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ENGR 398

Spring 2015

ENGR 398
Professional Communication for Engineers
Spring 2015

Class: Tuesdays 11:30am -12:20pm

Millis Schmitt Lecture Hall

Prof. Gary Wnek

Associate Dean of Academics
Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Case School of Engineering
Mary Rose Tichar
Director of Cooperative Education
Case School of Engineering
Additional Writing Support:
Writing Resource Center
104 Bellflower Hall
Phone 368-3798; E-mail:
Appointments: or
ENGR 398, a seminar series of guest speakers, introduces engineering students to professional practice topics
important for engineering success outside of the classroom. Our speakers are seasoned professionals and experts
in their field and prepare students for the practical engineering issues that shape the business and application of
engineering. Weekly lectures focus on important topics such as professionalism; intellectual property and
technology transfer; entrepreneurship, design, and individual and collective creativity; ethics; and technological,
economic, and cultural aspects of globalization. As an introduction to both academic and professional
engineering, Engineering 398 promotes knowledge of contemporary engineering issues; an understanding of
professional, ethical, academic, and workplace responsibilities; and the professional practice of life-long
ENGR 398 complements ENGL 398, and is a 1-credit co-requisite seminar course which introduces principles
and strategies for effective communication in both academic and workplace engineering settings. (For details of
ENGL 398 objectives, work commitments, grade breakdowns, and assignments, please see the syllabus for your
By the end of Engineering 398, students should be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge and application of the principles of professionalism and codes of ethics among
practicing engineers.
Describe the legal environment for matters of intellectual property and the practices and policies of
academic technology transfer.
Identify the principal issues involved in engineering entrepreneurship and design.
Demonstrate an understanding of the global, cultural, and contextual impact of engineering solutions.
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ENGR 398

Spring 2015

Selected readings (PDFs and web links) will be available on ENGR 398 Blackboard site
Attendance & Participation: You are expected to attend all ENGR 398 lectures, to arrive on time, and to be
prepared for the days topic. You will be granted one free absence for any reason. Starting with the second
absence, five (5) points will be deducted from your attendance grade for each additional absence. Attendance
grades may be negative (e.g., if you miss four class sessions, your attendance grade would be -5), and you must
be present in class to take and receive credit for the reading quizzes.
Reading Quizzes: Throughout the semester, a total of 11 quizzes will be given to test your understanding of key
points from both assigned readings and guest lectures. Quizzes will be distributed at the beginning of the class
period and collected promptly at 11:40. Each quiz will usually be based on the prior weeks lecture and
assigned readings. Neither make-ups nor additional time will be granted without prior arrangement (and then
only under reasonable circumstances). While you will take 11 quizzes throughout the semester, your grade will
be calculated based on the top 10 scores you earn. Quizzes will not be re-graded except for calculation errors
but you are welcome to make an appointment with Prof. Wnek to discuss your answers and/or study strategies.
Your final grade for this course will be calculated based on the following:
Reading Quizzes (9 @ scaled to 10 points each)
Grading Scale:
Total Score



Academic Integrity
The ethical exchange of ideas is at the heart of academic inquiry. Such exchanges require both that you
complete your own work and that you give proper credit to those whose ideas have influenced our own
failing to do so constitutes plagiarism (the unacknowledged use of anothers words and/or ideas). A variety
of online reference manuals will aid you in proper citation methods, and Cases Academic Integrity policy is
available online ( If you are at any time feeling
overwhelmed or confused, please see your instructor to discuss strategies for handling the workload,
timetables for assignments, and ways to articulate ideas.

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ENGR 398

Spring 2015

Students with Additional Needs

During the semester, your instructor is happy to meet (in office hours or by appointment) with any and all
students enrolled in this course. If you have a learning or other disability, please contact your instructor as
soon as possible to discuss appropriate accommodations. For more information about services for students
with disabilities, or to register with the Coordinator of Disability Resources, please call 368-5230.
Comments, Concerns & Emergencies
Should some unforeseen event occur that affects your ability to complete the work for this course, please
contact your instructor as soon as possible so that you can find a mutually agreeable solution. If you have
comments and/or concerns about what is happening in class, please talk to your instructor during office
hours or email your instructor to make an appointment.

