ELEC ENG 7057 Reflection Assessment: Sources 1-5
The Reflection Assessment requires you to read these five sources. No other sources may be used for this
Source 1: Extract from Engineers Australia, Stage 1 Competency Standard for Professional Engineer,
viewed 23 January 2017,
STAGE 1 COMPETENCIES
The three Stage 1 Competencies are covered by 16 mandatory Elements of Competency. The
Competencies and Elements of Competency represent the profession’s expression of the
knowledge and skill base, engineering application abilities, and professional skills, values and
attitudes that must be demonstrated at the point of entry to practice. […]
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and
physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and
computer and information sciences which underpintheengineering discipline.
|1.3||In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering
Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the
Knowledge of contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of
|2.||ENGINEERING APPLICATION ABILITY|
|2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem|
|2.2||Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.|
|2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering
|3.||PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES|
Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
|3.4||Professional use andmanagementof information.|
|3.5 Orderlymanagement of self, andprofessional conduct.|
|3.6||Effectiveteam membership andteam leadership.|
Source 2: Extracts from Ircha, MC 1999, ‘Multinational engineering consortia: selecting team members’,
Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, vol. 125,
no. 4, pp. 152-157.
[p. 152] Economic globalization […] has created a demand for increased international engineering activities.
This demand has often been met by creating multinational engineering consortia that blend team members
from the host nation with expatriate engineers from […] other countries. The most significant challenge
facing team members in this polyglot of nationalities is to understand, accept, and adapt to the cultural
differences that emerge. […]
[p. 153] Lack of adaptation to cultural differences may be subtle but effective in creating workplace
difficulties. These cultural differences can be both visible (such as behaviors and attitudes) and invisible
(values, beliefs, and identity) (Joynt and Warner 1996). For example, in a classic study of cultural
differences and their impact on the corporate world, Hall (1966) discussed the problems in U.S. subsidiary
firms located in Germany resulting from the American open-door policy, as opposed to the closed-door
approach of German business culture. This small but subtle irritant caused growing friction and
misunderstanding between U.S. and German managers. As pointed out by Hall,
in this company the open doors were making the Germans feel exposed and gave the whole operation
an unusually relaxed and unbusinesslike air. Closed doors, on the other hand, gave the Americans the
feeling there was a conspiratorial air about the place and that they were being left out.
Clear communication about the cultural needs of groups working together is needed to ensure a deeper
understanding of each other’s requirements and to develop trust and mutual collaboration. To achieve
such understanding means the international team members must be able to suspend their beliefs that their
own culture and ways of doing things are the best and seek to understand and appreciate the inherent
logic of doing things in other ways (often reflecting local culture imperatives). In other words, engineers
participating in a multi-national consortium must be able to suppress their ‘‘ethnocentrism’’ (the belief in
the superiority of one’s own culture) in the face of other cultural realities.
Hall, ET 1966, The hidden dimension, Doubleday, New York.
Joynt, P and Warner, M 1996, ‘Introduction: Cross-cultural perspectives’, in Managing across cultures: Issues and
perspectives, P Joynt and M Warner, eds, International Thomson Business Press, London, pp. 1–6.
Source 3: Extract from Butterfield, J 2011, Teamwork and team building, Cengage Learning, Boston.
[p. 6] Recognizing Differences Between Groups and Teams
Source 4: Extract from Sageev, P and Romanowski, CR 2001, ‘A message from recent engineering
graduates in the workplace: results of a survey on technical communication skills’,
JournalofEngineeringEducation, vol. 90, no. 4, pp. 685-693.
[p. 687] An astonishing 64 percent of these engineers’ [of 3 – 5 years experience in the USA, in a survey
published in 2001] overall work time is spent on some form of communication (see Table 3). This result has
far-reaching implications for employers and engineering schools:
Employers need to know that 64 percent of the salaries they expend on newly graduated engineers pays for
their communication skills, not their engineering competencies. Clearly, technical ideas and results are not
useful until and unless they are communicated and discussed. Therefore, employers are justified in
demanding graduates thoroughly trained in communicating technical information.
Engineering schools need to prepare all their students for the real-world communication demands their
graduates will face. Just providing an outstanding technical education is no longer sufficient, as many
respondents observed. One respondent commented: “Technical communication is a very important aspect
of our engineering life, and takes up almost 50% of our time at work.” Another remarked, “Communication
is absolutely crucial in large organizations, any technical sales-oriented positions, and for anyone with
Table 3. Average percent of work time spent communicating.
Source 5: Extracts from Lee, TF 2003, ‘Identifying essential learning skills in students’ Engineering education’, in
Learning for an Unknown Future: Proceedings of the 26th HERDSA Annual Conference,
HERDSA, Christchurch New Zealand, viewed 23 January 2017,
In today’s changing global environment many organisations have voiced the need for new graduates of
engineering programmes to have a stronger soft-skills emphasis. For example, employers need new
graduates to be good communicators and to work in multidisciplinary teams of diverse cultural
backgrounds and differing personality styles.
Employers [Malaysian engineering firms involved predominantly in product manufacturing and
construction, in a survey published in 2003] indicated that valuable resources such as time, money, and
materials were necessary assets for a project but these cannot guarantee successful completion, as it was
the people in the project team who held the key to success. This is because the dynamics of a project
require a close-knit, communicative team capable of recognising and solving problems quickly. For
example, each project phase has its own unique set of issues that require a substantial breadth of analysis
for it to be resolved successfully on a daily basis. Communication skills act as drivers in all the project lifecycle phases. Engineers in these project teams must have the ability to gather information, present findings
or convey complex ideas clearly, articulate what must be accomplished, keep the team moving toward a
common goal, and foster an environment that allows team members to communicate openly and honestly.
Employers remarked that the lack of an effective communication process built into each of the project
phases is the major contributing factor to project failures. Much of the evidence points to the fact that
communication skills have enabled their engineers to be more effective. For example, an engineer
managing a project without clearly communicating its goals and sharing his [sic] ideas with others will have
vague deliverables and requirements, unresolved issues, conflicts, and a dissatisfied customer. Without the
appropriate soft-skills built into the project life-cycle, it is clear that the likelihood of project success