Click for next page ( R2


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page R1
E ~ nglneerlng Education and Practice in the United States Foundations of Our Techno-Econon~c Future Committee on the Education and Utilization of the Engineer Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1985

OCR for page R1
NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the project were chosen for their special competences and with regard to appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sci- ences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Acad- emy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the govern- ment, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respec- tively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. First Printing, April 1985 Second Printing, July 19 86 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 85-60423 International Standard Book Number 0-309-03539-2 Printed in the United States of America

OCR for page R1
Preface and Acknowledgments In the early 1980s the engineering profession was in ferment over its future. Soaring undergraduate enrollments coupled with faculty short- ages threatened the quality of engineering education. At the same time, industry struggled to recruit adequate numbers of engineering gradu- ates to meet the nation's growing needs. Clearly, these problems go beyond the university and the board room in a society increasingly dependent on high technology they command national attention. Despite engineering's crucial role in modern economic life, public debate on technology development and its impact on the national and global economies have not often included examination of the engineer- ing profession per se. Prompted by concern over the health of the U.S. engineering endeavor, the National Science Foundation asked the National Research Council in 1980 to conduct a study of the state and the future of engineering education and practice in the United States. The Committee on the Education and Utilization of the Engineer consisted of 26 members and 9 panels with more than 50 additional people drawn from business, industry, and education. These groups, which included all facets of engineering as well as other disciplines such as the social sciences and economics, met at regular intervals for two years to develop the findings and recommendations contained in this volume. One member of the committee was also the director of a two-year study of faculty shortages begun in 1981 by the American . .

OCR for page R1
iv PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Society for Engineering Education. {All study participants are listed in Appendix A. ~ In this report and in several forthcoming companion reports {see Appendix B), the committee attempts to present a comprehensive view of how and how well the engineering community functions. This view is directed toward a wide and diverse audience: national leader- ship in both the public and private sectors, the nonengineering public, and of course, the broad engineering community itself. Although the findings and recommendations of this report are meant to guide and inform this audience, it should be remembered that they are generic and thus cannot cover every situation. For example, some segments of society conclude that missed schedules, cost overruns, and technical shortcomings in engineering projects indicate a deficiency in engineering capability in this Coventry. Yet because not all projects suf- fer from these difficulties, we surmise that the problem lies more in management effectiveness than in engineering capability. Thus we make no recommendations on what we perceive to be an individual- ized, organizational problem. By the same token, each committee member must admit to forming conclusions based on insights from evidence that, if put to the test, would not have produced a ringing consensus. Hardly anyone involved in the give-and-take of the committee effort could escape learning new things and forming new judgments that, in turn, have become an important component of this report. For example, we are aware of intense pressures to modify the undergraduate engineering curriculum to include more subjects in the humanities, liberal arts, and social sciences as well as more technical and business courses, all within the confines of a sacrosanct four-year program. Arguments on all sides are unimpeachable but they are also mutually exclusive, and moving in favor of any one of them causes the root curriculum to suffer. The arguments could be reconciled in a plan for a preengineering undergrad- uate program followed by a professional school program, with the com- bination requiring more time to earn the first professional degree. However, because of objections to the extra costs of this approach and the expected reluctance on the part of students to extend their college program, the committee could not reach a consensus on this vexing problem. The architects of this study predicted that it would be difficult if not impossible to complete a task of such scope in two years; the commit- tee can now confirm this prediction. We hope to see our work become the first step in a continuing effort that will yield judgments and recom- mendations for which we could lay only the groundwork.

OCR for page R1
PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS v Support for this work has been provided by the National Science Foundation, the Department of the Air Force, the Department of the Army, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Navy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Additionally, assis- tance has been provided through grants from the Eastman Kodak Com- pany, Exxon Corporation, the General Electric Company, the IBM Corporation, the Lockheed Corporation, the Monsanto Company, and the Sloan Foundation. We thank all of these groups for their support and encouragement. The committee expresses its appreciation to all the participants in the study pane! members, consultants, and staff-for their dedicated efforts in carrying out the extensive undertakings required in its con- duct. The efforts of D. D. Wyatt in the early stages should not be overlooked. In particular, the committee and staff thank Courtiand S. Lewis for his valuable contributions to the preparation of this report. As chairman, I appreciate greatly the wisdom and cooperation of all con- tributors, but most especially William H. Michael, Ir., and David C. Hazen. terrier A. Haddad Chairman .

