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U434B·Transforming Engineering Students’ Writing Experiences: Radical Collaboration
Workshop Liberal Education/Engineering & Society Division (LEES)
Sun. June 25, 2023 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room 327, Baltimore Convention Center
Session Description

Free ticketed event
In this workshop, a cross-disciplinary team of Engineering and English faculty shares our experiences with redesigning a
required Technical Professional Writing course. Participants will explore how cross-disciplinary collaborations may be
implemented in their institutions to better prepare students for the professional communication competencies expected
in engineering coursework and industry.

Clear and cogent writing and communication skills are critical competencies as identified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and the National Academy of Engineering. At Texas A& M University, Qatar (TAMUQ), the gaps between faculty expectations and students’ communicative competencies led us to develop a cross-disciplinary collaboration to radically redesign the technical writing course, focused on the types of oral and written communication required in their upper-division and capstone courses.

An initial assessment of this ongoing faculty team effort in developing assignments, providing feedback to students throughout their projects, and assessing students’ final products, indicates a considerable impact on students’ writing and educational experiences at TAMUQ, as they learn effective and relevant professional communication skills in the field of engineering.

Participants will engage in activities to examine their experiences with students’ professional writing and communication skills and develop specific plans for building their own potential “radical collaborations” of experience, knowledge, and levels of expertise that “bring together innovators with varied backgrounds and viewpoints to enable
insights to evolve from this diversity” [3] with the goal of enhancing students’ experiences with writing in engineering disciplines.

Small group activities will include:

1. Identifying specific gaps in students’ professional communication skills

2. Mapping underlying causes of or contributors to these gaps (e.g., disciplinary silos, curricular structures, etc.)

3. Categorizing potential collaborative partners who can contribute expertise in:
a. best writing practices
b. engineering disciplines
c. effective course/curricular planning

4. Devising a plan to address one of the identified gaps, including the detailed steps

5. Sharing findings and discussing steps towards making collaboration a model for courses in the engineering curriculum

Who Should Attend?

Junior and senior educators interested in exploring the value of “radical collaborations” across disciplinary, methodological, and theoretical boundaries to enhance students’ engineering education.

  1. . Reza Tafreshi
    Texas A&M University at Qatar

    Reza Tafreshi is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University at Qatar, Doha, Qatar. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada, in 2005. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of the application of artificial intelligence on remote health monitoring systems using wearable devices, automated robotic rehabilitation, and eHealth in optimizing preventive care, as well as modeling, analysis, and control of mechanical and subsea systems, machine fault diagnosis, and automation. He has successfully completed several research projects worth over $7M and published more than a hundred journal papers, proceeding articles, and book chapters. He has been the associate editor of prestigious journals, a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is the recipient of the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University Distinguished Achievement College-Level Award.

  2. Naqaa Abbas
    Texas A&M University at Qatar

    Naqaa Abbas is Instructional Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University Qatar. She is also the Dean’s Excellence Fellow in Teaching with a focus on Writing in the Disciplines. Dr. Abbas has over fifteen years of teaching and administrative experience in North American, European, and Middle Eastern institutions where she has taught a variety of courses from composition and literature, technical and business writing, as well as English as a second language. Her research interests include writing across and in the disciplines, multidisciplinary collaborative projects and first year student experience success initiatives.

  3. Prof. Patrick Linke

    Patrick Linke is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Chair of the Chemical Engineering Program at Texas A&M University at Qatar. Dr. Linke previously served as the Executive Director of the Office of Graduate Studies. He is the holder of the Qatar Shell Professorship for Energy and Environment and a co-founder/director of the Qatar Sustainable Water and Energy Utilization Initiative (QWE), a center of excellence for research and capacity building at Texas A&M University in Education City. Dr. Linke is a process systems engineer and his activities focus on the design of efficient processes, integrated systems and associated infrastructures. He currently leads research into innovating process designs with a focus on methods to support in silico screening and process synthesis, the efficient use of energy and materials in industrial clusters and the synthesis of novel materials for heat-to-power applications.

  4. Mary Queen
    Texas A&M University at Qatar

    Mary Queen is Instructional Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University at Qatar. She has more than twenty years of university-level teaching and administrative experience at diverse institutions in the Middle East and the U.S. She is also the Director of the Writing Center and Assistant Director of the Division of Arts and Sciences. As a specialist in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric, Dr. Queen teaches undergraduate writing and rhetoric courses to support students’ development as critical thinkers, readers, writers, and change-makers. Her current research focuses on international virtual writing collaborations among undergraduate students, writing and engineering education, and cross-institutional collaborations to enhance undergraduate teaching and learning.