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Professional Experience

Course Description:

ENGR 450: Professional Experience. Credit variable 1-3.
Experience working in the environment of an engineer in a business, industry, government, military, hospital, education, or similar functional activity that uses problem-solving and/or design methods. Experience may be obtained through suitable work. An alternative assignment may be completed with engineering faculty advisory assistance, involving a significant engineering project with local industry or an on-campus project. Prerequisites: Junior status and advisor approval.

This course in designed to provide the student with practical, professional level experience in the engineering field, and provide an experiential link between classroom topics and on the job applications. Students also show that they are able to apply material as indicated through student outcomes.


  1. Experiential topics will vary with each offering, but will include the topics covered in the engineering curriculum.
  2. Credit for this experience may be earned by either of two methods :
    • On the job experience: Must be at least 200 hours in length in an environment related to engineering.
    • An assigned project experience: The student studies a specified system, subsystem or process in response to a set of defined objectives. Prior approval required.

BEFORE completing the experience:
Students must complete the Engineering Internship/Professional Experience information form online PRIOR to the start of their internship.

DURING the experience:
Students will document their work throughout the experience by keeping a journal that will allow them to complete the final report as described in the next section.

AFTER the experience:
The student should complete a final report (to be submitted on BlackBoard) that summarizes their experience in a digital format with four subsections:

Section I: Just the facts

Describe the project from a quantitative, objective perspective. What was the problem, the data collected, the rationale for choosing that particular data, the means of analyses, the alternatives generated and the recommendations made. Describe implementation as appropriate. Include data and analysis as appropriate. What was successful in this project, what would you do differently and why?

Section II: Your personal insight

Describe the project from a qualitative, subjective perspective. What were some of the difficulties you encountered in collecting data, including for example: personalities, perspectives, management, workers, etc. How did you handle these difficulties? Were you successful? Why/Why not?

Section III: The role of your education

What effect did your St. Ambrose education have in your ability to complete the project? Reflect on your coursework, including all engineering courses, as well as math, science, and general education classes.

Section IV: Professional Experience Assessment

1) What is professional responsibility? Describe a situation in which you or a colleague were required to act professionally. How did you or your colleague respond?

2) What is ethical responsibility? Describe a situation in which you or a colleague were required to act ethically. How did you or your colleague respond?

3) What is the purpose of the General Education component of your engineering degree? Describe a situation in which your General Education provided you with a greater understanding of an engineering problem.

4) Describe a situation in which you or a colleague displayed an understanding of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.

5) What does the term “life-long” meaning mean to you? Why is it important? Describe a situation in which you or a colleague engaged in life-long learning.

6) Describe a time in which you or a colleague displayed a knowledge of contemporary issues?

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