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Executive Summary Broad Issues in Engineering The Committee on the Education and Utilization of the Engineer has conducted a broad study aimed at achieving a comprehensive under- standing of engineering in the United States and assessing its capacity to meet present and future challenges. Over a two-year period the com- mittee addressed a great many specific questions relating to the charac- teristics and functioning of engineers. As a result, its findings in these areas are numerous and detailed. Apart from these detailed findings, the committee also addressed broad questions that cut across the vari- ous areas of study, and for that reason they do not directly reflect the organizational plan of the report itself. By addressing the following five broad issues, this summary attempts to convey the essence of the full report and its findings. Is the Eng~neer~gEducationa] System Healthy' When the committee began its work in 1982, there was a widespread perception of crisis in engineering education. Accordingly, the commit- tee examined this situation very closely. Its findings indicate that the situation was indeed critical in many schools, primarily because of a tremendous increase in enrollments in the face of faculty shortages. In many schools the capacity to cope was and still is being strained severely, but the educational system is managing {albeit with varying 1

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2 ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE degrees of strain from school to school}. Simply getting by is not satis- factory, however, and it is not acceptable. The committee believes that it is not productive to debate whether the problems in engineering education are of crisis proportion. But there are problems in engineering colleges that vary in intensity depending on the individual situation. The faculty shortage is proving particularly hard to redress because too few students choose to go into graduate study for the Ph.D end because too few of these have wanted to take faculty positions. Increases in current doctoral enrollments pro- vide hope for at least some improvement in this area especially because undergraduate enrollments seem to have leveled off and because schools are now making stronger efforts to improve faculty compensation and the academic work environment. Nevertheless, the problem is still far from solved in many institutions. Among other concerns, over 40 percent of the anticipated new Ph.D. graduates will be foreign students on temporary visas and thus probably will not be available to help meet the faculty shortage. In some schools, laboratory equipment is obsolete and physical plants and facilities have deteriorated-problems that grow more severe with each passing school term and with each advance in science and technology. There is also the continuing difficulty of providing a broad education in engi- neering fundamentals, a degree of specialized knowledge in a certain field, a general education, and communication and technical manage- rial skills in four years. However, the committee notes that the public's regard for engineer- ing education has risen in recent years {as seen, for example, in increased appropriations by various state legisTatures) and recognizes that the quality of engineering students and graduates-aTike has been very high. In addition, educational technology and continuing educa- tion offer increasingly powerful and affordable means to alleviate some of the existing problems. These views are not universally shared. Some respected members of the engineering educational community feel that the problems remain dangerously severe and that improvements are merely cosmetic. They are concerned that the overall level of technical education in this coun- try will not sustain the nation's leadership in the face of worldwide growth in technical competency. The committee recognizes that the future is uncertain and that inter- national competition will increasingly test the strength of engineering education. Although the engineering educational system does show some signs of recovering from the severe problems it has experienced, additional efforts and support on the part of schools, industry, and

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EXECUTIVE S UMMAR Y 3 government are required in many areas to improve the health of the system. How Competent are Engineers in the United States? In light of a number of highly publicized engineering failures in recent years, it is pertinent to ask whether the quality of U.S. engineer- ing is good enough to protect public health and safety and to achieve national goals. The committee found a widespread opinion within industry that the competence of recently graduated engineers is higher than ever before. There is no evidence of a serious flaw in the basic technical education of entry-level engineers. On the contrary, the new engineers have strong analytical skills and an excellent theoretical base in engineering sci- ence. However, most companies find that the contemporary graduate lacks the ability to step into a job and become immediately productive. Although this is not a new problem, it has been exacerbated by the trend toward fewer design or practice courses. Often, additional train- ing of six months to a year or more is required to acclimate the new engineer properly to the requirements of the job. Some aspects of this in-house training are simply specific to a given company (procedures, special products and terminologies, etc. ~ and as such are unavoidable. Other aspects are industry-specific, or involve bringing the engineer up to the state of the art in the industry. Offering this training is a particu- lar problem for smaller companies because of its cost. Another element of the problem is that to make the transition from a high school graduate to a competent practicing engineer requires more than just the acquisition of technical skills and knowledge. It also requires a complex set of communication, group-interaction, manage- ment, and work-orientation skills. The committee views these addi- tional components as coming from two sources. First, the impact of educational content in these areas is very impor- tant. For example, education for management of the engineering func- tion {as distinct from MBA-style management) is notably lacking in most curricula. Essential nontechnical skills such as written and oral communication, planning, and technical project management {includ- ing management of the individual's own work and career) are not suffi- ciently emphasized. The question is, how to include training in these skills? The existing four-year curriculum is already severely strained, and the instruction-intensive nature of education for these skills makes teaching them even more problematical given the current high

