It is not unusual to find, for example, complex systems designed by dispersed North American or European teams, manufactured in China, programmed using software developed in Russia, sold in South America, with technical support from India. In such an environment, an engineer must be able to function in a multitude of cultural settings and be able to coordinate widely dispersed and heterogeneous teams. In an age of just-in-time manufacturing, the engineers must also be able to schedule manufacturing processes in a manner that accounts for costs and delays in the delivery of components.
The World is also facing environmental challenges that are intrinsically global. The control of greenhouse gases and air pollution, the treatment of contaminated groundwater, the scarcity of potable water, the infrastructure needed to withstand extreme weather due to climate change, the development and containment of genetically modified foods, etc., are all engineering problems that require international teamwork.
The purpose of the Engineering and International Studies programs is therefore to train future engineers who are better able to understand the complexities associated with global project management. Since the development of basic engineering skills is already present in our regular four-year programs, the content of which must be retained, the new programs will only require additional studies that focus on skills and knowledge that are not part of the regular curricula. These include an understanding of and a sensitivity to the different cultural, political, religious and historical backgrounds of potential collaborators, as well as additional technical training in areas that are particularly important in international settings, such as international project management and supply chain management