Analysis of a trial of mentoring between civil engineering students and practicing engineers
The local branch of the Professional Engineering institution discussed with the local university’s civil engineering department the potential for future joint activities. It was agreed that a good initiative would be to trial a mentoring program involving practicing engineers and students. The civil engineering department made contact with the university department most familiar with mentoring, which was the school of educational studies and leadership. That group has great experience with teaching and research into mentoring through working with education of school teachers and a wide variety of professional groups. The aim of this paper is to provide enough detail and data from our trial to support others in the design of similar mentoring programs between engineering students and practicing engineers. The paper briefly reviews the rich literature related to mentoring, with a focus on engineering mentoring in particular. That is followed by the details of our mentoring trial (the methods of the research), then the results of our trial, and finally conclusions in the form of the strengths of our trial, areas for improvement, lessons learned, and the future steps we intend to take.