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4 ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE student-faculty ratio in schools. Five-year and dual-degree programs are two options; continuing education also holds promise. The com- mittee believes that different schools can and should develop different means of accommodating these educational needs, depending on what each school deems important. Some will weave them into existing courses by changing the way in which courses are taught. Others will offer separate for-credit courses, using greater flexibility in course requirements. But some restructuring of the standard four-year curric- ulum will probably be required. The second aspect of nontechnical education comes through work experience. The committee believes there is more educational value in early work experience than has generally been acknowledged. It imparts a greater ability to work in teams and a familiarity with project work. It gives invaluable experience in the use of equipment and instru- mentation {severely curtailed in some schools by large classes and a lack of modem laboratory equipment) . Most important, it sharpens the student's perspective on the relative importance of different aspects of the undergraduate education. The traditional sources of early work experience are cooperative education and summer employment. Coop- erative education has some traditional problems: inconsistent support by industry, high program management costs to the schools, and faulty design of programs from the standpoint of industry are among those most often mentioned. But these problems are solvable. The commit- tee recommends that academic and industry leaders join together with government as necessary to develop mechanisms for improving exist- ing work-education approaches and devising new options to include a greater part of the engineering student cohort. What is the Employment Picture for engineers in the United States' In 1970, engineers represented 1.6 percent of the U.S. work force. As of 1983 that figure was 1.4 percent. The percentage of engineers has dropped because of a rapid growth in the overall employed population; the number of engineers grows substantially each year it is now approximately 1.6 million. Industry demand for engineers has been high for the past decade, notwithstanding the intervening recession. The perception of abundant jobs in engineering is reflected in the greatly increased enrollments in engineering schools. Demand has been particularly high in fast-growing industries such as electrical, electronics, and computer engineering. Spot shortages have appeared in these fields, but output from the engineering schools may by now be alleviating those shortages.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 5 The committee found that, on average, engineers are the highest- paid professionals who are not self-employed. They enjoy among the lowest unemployment rates of any group (rarely higher than 2 percent) . The most prevalent occupational areas are development {28 percent) and general management (20 percent]. The least frequent areas of work are research {less than 5 percent, with only 1 percent in basic research) and teaching {2 percent}; however, 11 percent of all women engineers are involved in research. One finding that was initially troubling was that there are apparently far fewer technicians and technologists) in the work force than there are engineers. This apparent weakness in engineering support seemed to imply inefficient use of resources. However, the committee found that self-reporting of data distorts the picture considerably {i.e., many technicians and most technologists define themselves as engineers). In addition, there are many engineers who do technician-level work. Thus, there is a built-in asymmetry in the data for these groups; the occupational structure is actually not as top heavy as it would appear. Regardless of the relative distribution of educational levels, the system seems to find the most appropriate balance via market mechanisms. Thus there is no need to redress the technician/technologist/engineer balance. The data problem is further complicated by the fact that engineenng, engineers, and the engineering community are poorly defined terms. Inconsistencies in definition pervade statistical studies, thus com- pounding the difficulty in understanding. Data bases and conceptual diagrams of the engineering community all reflect this lack of consis- tency. In the course of its work, therefore, the committee adopted comprehensive definitions of these terms. Both directly and indirectly, the federal government has become a significant user of engineering goods and services. About 6 percent of engineers are employed directly by the government; a higher propor- tion of engineers work in the government {some 5 percent) than is found in either the industrial or academic sectors. When indirect employment is taken into account {i.e., prime contractors), the federal government employs some 30 percent of U.S. engineers. {It should be noted that this is roughly equivalent to the portion of the overall GNP generated by the federal government). The committee is concerned that civil service regulations make it difficult for the federal govem ~ Technologists are defined as holders of a bachelor of engineering technology degree.

