Engineering design education - Core competencies

Richard M. Goff, Janis P. Terpenny

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In the past, it was very common for students to come to the university to study engineering with basic design and build skills acquired through hands-on experiences acquired through play with friends, work on farms, work on cars and general tinkering. Engineering students were predominantly white males and eager to dive into design projects that could call upon skills in spatial reasoning, problem solving, working with others, and more. Currently, students who enter the university to study engineering are more diverse in race, gender, and background. The pervasiveness of computers, computer gaming, and social networking has also shifted the competencies of most incoming students. Many incoming students do not have the background and skills required to succeed in the design of solutions to engineering problems. This paper suggests there is a need to identify and better understand the basic set of core competencies that, if possessed by the student, would assure their success in the engineering education environment as well as in industry upon graduation. This paper identifies industry lists and critiques and academic efforts to catalogue core competencies and gives an example of one core competency, after being identified as being weak and remediated, showed dramatically improved student performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2012
Event50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Jan 9 2012Jan 12 2012


Other50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNashville, TN

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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