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Strategic Partnerships

Research in this area examines engineering in a broader cultural context and examines educational practices that instill strategic partnership understanding in engineering students. Current research projects include:

International design projects linking study abroad and capstone courses - Christy, Ann

An international education program was developed to provide global design experiences for engineering students in the United States and South Africa, while creating sustainable solutions for impoverished communities in South Africa. Engineering students visited South Africa and worked on projects that they identified while in that country, including improvements in compressed earthen blocks for rural Zulu home construction, rooftop rainwater collection to supplement scarce water allotments at government-supplied housing, community garden irrigation and greywater reuse at Muzi Thusi Elementary School, tower gardens at several locations, and cellulosic ethanol production from sugarcane.


1. Ward, Andy, Ann Christy, Robert Gustafson, Jessica D'Ambrosio, and Kurt Paterson. 2009. Globalizing Engineering Education: Lessons Learned from Africa and USA Partnerships. 2009 ASEE Annual Conference, American Society for Engineering Education. June 15-17, 2009. Paper # AC 2009-2207. 16 p.
2. Christy, Ann, Andy Ward, Jeff Hughes, Simon Lorentz, and Bethany Corcoran. 2008. An Experiential and Service Learning Capstone design Initiative in South Africa. 2008 ASEE Global Colloquium, American Society for Engineering Education. CapeTown, South Africa, October 2008. Paper # GC 2008-124. 11 p.
3. Ward, Andy D., Kerry Hughes Zwierschke, Carol Moody, and Ann D. Christy. 2007. Developing Sustainable Solutions for Impoverished Communities in South Africa: A Student Centered and Service Learning Capstone Design Experience. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual Meeting.   ASABE Paper 07-8018. 8 p.

Boundary Spanning with Engineering Education and Community Engagement - Delaine, David

A framework is presented to provide guidelines for the implementation of a Boundary Spanner, or individual who links a university to its outside partners, to improve upon university/community engagement. A Boundary Spanner is systematically implemented to evaluate university/community engagement in order to provide insight into the interconnections between stakeholders to increase mutual benefits. This research will strategically use boundary spanning within case studies to minimize barriers, increase outcomes, and more clearly understand how boundary spanner interventions can systematically impact university/community engagement.


1. D. Delaine, J.R. Cardoso, J. Walther. “A Boundary Spanner Intervention for Increasing Community Engagement Outcomes – Phase 1: Framing Case Studies in Context.” Proceedings of the World Engineering Education Forum 2014, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.