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Publication Date

January 2005

Publication Title

Global Journal of Engineering Education



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In the era of market and workforce globalisation, engineers need a solid understanding of the impact that their products have locally, as well as globally. This is why the US Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) recently put a new spin on this requirement in engineering education. Specifically, outcome 3h of Engineering Criteria 2000 states that engineering graduates must have the broad education to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global/ societal context. This outcome may be one of the most difficult to achieve, since it requires not only a strong technical understanding, but also an informed societal and historical perspective that is particularly difficult to achieve. In this paper, the authors identify some of the skills that engineering students need to be able to evaluate the impact of their solutions in a global/societal context, as well as the methods used by some universities to address this issue outside of technical engineering courses. The main focus of this article is the introduction of course design elements that help students to master those skills that can be incorporated into required and elective engineering courses. Examples are presented from a variety of thermal/fluid courses where these skills are taught in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at San José State University, San José, USA.