becoming more aware of the importance of psychological safety in teaming, there is limited evidence in how to facilitate or build it within teams, particularly in an educational context. This paper was developed to respond to this research void by identifying the impact of teaming interventions aimed at improving psychological safety in engineering design student teams. Specifically, we studied two cohorts of students in a cornerstone design class (N = 414 students), one who received a series of video interventions and introduced role playing (intervention) and one who did not (control). These role assignments — referred to as the Lenses of Psychologically Safety - were created to promote key leadership attributes that have been shown to be crucial in facilitating psychologically safe teams. To compare the utility of the intervention, Psychological Safety was gathered at 5 key time points of a multi-week design project. The results identified three key findings. First, the interventions were successful in increasing psychologicalmore »safety in engineering teams. In addition, the results indicated the utility of the Lenses of Psychological Safety throughout the design process. Finally, the results identified that groups who used these lenses had higher perceptions of Psychological Safety in their teams. Overall, these results indicated that psychological safety can be improved in engineering education through the intervention methods described within.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  5. This paper investigates team psychological safety (N=34 teams) in a synchronous online engineering design class spanning 4 weeks. While work in this field has suggested that psychological safety in virtual teams can facilitate knowledge-sharing, trust among teams, and overall performance, there have been limited investigations of the longitudinal trajectory of psychological safety, when the construct stabilizes in a virtual environment, and what factors impact the building of psychological safety in virtual teams. The results of this study identified that the construct of psychological safety took more time to become a reliable construct in virtual design teams, but once it stabilized, it did not change. Additionally, qualitative findings point to issues with communication and conflict across various stages of the design process in the development of psychological safety. Finally, we identify potential interventions to enhance team mental model development in the early phases of virtual teaming to support team psychological safety.
  6. Friction surfacing is a solid-state metal deposition technique suitable for a wide range of metallic materials. This technique results in coatings on surfaces for joining purposes or surface modification applications such as wear and corrosion performance improvements. In this study, a novel approach in friction surfacing is utilized in which the consumable tool deposits material from its side instead of the end of the tool, which has been employed in conventional friction surfacing. Frictional heat enables plastic deformation, which results in the depositing of the consumable material on the substrate surface. The process is carried out at temperatures below the melting point of the consumable material, resulting in a solid-state deposition process. In the current study, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy have been employed for the characterization of the interfaces and coatings. The results of this study exhibited that there is no elemental diffusion between the tool and substrate materials at the interface, showing that the process temperature was low enough to prevent plasticizing of the substrate surface.
  7. Friction surfacing technique is a thermo-mechanical approach for metallic deposition, suitable for a broad range of materials and applications. Friction surfacing can be employed for various industrial purposes such as coating, welding, repairing defective parts, surface hardening, and improving corrosion performance. In this technique, frictional heat generated at the interface of the consumable tool and substrate results in a severe plastic deformation at the end of the rod, enabling the deposition of a consumable material on the substrate surface. In this investigation, a novel method in friction surfacing, lateral friction surfacing, is employed to deposit the aluminum coatings. In this novel approach, the side of the consumable tool is pressed against the surface of the substrate, and the material transfer happens from the lateral surface of the tool. This technique provides extremely thin and smooth deposits, which are more consistent compared to the conventional approach of friction surfacing. Moreover, this technique enables fabricating of deposits in lower temperatures, lessening the thermal impacts on the microstructures and mechanical properties of the deposits. In this investigation plates of 1018 mild steel were partially coated with various aluminum alloys and corroded in an accelerated corrosion test chamber. The corrosion performance of the partiallymore »coated sample was evaluated by mass loss measurement. It was found that AA5086 offered the most corrosion protection. After 13 cycles of GM9540P test, equivalent to approximately 3½ years exposure at a mild/moderate marine site in Hawaii, almost all of the deposited aluminum was consumed.« less
  8. Additive manufacturing (AM) processes present designers with creative freedoms beyond the capabilities of traditional manufacturing processes. However, to successfully leverage AM, designers must balance their creativity against the limitations inherent in these processes to ensure the feasibility of their designs. This feasible adoption of AM can be achieved if designers learn about and apply opportunistic and restrictive design for AM (DfAM) techniques at appropriate stages of the design process. Researchers have demonstrated the effect of the order of presentation of information on the learning and retrieval of said information; however, there is a need to explore this effect within DfAM education. In this paper, we explore this gap through an experimental study involving 195 undergraduate engineering students. Specifically, we compare two variations in DfAM education: (1) opportunistic DfAM followed by restrictive DfAM, and (2) restrictive DfAM followed by opportunistic DfAM, against only opportunistic DFAM and only restrictive DfAM training. These variations are compared through (1) differences in participants’ DfAM self-efficacy, (2) their self-reported DfAM use, and (3) the creativity of their design outcomes. From the results, we see that only students trained in opportunistic DfAM, with or without restrictive DfAM, present a significant increase in their opportunistic DfAM self-efficacy. However,more »all students trained in DfAM – opportunistic, restrictive, or both – demonstrated an increase in their restrictive DfAM self-efficacy. Further, we see that teaching restrictive DfAM first followed by opportunistic DfAM results in the generation of ideas with greater creativity – a novel research finding. These results highlight the need for educators to accountfor the effects of the order of presenting content to students, especially when educating students about DfAM.« less