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6 ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE ment to compensate engineering employees at certain levels of experi- ence {and in most engineering disciplines) in a competitive fashion. In view of the strong direct dependency on engineering talent for many of its most important activities, the federal government should review its compensation policies to ensure that it can competitively recruit and maintain a high-quaTity engineering work force. There are serious concerns about the dislocation of engineers that takes place when major changes in demand occur. Often, shifts in government funding drive these changes. Although the profession as a whole has shown great adaptability to changing demand, such events cause considerable stress for individuals and within disciplines. Changes also result in inefficient use of engineering resources. Retrain- ing programs offered by industry or government are of course one solu- tion to this problem. However, the committee believes that effective continuing education throughout a career holds great promise for keep- ing engineers professionally flexible enough to anticipate and avoid harm from technological obsolescence and changing demand. The edu- cational services offered by technical and professional engineering soci- eties are important in this regard and should-be supported and used by a greater proportion of the engineering community. Although the committee did not Took closely at the use of engineers from a managerial standpoint, many findings suggest that this is an important issue. The ways in which engineering resources and capabil- ities are allocated have an enormous bearing on the effectiveness of engineering practice in the United States. How an engineering enter- prise is organized and managed can have considerable impact on pro- ductivity. Appropriate management practices can foster an atmosphere in which the creative, innovative potential of engineering is more fully tapped. Thus there is a need for corporations and government agencies to examine critically the relationship between their engineering manage- ment practices and general management goals. Attention to these issues could have significant positive implications for the effectiveness of an organization. Are Women andM`noritiesAdequate~yRepresented? Since the early 1970s, considerable effort has been devoted to increasing the participation of women and minorities in engineering. The recruitment efforts have paid off: the percentage of minorities in the engineering work force has doubled and the percentage of women has more than tripled. Currently, more than 15 percent of engineering

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY undergraduate students are women {as compared to about 1 percent in 1970), which has generated a feeling of success among many of those concerned with the issue. However, some sobering facts should be pointed out. Compared with the sciences and other professional disciplines, women are still a small part of the engineering work force. Perhaps even more significant, beginning in 1982 there has been a mild slowdown in enrollments of ~ women in engmeermg. Similar trends can be seen for minority groups. Enrollments of blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians increased steadily through- out the 1970s but have recently leveled off or declined somewhat. The one exception to this pattern has been Asian Americans, who continue to study engineering at increasingly high rates. As in the case of women, minorities overall {with the exception, again, of Asian Ameri- cans; are poorly represented in the engineering work force in compari- son with other professions. What is the desirable level for these different groups? Some assert that it should be parity or near parity on a population-proportional basis. Women constitute about 50 percent of the general population and minorities constitute some 28 percent. Yet only 5.7 percent of engi- neers are women and 4.6 percept are minorities. On this basis, women are less well represented than the aggregate of minorities. However, Asian Americans alone account for nearly two-thirds of the total minority representation; blacks account for less than one-third. Because blacks constitute some 12 percent of the general population, it can be seen that on this basis their representation is roughly equivalent to that of women. The same pattern is reflected in the engineering schools, whether in comparison with the general population or with enrollments in other courses of study. The committee believes that the determination of appropriate levels of representation in engineering for both women and minorities is not a matter for judgment by panels of educators and industry representa- tives. These are social questions requiring broader discussion. How- ever, both women and minorities are represented as students and as practitioners in engineering at Tower levels than in other science and technology professions. Therefore, the committee concludes that the participation of women and minorities in engineering should be mat- ters of continuing concern to the engineering community. There is still much to be done. A case in point is the treatment of women on engineering faculties. There is a recurring perception of bias against female faculty members in assignment of teaching responsibilities, in selection for research

