Engineering is a technical profession that seeks to solve open problems. The practice of engineering spans design, manufacture, operation and maintenance and these in themselves offer wide ranging opportunities for routine and novel approaches. In preparing engineering students through a university education, it has been observed that they have differing reactions to open ended project activities intended to model their chosen profession. For example, not all mechanical or even automotive engineering students desire to be involved in a Formula SAE Team. If students engaged in their engineering education are preparing to deal with future issues not yet perceived (open problems), why do students make the choices they do and what motivates them? Why have they chosen an engineering pathway and what do they find exciting about this prospect? With a view to strengthening educational outcomes, some initial findings from an investigation of student choices and motivations are presented.

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