Generic engineering competencies required by engineers graduating in Australia

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    Abstract

    [Truncated abstract] This thesis identifies the generic engineering competencies required by engineers graduating in Australia, in order to inform future development of instruments to measure the competencies of engineering graduates, and hence help engineering educators to continuously improve engineering education in Australia. The research is based on the viewpoint that part of program evaluation should discover whether graduates have the competencies they will require for their future work. The theoretical framework is adapted from the Definition and Selection of Competencies Project commissioned by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Competencies are understood to consist of knowledge, skills, attitudes and dispositions, and to be manifested in observable actions in context. This Project's Industry Advisory Committee, consisting of five senior engineers, agreed that employers seek graduates who can become successful established engineers. The research focuses on the competencies required by established engineers, that is, with five to twenty years' experience, to perform their jobs well. This is the first large-scale quantitative research conducted in Australia across all disciplines of engineering, focusing on competencies required by established engineers, rather than recent graduates. Competencies desirable for engineers were identified from a broad range of literature and refined to 64 items. In a survey, 300 established engineers rated the competencies on importance, and provided details about their work. Outcomes of the survey were confirmed by a second survey of 250 senior engineers. Large scale quantitative studies for similar purposes had been conducted overseas, but not in Australia. The results are consistent with studies in Europe and the USA, and smaller studies in Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2009

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