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8 ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE teams, and in granting tenure. In many schools there also appears to some to be a bias against female graduate students as candidates for faculty positions and in the provision of financial and intellectual sup- port. College administrators should make a candid assessment of the attractiveness of academic life for women in their institutions, and if negative aspects such as these are found, they should take firm steps to eliminate them. Another area needing attention is the precollege education of women and minorities in both science and mathematics. For women, early exposure to physics in particular appears to be a key factor in the later choice of engineering as a course of study. Poor preparation in science and mathematics limits the appeal of engineering to these groups and increases the attrition among those who do study engineering, espe- cially among minority students. Educators should develop strategies to increase the size of the initial science/mathematics pool of minorities and to reduce attrition all along the educational pipeline. Such strate- gies should include innovative ways to increase the appeal of mathe- matics and physics for female students. Will the Engineering Community be Able to Meet Future Demand? Questions of supply and demand and of the relative balance between them have often occupied those concerned with engineering personnel resources. However, it is misreading to refer to an overall balance in supply and demand because the picture always varies considerably across different engineering disciplines. For example, demand for civil engineers is now less than the supply, while demand for computer engineers exceeds supply. The situation is always dynamic, although on average it may appear relatively stable. In fact, the difference between stringent shortage and painful surplus is a matter of only about 5 percent of the engineering pool in either direction. There is little point in attempting to make projections of future shortages or surpluses of engineers. Demand cannot be predicted accu- lately. The committee does not know what economic turns the future will bring. The exact nature and timing of future technology develop- ment is also uncertain: New technologies will emerge, but no one can predict when or what they will be. Intemational factors are also impor- tant. Will American companies increasingly go outside the United States for new business? Will foreign engineers increasingly compete withU.S. engineers for domestic as well as internationalbusiness? The best that can be done in the face of such uncertainty is to identify the changes that are likely to occur and then determine whether the system can cope with those changes.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 9 The committee believes that there will be an increase in engineering work in the future. New technologies and the new industries they spawn will be at the center of this growth. Public expectations regard- ing health, safety, and environmental protection will also contribute, as will further development of third world countries. At the same time, the productivity of engineers will also increase. This change will be based not just on increases in production and qual- ity but on fundamental changes in the nature of engineering work brought about by new technologies and new engineering practices. Engineering tools based on the computer, such as computer-aided design and computer-based workstations, are part of this revolutionary change. New methods, such as simulation and modeling, are driving engineering activity in the direction of greater abstraction-more mathematical analysis and less experimentation. The rate of change in each of these areas will vary from field to field, industry to industry. The degree of balance between the trends across different fields of engineering will have a major impact on the composi- tion of the engineering community- on the ratio between engineers, technologists, end technicians and, indeed, on how we define engineer- ing work. Other factors will undoubtedly influence the scale and pattern of demand in different ways. Recurrent shortages of capital resources and shortages of both energy and raw materials will affect rates of growth in every field. Increases in the length of time over which industry seeks to maximize profits may ultimately result in improved product quality and thus in increased demand for technology-intensive goods. Govem- ment demand for engineering goods and services will probably increase even beyond present levels. Underlying all these variables and uncertainties is as least one cer- tainty: we are entering an era in which engineering will play a more dominant role than ever before. Requirements for both the quantity and quality of engineers are increasing. The changes just outlined will have a great impact on how engineers are educated. Under such conditions, they will have to be adaptable as changing market and economic conditions force them to shift into new areas of work. Through better grounding in engineering fundamentals, more structured programs in continuing education, and greater prepa- ration for managing engineering work and an engineering career, there may be a great increase in the self-directedness of engineers in general. Thus, in the future engineers may play a greater role not only in shaping the course of their own careers but also in determining the direction of development in engineering-intensive industries. The engineering profession historically has demonstrated consider

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10 ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE able flexibility and adaptability in responding to changing demand. This capability is likely to be taxed to the utmost in coming years. To meet the challenges the future will pose for engineering requires seri- ous attention by government, industry, and academic leaders. Conclusion and Perspective When the National Science Foundation asked the National Research Council to conduct a study of the education and utilization of engi- neers, there were widespread concerns that the profession was under stress and that engineering education was in crisis. However, by 1984, during the period when this committee was conducting its phase of the study, data became available that suggested the situation might be improving. Engineering faculty were no longer leaving the schools at a significantly greater rate than they were coming in from industry. More students were beginning to pursue the doctoral degree, thus offering hope that faculty numbers might be augmented. Large numbers of students were responding to market demand, studying engineering and then going into industry. To be sure, this heavy enrollment created severe overcrowding in classrooms, but the graduates were largely bright, energetic, and ambitious and appeared to be satisfying indus- try's requirements. Moreover, the engineering profession appeared to be healthy. It was no longer jet least for the moment) being subjected to the degree of criticism it had met with in the recent past. Engineers themselves are relatively well paid and enjoy the lowest overall unemployment rate of any occupation. It appeared to the committee that the engineering community was addressing many of its problems on its own. Market forces and the profession's traditional resiliency seemed to be having a salutary effect. In reviewing these apparent trends, the committee then asked the questions, "Is action required, and, if so, what kind? Will the engineer- ing enterprise in the United States retain its basic health in the absence of action?" The committee concluded that inaction would pose risks that should not and need not be taken. Technological, economic, and social change will continue to intensify and will place even greater stresses on engi- neering's ability to adapt. Although some problems of the past appear to have been eased in recent years, whether the system will function well enough to meet the nation's needs in the future cannot be predicted or guaranteed. Because the ability of the engineering community to meet society's

