International Workshop on the Globalization of Engineering, Research, Development and Design Proposed Activities:

We propose to hold a two-day workshop exploring, in-depth, the globalization of engineering, research, development and design. The workshop will bring industry practitioners, such as corporate engineering and R&D managers, together with academic researchers to explore the emerging phenomenon of engineering globalization. There is strong evidence of a trend that engineering work and tasks are being restructured and reallocated across different countries. Yet this significant transformation of engineering hasn?t been explored systematically.

The workshop includes panels of leading corporate engineering managers who will discuss the scale and scope of specific tasks being done in particular geographies. In addition, leading academic researchers will present the current state of knowledge about engineering globalization. The second day will include breakout sessions exploring topics in more depth, identifying the gaps in our knowledge, and generating and calibrating an agenda for further research in this important field.

Intellectual Merits:

We have reached a level of U.S. R&D investment overseas which approaches 25% of the total annual research budget. As a consequence the challenge of managing global engineering and research resources is a being faced by a growing number of companies. Yet, we know very little about how companies protect intellectual property, manage global technical integration of resources and acquire and maintain complementary assets to ensure appropriation of benefits from these investments in technical projects. The conference aims to calibrate the research agenda in this arena and generate researchable, applied questions with high potential impact.

Broader Impacts & Deliverables:

The primary deliverable from the workshop is an edited proceedings and website. The workshop conveners will complete a paper summarizing the findings of the workshop including the workshop generated research agenda for engineering globalization. In addition to the proceedings and paper, we will pursue the idea of a call for a special journal issue in an appropriate outlet for the best conference papers and any new papers that might be generated after the conference. The journal would be a scholarly publication that practitioners read. The findings will be widely disseminated to academics, industry practitioners, and policymakers.

Project Report

March 2, 2015 Ron Hira and John Ettlie, Rochester Institute of Technology NSF Award Number: ECCS?1129185 We held a workshop on May 17-18, 2012 in Arlington, VA, to explore the critical and emerging areas in the globalization of engineering research, development, and design. The workshop brought together key academics and industry leaders, from around the country and the world, to discuss the wide range of issues emerging from the globalization of engineering. The purpose of the workshop was to exchange state of the art information, make collaborative connections, and to help identify areas where more systematic research would be helpful. The workshop included sessions on: data and measurement issues; i.e., how we measure the scale and scope of engineering globalization, management trends; i.e., how firms are managing the globalization of their engineering operations including time-zone and cultural differences, policy issues and trends; i.e., how governments are responding to opportunities and threats offered by the globalization of engineering, challenges for engineering organizations, including those that represent U.S., engineers, globalization trends in key sectors, how academic institutions are addressing the challenges of teaching global awareness to students, responding to export control issues, and venturing abroad by setting up global campuses, academic research on the management of engineering globalization, and a final wrap-up session on future research directions and needs. Website for workshop including presentations The final program is included as an appendix to the report. A companion website with the workshop was created at The website contains the program and presentations from the workshop. Book based on workshop We are putting together an edited book based upon the workshop. It has been tentatively accepted as part of a 4 volume set on "Innovation" being published by World Scientific Publishing. Many of the contributions come from workshop participants. We expect that the book will be completed at the end of 2015 and available in early 2016. Further dissemination of results The results of the workshop have been disseminated to a number of different audiences. Ron Hira traveled to Austin, TX to attend the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) annual meeting held from March 25-27, 2012. The purpose of this trip was to collect information and feedback on the areas of engineering globalization that most interested educators. We also identified a few speakers and participants in the workshop. Ron Hira attended and presented in a special panel session on engineering globalization at IEEE International Microwave Symposium in Montreal on June 19, 2012. This panel was organized by Dr. Samir El Ghazaly, the NSF program manager for this grant, and Professor Magdy Iskander from University of Hawaii. Ron Hira attended and presented in a special panel session on engineering globalization at the IEEE Antennas & Propagation Society Meeting in Chicago on July 18th, 2012. This panel was organized by Dr. Samir El Ghazaly, the NSF program manager for this grant, and Professor Magdy Iskander from University of Hawaii. Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of ASME, did a cover story on engineering globalization as a result of the workshop. A senior editor of the magazine, Alan Brown, attended the workshop and asked Professor Denis Fred Simon to write a story based on his keynote presentation at the workshop on innovation in China. Simon, Denis F. "China's Innovation Gap: When China looks in the mirror, it sees little intellectual property behind its manufacturing muscle. Can it do something about it? Mechanical Engineering Magazine, January, 2013, pp. 34-39. Ron Hira attended and organized a special panel session on engineering globalization at the annual meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers in Montreal on October 18-20 2012. Professor Martin Kenney, one of the keynote speakers at the workshop, participated on the panel. One of the participants in the audience is an editor of one of the civil engineering magazines for practitioners. He invited us to submit an article. John Ettlie presented updated results from the NSF sponsored study (Grant No. 0725056) on R&D in the global automotive industry (especially the U.S. and China) at the Asia Academy of Management (Seoul, Korea, December 2012) and the Annual Academy of Management meeting in Boston, MA (August, 2012). Ron Hira participated in a special event, Will Engineers Be True Global Problem Solvers, organized by the Executive Director of ASME. In an innovative new format, based on PBS’ Fred Friendly’s seminars, a moderator went through a series of scenarios with an expert panel to tease out key issues with engineering globalization. The resulting video has been posted as part of ASME’s Decision Point Dialogues:

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS)
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Dominique M. Dagenais
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Rochester Institute of Tech
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