An educational systems engineering model for leadership engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Mechanical Engineering


Innovative pedagogy such as experiential education at graduate level has shown significant impact on learning and career development. Implementations of these techniques are especially difficult in an engineering academic environment. This paper introduces efforts at the Research Institute for Manufacturing and Engineering Systems (RIMES) at UTEP to define, create, and implement an academic model fostering systems thinking through experiential or practice-based education by allowing team work on application of principles being learned. The paper presents how Research, Technology Development, and Academic programs are brought together to foster multi-disciplinary work and end-to-end systems thinking into a self-sustaining infrastructure closing the gap between engineering education, academic research, and industry applied research needs. The paper details our approach to experiential education leading to systems thinking development by using multidisciplinary teams assigned by professors to work on industry-led projects in the classroom that counts for a significant percentage of the final grade. It also explains how industry is engaged through outside-class projects jointly supervised by industry leaders and professors; these inside and outside class room experiences become the primary mechanisms to develop the soft engineering skills required from engineering graduates. While we encourage students and faculty internships with industry, we also schedule "industry practitioners" for project reviews, seminars, workshops, and guest lecturers. Program objectives and outcomes follow ABET guidelines and have been jointly defined with industry partners to measure program effectiveness and progress through its implementation. Finally we will discuss the business model for our approach and how we manage the industry relationships, client-service provider interactions, and the University's commitment to contractual deliverables in developmental projects and industry sponsored research. © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education.



Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings


At the time of publication, Richard T. Schoephoerster was affiliated with The University of Texas at El Paso.

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