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 11 changing demands in the context of a more competitive world is criti- cal to the nation's interests, the committee believes that every precau- tion must be taken to ensure that it does function well. Many areas continue to pose problems for engineering. Some require changes in funding; others require changes in current practice or sim- ply changes in attitude. Some are relatively simple to implement; oth- ers are more difficult or complex. All are important. The consequences of ignoring the engineering enterprise are too great to permit the nation to take the future health of that enterprise for granted. Accordingly, the committee presents its recommendations for action. Recommendations It should be pointed out that these recommendations2 do not derive directly from the foregoing executive summary, nor does the summary itself provide adequate support for the recommendations. Instead, the recommendations are drawn selectively from the accompanying report of the committee, which is itself based upon nine panel reports. In the executive summary, the committee has tried to distill the essence of this very complex set of reports and the extensive study that they represent. To gain a full understanding of the ration- ale upon which each recommendation is based, the reader is urged to read the report of the committee and to refer as well to the relevant panel reports. 1. Engineering institutions, such as industrial concerns and engi- neering schools, have proven in the past to be remarkably adaptable, and individual engineers generally have been flexible in responding to change caused by new programs and changing technology. The engi- neering system, although resilient, is not invulnerable; it requires proper financial, educational, and management support. The commit- tee concludes that there is no need for actions that would fundamen- ta]]yalter the functioning of this adaptable system However, there are seriousprobJemsofsupport, of curricula, andofpo~icyandpractice that must be addressee] if that adaptability and flexibility are to be main- tained {See chapter 5, pages 102-105. ~ 2. A shortage of highly qualified faculty continues to threaten the quality of engineering education. Universities must take steps to make engineering faculty careers more attractive than at present in order to 2 Among the activities contemplated in a later phase {dissemination of resultsJ of this study are presentations to representatives of industry, government, and academe and discussions of the recommendations of the study. From such interactions it is expected that additional initiatives and specific actions will be developed.

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12 ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PM CTICE fill vacant facu~typositions Salaries need further improvement, ade- quate facilities are necessary, and current teaching overloads should be reduced. Such measures would help to alleviate the problem by increas- ing the number of highly qualified U.S. citizens who obtain the Ph.D. and choose teaching as a career. jSee chapter 4, pages 53-56. ~ 3. A major increase in fellowship support and concomitant engi- neering college research support are needed in order to attract more of the very brightest U.S. citizens into graduate programs in engineering. To attract top studentsintograduate work, doctoralfe]]owships should carry stipends equal to at least half the starting salary of a new B S graduate {See chapter 4, pages 56-59. ~ 4. To assist in a]Zeviating the faculty shortage, engineering faculty members and a~ninistrators shou7didentifyand utilize as facu~tyindi- vidua~s such as government, military, and corporate retirees, with or without the Ph D, who are not seeking tenure and who would we]- come a short-term contract for a second career {See chapter 4, pages 66-68 ~ 5. If U.S. engineers are to be adequately prepared to meet future technological and competitive challenges, then the undergraduate engineering curriculum must emphasize broad engineering education, with strong grounding in fundamentals and science. In addition, the curriculum must be expanded to included greater exposure to a variety of nontechnical subjects "humanities, economics, sociology) as well as work orientational skills and knowledge. Education in these areas is needed to improve the communication skills of engineers as well as their ability to understand and adapt to changing conditions that affect technology development. To accomplish this expansion wilLl require restructuring of the stan- dard four-year curriculum by various means. The committee recom- mends that extensive disciplinary specialization be postponed to the graduate level Beyond that, in~vidua] engineering schools Will have to closely examine their existing curriculum in order to ascertain how the curriculum can best be restructured to accommodate the other important educational needs {See chapter 4, pages 68-69 and chapter 5,pagesll7-120.) 6. In the context of an increasingly global economy, American engineers must become more sensitive to cultural and regional differ- ences, so that they can design products that foreign markets require and will accept. Engineers will also need to appreciate the financial, politi- cal, and security forces at play internationally. The nontechnical com- ponents of engineering education ought to include exposure to these aspects of contemporaryengineering In addition, the engineering com

