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Early Career Engineers and the Development of Engineering Expertise

European Journal of Engineering Education

Interested in contributing an article

As contemporary engineering practices evolve over time, engineering education providers face the increasingly complex challenge of preparing future engineering professionals. Trevelyan (2007) claims that a better understanding of engineering practice is needed to improve students’ preparedness to work in engineering, and this claim has received substantial empirical support (Brunhaver, Korte, Barley, & Sheppard, 2018). Research focusing on early career engineers has the potential to provide significant insight which could enhance engineering education provision, however there is a paucity in the research associated with this phase of the engineering career.

There are multiple benefits to engineering education and engineering education research which can be gained from studies focusing on early career engineers and engineering practice. For example, such research can aid in bridging the gap between ‘school-engineering’ and ‘work-engineering’ (Huff, Zoltowski, & Oakes, 2016; Johri & Olds, 2011), and an increased understanding of engineering practice can impact the efficacy of engineering education research itself through increased ecological validity.

To this end, in this special edition of the European Journal of Engineering Education, we are seeking papers which focus primarily on early career engineers. While research associated with any aspect of engineering education relative to the early stages of a professionals’ career are welcome, there are a number of topics of particular interest including:

  • Transitioning from engineering education into working life
  • Experiences and challenges faced by early career engineers
  • Supporting early career engineers in the workplace
  • Early career engineers’ professional development
  • Developing expertise in engineering practice
  • Definitions and misconceptions regarding engineers and engineering practice
  • The perceived relevance of engineering education for employability and professional expertise
  • Engineering career pathways
  • Methods and methodological implications associated with researching early career engineers

European Journal of Engineering Education is the official journal of SEFI, the European Society for Engineering Education (Société Européenne pour la Formation des Ingénieurs, www.sefi.be). Its members are higher education institutions, individuals, associations and companies who share the common goal of improving the engineering education and strengthening the image of the engineering profession.

Author benefits:

  • Journal issues are published six times a year in print and electronic editions.
  • In addition to regular issues, the journal also occasionally publishes special issues on specific themes of general interest.
  • All papers published in this journal have undergone a rigorous peer review process, based on initial editor screening and anonymous double-blind reviewing by independent scholars.
  • Papers are abstracted and indexed in a number of databases, among them Scopus, Educational Research Abstracts, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts.
  • Our Author Services page provides tips for further promoting your research on social media and through your network. This includes 50 free e-prints to share with anyone you wish.
  • Quickly and easily track the impact your paper makes with the help of Authored Works.

Dates for your diary

  • 30 September 2019 – Last date for submission of extended abstracts: maximum 500 words outlining the background/context, research question/hypothesis/purpose, and study design/method.
  • 1 November 2019 – Notification of reviewer feedback and invitation to submit full paper.
  • 1 August 2020 – Last date for submission of full papers. Contributions are fully peer reviewed to ensure they conform to the high standards of the journal before they are accepted for publication.

Guest Editors for this special issue

Dr. Jeffrey Buckley
KTH Royal Institute of Technology & Athlone Institute of Technology

Emeritus Prof. James Trevelyan
The University of Western Australia

Prof. Christine Winberg
Cape Peninsula University of Technology

K. Edström,
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden,

Deputy Editor
J. Bernhard
Linköping University, Sweden 

Deputy Editor
M. van den Bogaard
Delft University, Netherlands