Date of Thesis

Spring 2022

Description

This thesis seeks to characterize if and how practicing engineers’ perceptions of expertise development, decision-making processes, and engineering intuition vary by aspects of identity, specifically gender and career stage. This thesis is built from ongoing work of the Miskioğlu group on the relationship between expertise and intuition in engineering. Intuition is a characteristic of experts used in decision-making, and the importance of experience in the development of expertise is well documented in literature. There is a gap around how intuition relates to experience, prompting the need to compare the perceptions of early career engineers and mid-to-late career engineers. This thesis additionally focuses on gender-identity, as the impact of gender-identity on experience in engineering is well-documented. Research questions focus on the expertise-experience-intuition overlap and were evaluated through qualitative data collection and analysis. Emergent results suggest a perceived disconnect between intuition and expertise development and intuition and decision-making approaches, amongst engineers of all career stages. Intuition is perceived to be integral to engineering work, but engineers are hesitant to rely on it. This thesis furthers existing knowledge of engineering intuition and provides a basis for future work in the area.

Keywords

expertise, decision-making, intuition, engineering education

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering

Major

Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Elif Miskioǧlu

Second Advisor

Matthew Higgins

Available for download on Friday, May 09, 2025

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