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 13 munity should strive to ensure open communication on these matters among engineers and companies the world over. {See chapter 6, pages 114-115.) 7. The committee believes that cooperative education and other such interning programs have played a valuable role in undergraduate engineering education. The committee therefore strongly recom- mends that the National Academy of Engineering and the professional societies take the initiative in bringing together representatives of industry, academe, and government to develop better work-studypro- gran~s. Means should be found to eliminate the sometimes cyclical nature of industry support for these programs and to make it feasible for a much larger fraction of the engineering student cohort to participate. {See chapter 4, pages 68-69. ~ 8. Patterns of government support since the 1950s have led to a two-tiered system of engineering colleges. As one result, colleges of the second tier {those that are primarily undergraduate-oriented) do not benefit sufficiently from the substantial government/industry funding for graduate education and research at colleges of the first tier. The federal government and inclus try should recognize and support innovative programs in undergraduate engineering education in the second-tier institutions, which annually supply half of the nations engineering graduates. These colleges must have access to new and additional sources of income. In addition, ways must be found to pro- vide for more equitable distribution of the many benefits that accrue to first-tier schools. For example, faculty members and students at sec- ond-tier institutions will need to be involved in the use of research facilities and programs of major centers of research. {A plan for such access should be a part of the proposal for such facilities .) {See chapter 4, pages 61-63. ~ 9. With regard to the continuing problem of obsolete and deterio- rating equipment and facilities in engineering schools, a national pro- gram of government-industry-college matching grants is required to address the situation. Industry, academe, and the professional societies ne,ed to join forces in promoting legislation where necessary to facili- tate gifts of laboratory equipment to colleges of engineering. In the special case of bricks and mortar, the federal government and industry should be prepared to match those funds raised for this purpose by state governments or from philanthropic sources. {See chapter 4, page 60. ~ 10. Various organizations and institutions are developing programs {such as the Semiconductor Research Corporation and the National Science Foundations's Engineering Research Centers) designed to fos- ter closer ties between engineering colleges and industry. More such

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14 ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE creative and innovative programs of a specific nature are needed to strengthen the bond between engineering schools and industry. Such initiatives ought to be in addition to current programs of industry sup- port for shared faculty, advisory councils, and donations of equipment and funds. Continuation of the R&D tax credit is essential for main- taining all forms of industry funding of research in engineering schools. {See chapter 4, pages 76-78. ~ 11. The capacity of the engineering educational system could be expanded by creating a network of dual-degree programs such as those which already exist between some liberal arts and engineering colleges. The National Science Foundation should examine experience to date with duaI-degree and otheraitemativeprograms, and should then take the initiative, if indicated, in establishing a pilot group of colleges and! engineering schools to demonstrate effective structures for such pro- grams. This pilot program could be funded by a combination of founda- tions, industry, and government agencies. Experience gained from the program could then be applied to a wider group of institutions. In addition, the experience gained would be relevant to the often-debated model of preprofessional followed by professional engineering educa- tion. It would also be highly relevant to the examination of options for restructuring the curriculum to satisfy competing educational demands {see recommendation 5) . {See chapter 4, pages 66-68. ~ 12. Computers, and computer-aided instruction in particular, should be recognized as powerful educational systems tools. These tools should be applied as rapidly and as fully as practicable in all academic programs in such a way as to enhance the quality of engi- neering education. Engineering schools should create programs for development of educational technology by faculty, with shared insti- tutiona7, industry, an~lgovernment funding. {See chapter 4, page 71.) 13. Engineers can be productive in engineering work over a longer period if they have access to effective continuing education. How- ever, the lack of company reimbursement and release time is a strong demotivator for pursuing continuing education. Those companies that do not offer their engineering employees financial and work time relief for continuing education are encouraged to do so. {See chapter 4, pages 71-72.) 14. There is great variability among engineering technology pro- grams in terms of entry requirements, standards of achievement, cur- ricula content, semester hours required, and overall quality. The committee finds that this diversity serves a useful purpose, given the diversity of industrial needs in different regions. However, technical and techno70gy institutions should cooperate in eliminating variabi]

