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ASEE PRISM
  American Society for Engineering Education
American Society for Engineering EducationJANUARY 2008Volume 17 | Number 5 PRISM HOMETABLE OF CONTENTSBACK ISSUES
FEATURES
COVER STORY: Game of Chance - TO STAY COMPETITIVE, AMERICA NEEDS A LEADER COMMITTED TO MAKING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY A PRIORITY, EDUCATORS SAY. BUT NONE OF THE 2008 CANDIDATES OFFERS A SURE BET.  - BY JEFFREY SELINGO- BY JEFFREY SELINGO
FEATURE: Extreme Learning - CAR BOMBS, TSUNAMI SHELTERS, SPACE ROBOTS—UNIVERSITY LABS ARE MAKING THE STUDY OF ENGINEERING EVER MORE REAL. WHO WOULDN’T GET DRAWN IN WITH HANDS-ON PROJECTS LIKE THESE?   - BY MARY LORD
FEATURE: Too Little Respect - BRITISH ENGINEERS, ONCE THE PRIDE OF AN EMPIRE, ARE TYPECAST BY THE PUBLIC AND RARELY REACH THE EXECUTIVE SUITE. EDUCATORS EXPLORE CURRICULUM CHANGES TO GIVE THE PROFESSION A BOOST.   - BY THOMAS K. GROSE

DEPARTMENTS
COMMENTS
BRIEFINGS
DATABYTES
REFRACTIONS: Changing Study Habits - BY HENRY PETROSKI
CLASSIFIEDS
INTERACTIVE SKILLS: An Engineering Necessity – BY DR. LEE HARRISBERGER
LAST WORD: A Friend, Indeed - BY JAY BANERJEE

TEACHING TOOLBOX
TEACHING TOOLBOX: Fast and Curious - OFFER STUDENTS THE CHANCE TO WORK ON DESIGN WITH A LEGENDARY SPORTS CAR MAKER, AND THEY’LL SIGN UP—A GRAN VELOCITÀ.  - BY PIERRE HOME-DOUGLAS
TEACHING TOOLBOX: ON THE SHELF: Terrible Twins - BY ROBIN TATU
TEACHING TOOLBOX: JEE SELECTS: It’s About More Than Numbers - BY MAURA BORREGO


BACK ISSUES







 
INTERACTIVE SKILLS: An Engineering Necessity by Dr. Lee Harrisberger  

An Imported Essay
Submitted by
Dr. Lee Harrisberger
Former President of ASS
(and an old retired guy)

This essay focuses on the absolute necessity that all engineering education programs provide training their students in the development and utilization of interactive skills. Fail to develop these abilities produces failures in the developments and utilization of engineering projects and professional success

Proficiency in interactive skills can and must be taught and developed as a part of the engineering program. Engineering education focuses on the learning of the technology of the discipline. It must also focus on the utilization of that technology. The utilization of that technology depends on the student’s use of the interactive skills necessary to create acceptable solutions and operational activities in their careers.

Back in the early eighties, I established a senior year clinic that focused on the development of the interactive skills to create an acceptable engineering solution for a client. I was amazed at how few skills the students had. I was also amazed at how quickly they responded to the interactive skill program. At the end of the clinic they had greatly improved those abilities and were totally “denerdified”.

At the end of the clinic semester they were assigned to a 3-person team that lasted throughout the last semester of their senior year. This team served as consultants to an industrial client somewhere in the state. Their clients were impressed by the professional skills they saw and received. So was I.

Here I am, 82 years old, in my 16th year of retirement (from my 100 years as an engineering professor) and raving on about interactive skill education in engineering. The motivation came from my accidental discovery of the huge program of Emotional Intelligence that is surging throughout industry.

I found three books written by Daniel Goleman that expound EI. They are:

1. Emotional Intelligence (1995)
2. Working With Emotional Intelligence
3. Emotional Intelligence (2005)

These books provide, in extensive detail, this list of the attributes of emotional intelligence (which I call Interactive Skills).

1. Initiative
2. Empathy
3. Adaptability
4. Persuasiveness
5. Leadership
6. Encountership
7. Teamwork
8. Oral Communication
9. Creative Responsive
10. Self Pride
11. Cooperativeness
12. Negotiating Disagreements
13. Dealing with Power Figures
14. Vitality
15. Productivity
16. Creativity

All three of his publications provide a resource for developing teaching programs to create operational proficiency in these skills. All of these interactive skills are extrovert skills… a right brain resource whereas engineering skills are essentially a left brain resource.

A student’s MBTI profile will show an inherent in-built preference for operational behavior. The test shows that the general population is about 50% extrovert. My clinic tests of the engineering students showed that there were more introverts than extroverts. We also noted that the engineering extroverts were quite low on the extrovert skills.

The literature also shows that there is now available an on-line test (MySkillsProfile.com) that creates a persons Emotion Quotient (EQ). It determines how well they interact (i.e. extrovert skills). The score identifies how low or high they are in their skills. In effect, it determines how good they are at being extrovert… or how good they are at using interactive skills.

So, when you look at the list of 16 skills, you will have to admit that all are valuable assets for an engineer at work. Thus, they are as needed in engineering training as is all the engineering technology now in curricula.

This is a NEED!!
Get on it and DO it!!



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