Note: Readings and assignments are due on the day that they are listed below. This schedule is subject to
revision; changes will be announced in class. Abbreviation: BB = Articles or Selections available online.
Week 1

Week 2

Engineering Lecture & Assignments

Course Introduction: Syllabus & Course Policies, Introduction of ENGL 398 Instructors
Gary Wnek and Mary Rose Tichar

Professional Communication
Prof. Sunniva Collins, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Read: (1) Davis, M. (1998). A History of Engineering in the United States. In Thinking
Like an Engineer (pp.18-30). New York: Oxford University Press; (2) Goldberg, D.E.
(2006). Entrepreneurial Engineer: Ready for the 21st Century. In The Entrepreneurial
Engineer (pp. 1-9); (3) Engineering Value Propositions: Professional and Personal
Needs by Wnek and Williamson (21st-Century Engineer folder on BB)

Week 3

Emotional Intelligence and Its Importance in the Real World

Hector Martinez, Ph.D. Candidate, Weatherhead School of Management
Quiz #1 based on Week 2 lecture and Week 2 reading (Davis and Goldberg)

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ENGR 398

Week 4

Spring 2015

Engineering Lecture & Assignments

Networking and the Career Fair
Erin Nunn, Assistant Director for Experiential Learning, CWRU Career Center
Quiz #2 based on Week 3 lecture and reading

Week 5

On-line Research CWRU Library Resources; The ENGR 398 Research Guide
Brian Gray, Librarian & Research Services for Chemical Engineering and
Macromolecular Science & Engineering, Kelvin Smith Library
Optional reading KSL annual report:
Quiz #3 based on Week 4 lecture

Week 6

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Larry Sears, CWRU engineering alum, trustee, and entrepreneur
Read: (several nice short stories from the
chemical/materials areas)
Quiz #4 based on Week 5 lecture and reading

Week 7

A Novel Approach to Engineering Design

Matthew Hollern, Professor and Dean of Faculty, Cleveland Institute of Art
Read: Pink, D.H. (2005). Part One: The Conceptual Age. In A Whole New Mind (pp.764). New York: Routledge; Norman, D.A. (2005). Part 1: The Meaning of Things. In
Emotional Design (pp. 17-60). New York: Basic Books.
Quiz #5 based on Week 6 lecture and reading

Week 8

(Week 9 Spring

Technology Opportunity Assessment

Prof. Colin Drummond, Biomedical Engineering
Read: Goldberg, D.E. (2006). Assessing Technology Opportunities. In The
Entrepreneurial Engineer (pp. 173-197).
Quiz #6 based on Week 7 lecture and readings

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ENGR 398

Week 10

Spring 2015

Engineering Lecture & Assignments

Engineering in a Global Environment
Prof. Daniel Lacks, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Read: (1) Beynon, J., & Dunkerley, D. (2000). General Introduction. In Globalization:
The Reader (pp. 1-38) New York: Routledge; (2) Appadurai, A. (2004). Disjuncture and
Difference in the Global Cultural Economy. In F. J. Lechner and J. Boli (Eds.), The
Globalization Reader (pp. 100-108). 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell; (3) Friedman, T.L.
Chap. One: While I Was Sleeping. In The World is Flat (pp. 3-50).
Quiz #7 based on Week 8 lecture and reading

Week 11

Intellectual Property and Patent Law

Liza Heinig, Esq., Tarolli Sundheim Covell & Tummino, and CWRU EMAE alum
Quiz #8 based on Week 10 lecture and readings

Week 12

Innovation, Design and Corporate Culture

Vikki Nowak, Vice President, Nottingham Spirk
Read: (watch the video)
Quiz #9 based on Week 11 lecture and reading

Week 13

Ethics in Engineering
Jared Schnall, CWRU EMAC alum and retired BP Chemicals Executive
Read: Lloyd, P., & Busby, J. (2003). Things That Went Well. Science and Engineering
Ethics, 9,503-516; IEEE Code of Ethics; Weil, V. (2002). Engineering Ethics. In R.E.
Spier (Ed.), Science and Technology Ethics (pp.59-88). London: Routledge.
Quiz #10 based on Week 12 lecture and readings

Week 14

Employer and Student Panel Discussion: Industry Expectations

Quiz #11 based on Week 13 lecture and readings

Week 15

Course Wrap-Up and Discussion

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