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 15 ity that has no relevance to market needs and is strictly arbitrary {See chapter 4, pages 74-75. ~ 15. To improve the qualifications of students intending to study engineering, it is essential to increase the number of high school grad- uates who are literate in science and mathematics; improved written and oral communication skips at the secondary level are also very important The committee supports the recommendations put forth in recent studies by the National Commission on Excellence in Edu- cation and by the National Science Board's Commission on Pre-Col- lege Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology. {See chapter 4, pages 73-74.) 16. Because of major demographic changes {such as a decline in the number of 18-year-olds and a population shift from the Frost Belt to the Sun Belt), schools in some geographical areas will experience significant decreases in application rates by the early 1990s. Engineer- ing schools should examine the impact of these factors in their area in order to anticipate steps they Will need to take to increase the flow of qualified students from their regional pool One way to accomplish this is to increase the enrollment of qualified women and minorities. Other programs specific to the circumstances of the individual insti- tution will also need to be devised. iSee chapter 4, pages 62-66. ~ 17. While the fraction of women engineering students has grown considerably in recent years, it is still significantly lower than female representation in other fields of college study. Likewise, the propor- tion of women engineers is considerably Tower than the proportion of women in other science/technology professions. Therefore, contin- ued efforts should be made to increase the participation of women in engineering Perhaps the most important elements are greater effort {as recommended by other study groups) to increase the study of mathematics and science by female secondary-school students and continuing action by colleges of engineering to increase female enrollment. It is also important to improve the role model represented by women engineering faculty. To this end, college administrators should make a candid assessment of the attractiveness of academic life for women on their faculties, and if negative aspects are found, they should take firm steps to eliminate them. (See chapter 4, pages 62-66 and chapter 5, pages 92-94.) 18. The committee recognizes the fine work being done in many cities and regions to encourage minorities to enter engineering school, as well as that of the many colleges and organizations which support retention programs for minority undergraduate engineering

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16 ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE students. Yet minorities continue to be underrepresented in engineer- ing. Therefore, the committee recommends that these efforts be broadened For example, precollege programs such as those operating in a few major cities and regions must be expanded and funded so as to better prepare and motivate minority students to pursue careers in engineering. {See chapter 4, pages 63-66.) 19. Existing definitions and diagrammatic conceptions of the engineering community are inconsistent ant! incomplete. Yet defini- tions and diagrams are essential as a basis for describing the engineer- ing community and its essential elements in a manner conducive to accurate data collection, display, and analysis. Therefore, the com- mittee recommends that the National Academy of Engineering (NAEJ take the initiative to call together the various public and private data- base-co]]ecting organizations to see how best to arrive at commonaI- ity in definitions, survey methodology, and diagramming methodology Organizational roles can be determined in the coordi- nating meeting. The purpose will be to ensure, to the greatest degree possible, that data collection efforts result in accurate and compatible data bases that describe the engineering community and its various components in totality. {See chapter 3, pages 34-43. ~ 20. Data regarding engineering technologists and technicians indicate a top-heaviness in the work force, with engineers outnum- bering these support personnel. However, this is a misreading impres- sion deriving from asymmetry in the data. Since the engineering occupational structure appears to find the most appropriate balance through market mechanisms, there is no need at the present time to take action to alter the technician/technoJogist/engineer balance However, periodic monitoring of this balance would be advisable {See chapter 5, pages 88-90. ~ 21 In view of its strong direct dependency on engineering talent for many of its most important activities, the federal government should review its compensation policies to ensure that it can recruit competitively and maintain a high-qua~ity engineering work force on a ~scip~ine-by-~scip~ine basis iSee chapter 5, pages 98-100.) 22 The committee believes that it would benefit the engineering community if a greater fraction of engineers were members of the engineering technical and professional societies. Therefore, steps should be taken to enhance the attractiveness of membership. Toward this end, the committee recommends that the activities of professional societies be explained more fully to students during the undergraduate years In auction, industry and government agencies should encourage engineering employees to participate in the activi

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 17 ties of the societies, and shou]dprovicle support for thatparticipation. {See chapter 3, pages 44-49.~ 23. The engineering community has an obligation to assist the media in the media's job of informing the general public and various special constituencies regarding the nature and status of technical projects and programs. To this end, the committee recommends that the NAB take the initiative in creating a media institute that would pro Title centralized coordination of a nationwide network of techno- Jogica] information sources to respond to media requests. iSee chap- ter 3, pages 44-49.)

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