Global Impact & International Engineering Experiences

Global Impact & International Engineering Experiences

The engineering profession has seen dramatic changes in recent years. One of the most profound agents of change has been globalization. The more obvious effects include the outsourcing of information technology jobs, especially to Asia, and the off-shoring of a broad swath of manufacturing activities that have traditionally represented major sources of employment for engineering graduates. Multi-national companies are increasingly expanding their design as well as research and development functions internationally to take advantage of lower cost; integrate locally with manufacturing facilities, markets and supply chains; and leverage time zones to reduce design and development cycle times.

Multi-disciplinary International Teams

Concurrent with these changes, businesses have significantly restructured their organizational methods to emphasize flatter more agile structures with an emphasis on multi-disciplinary teams, often working internationally. As a result of these changes, engineering graduates are emerging into a very different landscape than they would have a generation ago. It demands that they possess a vastly wider range of other technical and non-technical skills and attitudes. The School of Engineering and Science is well-placed to respond to the challenge of preparing students to succeed in any setting.

The broad-based engineering curriculum has a proven record since 1871 in preparing students to be successful beyond the confines of a narrow technical discipline. The curriculum has further evolved to respond to the increased workplace demands for stronger "soft" skills such as teaming, communications, problem solving, management, etc. In this regard, our unique Design Spine, a core design sequence running through all four years, has been a primary vehicle. In the Fall of 2005, we began implementing further modifications to the curriculum to address the globalization challenge. The Design Spine has been revised to further strengthen the development of multidisciplinary teamwork skills and also foster creativity. A new emphasis on systems thinking from the freshman year onward has been introduced to reflect the reality of the engineering enterprise as it has moved away from isolated disciplinary functions to a holistic integration that addresses the full life cycle for a product, process or service.

At the undergraduate level, this involves introducing elements that promote a more entrepreneurial mindset in all students, as well as providing them with more opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship. The initiative also encourages students to engage in faculty-mentored projects that have the potential to generate intellectual property and also support students developing their own entrepreneurial ideas. This new direction is seen as a key enabler to success in the new workplace paradigm.

Academic Partnerships Around the World

The Schaefer School of Engineering & Science is continually expanding its collaborations with academic institutions around the world. Partnered with universities on the Atlantic coast, across the pond, and beyond, the school is conducting innovative research with some of the world's finest academic institutions. A few of SES's partnerships are highlighted below.

DHS National Center of Excellence Partners

Stevens and the University of Hawaii co-lead the Department of Homeland Security National Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce. CSR maintains strong partnerships with academic institutions, government organizations, and non-profit research centers globally. The DHS National Center of Excellence partners include Rutgers University, the University of Miami, MIT, the University of Puerto Rico, and Monmouth University. This diverse network of institutions supports DHS efforts to provide for the safe and secure use of our nation's maritime domain through advancement of the relevant sciences and development of the new workforce.

Rutgers University and the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences

Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers University are expanding their existing partnership through a joint New York Bight Shelf and Harbor Dynamics Study that will leverage the complimentary strengths and ongoing investments of the partner institutions. Existing capabilities include: Stevens New York Harbor Observing System , Rutgers New Jersey Shelf Observing System, Rutgers New Jersey coastal atmospheric forecasting program, and Stevens New York Harbor estuarine forecasting program. 

Capabilities of the two schools will be merged to (a) implement a coupled high-resolution atmosphere-ocean forecasting model that covers the New York Bight Shelf and Harbor, (b) implement a nested shelf and harbor HF Radar observing system that covers the same region, (c) develop and demonstrate a novel HF Radar data assimilative capability in the ocean model, and (d) use the coupled data assimilative forecast model to study atmosphere-ocean and shelf-estuary coupling in the New York Bight.

Institute of Technology Tallaght

On December 7, 2004 a cooperative agreement between Stevens and the Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT) in Dublin, Ireland was signed by Tim Creedon, Director of ITT and George P. Korfiatis, Dean of Engineering at Stevens. The agreement leverages the strengths of both organizations towards the development of an educational initiative in the form of an International Center for Pharmaceutical Education which will deliver technical education to the pharmaceutical/ health care industry worldwide; including the delivery of online courses with remote/virtual experiments and joint faculty/students exchanges.

University College London

Stevens Institute of Technology and England's University College London  have agreed upon an exchange of undergraduate students in a mutual study abroad program.  Naval Engineering undergraduate students from Schaefer School of Engineering and Science have an opportunity to attend classes in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University College London. The agreement was signed by George Korfiatis, Provost and University Vice President of SIT and Michael Worton, Vice Provost of UCL on December 1, 2008. The new program, combining strengths from both institutions, offers a deep and broad education in the field of maritime engineering. 

Study Abroad

For students preparing to face the novel challenges presented by the effects of globalization, international experience is highly desirable because it develops cultural awareness and broadens perspectives. However, the demands of engineering curricula tend to run counter to the facilitation of international experiences. It is usually a challenge to provide transfer credit that will enable a student to stay on track without overloading. Combined with a lack of language skills and a predisposition against an international experience, it accounts for the very low participation of engineering undergraduates nationally. In light of this, recent changes to the core curriculum provide for up to six credits that can be applied to international experiences that meet program educational outcomes in addition to traditional course transfer credits from study abroad. Thus, a student has a far stronger prospect of being able to complete a study abroad period without delaying their graduation. This change coupled with a strong new focus on international programs will go a long way to encourage Stevens students to participate in study and work abroad.

In addition to a traditional study abroad program, Stevens offers of range of short international programs over the summer or during the winter or spring breaks.

Stevens has also been aggressively expanding its international agreements. New partnerships in the following cities will benefit undergraduates: Växjö, Sweden; London, England; Istanbul, Turkey; Buskerud, Norway; Beijing, China and Dublin, Ireland. These complement existing consortia arrangements in Limerick, Ireland; Madrid, Spain and Sydney, Australia, together with previous informal arrangements in Rome, Italy; Innsbruck, Austria; Tel Aviv, Israel and Monterrey, Mexico, among others.