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Researchers from Purdue University and Washington State University travel to three predominantly Muslim countries to interview women engineers

Jennifer DeBoer

During the first few months of 2017, a few researchers from the US team travelled to three out of the four countries in order to collect data. Within each of the countries, there were local collaborators situated in local universities, who assisted with, and were involved in the data collection. The three groups of participants interviewed are: engineering undergraduate students, engineering faculty, and practicing engineers. These participants were primarily interviewed as focus groups, but in some instances one-on-one interviews were also conducted.

The research team comprising of Dr. Jennifer DeBoer (Purdue University), Dr. Ashley Ater-Kranov (Washington State University), and Zahra Atiq (PhD Student, Purdue University) were in Tunisia from from March 12 through March 23 where they interviewed a total of 57 women. The collaborating university in Tunisia is ENIT, where the local researchers we worked with are Dr. Raja Ghozi, and Dr. Meriem Jaidane. Since Tunisians primarily speak French, the focus groups were conducted in French.

The second destination was Jordan, where Ashley and Zahra interviewed a total of 56 students from March 30 to April 5. Our local collaborating university is Jordan University of Science and technology (JUST). Here we worked with Dr. Fahmi Abu-Al-Rab and a PhD student Taghreed AlAbadi. The interviews were primarily conducted in English.

Finally, Jennifer and Zahra visited Malaysia, where they collected data from different cities: Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, and Pengarang, from April 13 to April 23. Our local collaborators Dr. Khairiyah Mhd Yosuf and Dr. Fatin Aliah Phan are from the Center of Engineering Education of University Teknologi Malaysia in Johor Bahru. Their PhD student Tengku Nur Zulaikha was also involved proactively in the recruitment and data collection activities. The interviews were primarily conducted in English.

The research team is back in the US and is preparing to analyze the data collected. Overall, the team had a very productive intercultural, international, and inter-organizational research collaboration. The research team will visit the final site (Saudi Arabia) during the later part of 2017.