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Professional Development of Engineers

Research in this area examines factors in the development of engineers as professionals. Current research projects include:

Professional development for students - Christy, Ann

To be successful in their careers, engineers need to be proficient in both technical and nontechnical skills. Often these nontechnical skills do not receive as much emphasis in undergraduate engineering education and instead must be learned on the job, learning "soft skills the hard way". Opportunities exist in current engineering curricula to better integrate the development of these nontechnical skills into students' experience.


1. Christy, A. D. 2014. Students' selection of topics for a professional development course. ASEE Annual Conference, American Society for Engineering Education. Paper No. AC 2014-10643. 5 p.
2. Christy, A.D.  2011. Engaging Students to Prepare them for the Engineering Profession and Reflect upon their Undergraduate Career. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual International Meeting. ASABE Paper No.11-11605. St. Joseph, Mich: ASABE. 8p.

Development of Empathy within student particpants of Community Engagement - Delaine, David

Empathy has been shown to correlate with success in the professional engineering workforce, yet engineering education has limited success including it within core curricula. It has been suggested that participation in community engagement activities can positively impact empathy. This research seeks to verify this impact through defining and measuring gains in empathy of students participating in community engagement activities. Through complementing existing empathy measures with qualitative analysis, the essence of how empathy is changed in student engineers as a result of participation in community engagement is revealed.


1. D. Delaine, J.R. Cardoso, J. Walther. “Qualitative Analysis of Boundary Spanning Implications within Interviews of Engagement Stakeholders.” Proceedings of the 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, Washington, June 14 – 17, 2015.