OCR for page R1

OCR for page R1
Committee Members JERRIERA. HADDAD, Chairman, {IBM, Ret. ) GEORGE S. ANSELL, Dean of Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Now President, Colorado School of Mines) JORDAN l. BARUCH, President, Jordan I. Baruch Associates ERICH BLOCH, Vice-President, IBM Corporation {now Director, National Science Foundation) DENNIS CHAMOT, Associate Director, Department for Professional Employees, AFL/CID EDMUND T. CRANCH, President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute DANIEL C. DRUCKER, Dean of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana {now Graduate Research Professor of Engineering Sciences, University of Florida at Gainesville) FRED W. CARRY, Vice-President, Corporate Engineering and Manufacturing, General Electric Company JOHN W. CEILS, Director of AAES/ASEE Faculty Shortage Project {ATTEST, Ret. ~ AARON ). GELLMAN, President, GelIman Research Associates, Inc. HELEN GOULDNER, Dean, College of Arts and Science, Professor of Sociology, University of Delaware JOHN D. KEMPER, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Davis EDWARD T. KIRKPATRICK, President, Wentworth Institute of Technology . . V11

OCR for page R1
V111 COMMITTEE MEMBERS ERNEST S. KUH, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley W. EDWARD LEAR, Executive Director, American Society for Engineering Education LAWRENCE M. MEAD, JR., Senior Management Consultant {Senior Vice-President, Ret. ~ Grumman Aerospace Corporation M. EUGENE MERCHANT, Principal Scientist, Manufacturing Research, Cincinnati Milacron, Inc. (now Director, Advanced Manufacturing Research, Metcut Research Associates, Inc. ~ RICHARD i. REDPATH, Vice-President, Ralston Purina Company FRANCIS E. REESE, Senior Vice-President, Monsanto {now retired) ROBERT M. SAUNDERS, Professor, School of Engineering, University of California at Irvine {Chairman, Board of Governors, AAES, 1983) CHARLES E. SCHAFFNER, Executive Vice-President, Syska Hennessy JUDITH A. SCHWAN, Assistant Director, Research Labs, Eastman Kodak Company HAROLD T. SHAPIRO, President, University of Michigan MORRIS A. STEINBERG, Vice-President, Science, Lockheed Corporation DONALD G. WEINERT, Executive Director, National Society of Professional Engineers SHEILA E. WIDNALL, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Staff WILLIAM H. MICHAEL, JR., Executive Director VERNON H. MILES, Staff Officer AMY JANIK, Administrative Assistant COURTLAND S. LEWIS, Consultant Government Liaison LEWIS G. MAYFIELD, Head, Office of Interdisciplinary Research, National Science Foundation

OCR for page R1
Contents Executive Summary Background 1. Introduction . . . Context of the Study The Committee's Approach . Report Structure . 2. The Role of Engineering in America Roots of the Profession Maintaining American Strength and Influence Improving the Quality of Life Maintaining the Public Trust References . . . . . . . . Where Does Eng~neer~ngStand~n America Today' 3. Defining the Engineering Community ~ The Changing Nature of Contemporary Engineering Characterizing Engineering's Infrastructure The Support Structure for Engineering Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations References ~ 1X .21 . 21 . 22 . 23 .25 . 25 . 27 . 27 . 28 . 28 . .31 .31 . 34 . 44 . 49 . 50

OCR for page R1
CONTENTS Current Status of Engineering Education Critical Areas Special Topics Areas of Rapid Change Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations References .51 . 53 . 68 . 73 . 79 5. Utilization of Engineering Resources . . . . . . . . . . 86 The Engineering Work Force: Characteristics and Trends . . 8 7 Quality of the Engineering Work Force . . . . . . . . . . 95 Issues of Supply and Demand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 The Importance of Adaptability . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 . 105 . 107 Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations References A Look at the Future 6. Engineering's Future: Requirements for a Changing Environment The Year 2000: What Will the Engineering Environment Be Like? Means and Mechanisms for Adapting Successfully . . . . 117 Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations . . . . . . 121 References 123 Appendix A: Subcommittee and Pane! Membership and Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Appendix B: Inputs to the Committee Report Index . 130