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Updated 10:00 AM November 19, 2007
 

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New international minor for engineers offers global context

A new minor at the College of Engineering (CoE) is designed to help prepare engineering graduates to succeed in a global society.

"Today's engineers work in multinational teams, create products for a global marketplace and solve problems that cross national borders and cultures. The international minor for engineers will prepare graduates to work across cultures and adapt to these diverse work environments," says James Holloway, associate dean for undergraduate education in CoE. Holloway also is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and a professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences.

This is the first minor to be offered by the college. Engineering students previously could choose other minors such as foreign languages offered by LSA. But the new minor officially will recognize not just foreign language proficiency, but also understanding of other cultures, study of engineering in a global context, and the experience of living and working abroad.

The 17-20 credit-hour minor requires:

• Four semesters of college-level foreign language study (two semesters are prerequisites);

• Two elective courses that focus on non-U.S. cultures or societies;

• One course that offers a comparative or global perspective in business, the humanities or the social sciences;

• The International Engineering Seminar, which will teach global trends in engineering and business as well as strategies for working in multinational teams; and

• At least six weeks of study, work, research or organized volunteer work abroad.

Students can elect the minor starting in fall 2008.

This offering builds on the college's Program in Global Engineering, which allows students to add an international component to their engineering education without the official recognition of a minor. The global engineering program currently enrolls 110 undergraduates.

Mechanical engineering professor Volker Sick will be the program advisor for the new minor, which will be administered through CoE's International Programs in Engineering Office.

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