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1 The Cho1 lenge The challenge confronting engineering and engineering education has been best expressed in a 1983 policy statement by the National Science Board: The United States is at a critical juncture in its industrial leadership. Not since Sputnik in 1957 has there been so much cause for concern about the adequacy of our science and technology base and our ability to capitalize on our scientific strengths to sustain industrial leadership. We face foreign competi- tors who have growing skills, lower costs, and higher productivity growth. These factors affect the security of our Nation, the standard of living of our people, and our legacy for future generations. "Statement on the Engineering Mission of the NSF Over the Next Decade as Adopted by the National Science Board at Its 246th Meeting on august 18-19, 1983.] With the appearance of this external challenge, a challenge of another kind was manifesting itself, namely, the accelerating pace of technological development, which poses new problems vis-a-vis the appropriate education of scientists and engineers, especially at the graduate level. Rapid progress in computers has probably been the most important development with regard to engineering in the last decade, because the expansion of their power has been accompanied by a remarkable reduction in size and cost, significantly changing the man- ner in which engineering is practiced. Problems that formerly could not be solved because of their complexity or nonlinearity are now readily treated with computers. Massive systems problems, previously intrac- table because of the amounts of information to be processed, are now 4

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THE CHALLENGE 5 man aged routinely, often in real time. Methods of laboratory experi- mentation have been drastically changed because data processing occurs as the experiments are run. The entire design and manufactur- ing process is being transformed into a substantially automated activ- ity, and methods of conducting business are being~revolutionized by the advent of electronic mail. Interestingly, the rapid advance in computer capabilities has also stimulated experimental research, because our ability to model natural phenomena on a computer has in some cases outrun our knowledge of nature itself. In a very real sense, developments in computer power and in experimental research move in parallel, each stimulated by the other. The technological challenge embraces virtually every field of engi- neering knowledge. In electrical engineering, particularly with regard to solid-state electronics and very large scale integrated {VLSIJ circuits, computer-aided design {CAD), robotics, artificial intelligence, and other computer-related specialties, universities have found it difficult to keep up with the pace of development, primarily because of the cost of equipment and facilities and the difficulty of finding qualified new faculty. At present it does not appear likely that any given institution can expect to offer a menu of graduate education in all subdisciplines of electrical/computer engineering. A few schools have already emerged as centers of excellence in such areas as robotics, remote sensing, microwave techniques, and microelectronics. This may be a trend of the future, and it may be a corollary that a department strongly identi- fied with a single or a few subdisciplines will have to relinquish the possibility of offering instruction and/or research facilities in other areas that might be attractive to graduate students. Nevertheless, these are fields ~ which Universities with engineering graduate programs must participate, in varying degrees. New developments in communi- cations, remote sensing, imaging, optics, and the submillimeter por- tions of the electromagnetic spectrum also pose challenges for electrical engineering. In civil engineering, the status of our entire system of constructed works represents an urgent need, particularly because of the deteriora- tion of the nation's transportation, water, and waste systems. The problems of design to protect against such natural hazards as earth- quakes, wind, and rain also need further work, even though they are not new. Accommodation of hazardous waste products, better utilization of existing materials, and development of new materials for construc- tion are other challenges to civil engineering.

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6 ENGINEERING GRADUATE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH The development of ceramic composites and fibers and the need for new kmds of materials in keeping with resources available pose major challenges to the field of materials science. At the present time the development of polymers for biomaterials often has no natural home within the academic community, with the result that it is difficult to attract good faculty and Ph.D. students to such research programs. The outlook in chemical engineering is for continued development of process technologies. Scientific advances are being made in many areas of importance, including analytical techniques, mathematical modeling, materials, information technology, biology, and catalysis. Reducing energy consumption and waste emissions will continue to be important goals that require new process technologies. The reduction to practice of recombinant DNA technology for new drugs and agricul- tural chemicals is an important development that in turn will generate new challenges. In mechanical engineering, the fields of combustion, heat transfer, theoretical aspects of turbulence, and computational fluid dynamics need further research and study. The advent of new materials calls for the development of new theoretical understanding of large deforma- tions and damage assessment of these materials. New instrumentation and large-scale computation facilities are expensive but vital to these fields. Large-system simulation has become an important tool in nuclear engineering research and education. Probabilistic risk assessment calls for sophisticated computer modeling. Nuclear engineers are presently dealing with the statistics of highly improbable events; this implies a kind of mathematics not found on the conventional graduate student course menu. Nuclear engineering education faces the additional prob- lems of scarcity of graduate students who are U.S. citizens, difficulty in attracting young people into the field, and difficulty in obtaining new faculty. In agricultural engineering there is an increasing need for computers because of the importance of large data-handling systems such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather tapes, soil base data, and geological maps of underground water sup- plies. Overall agricultural system design is a new challenge because of the advent of microprocessors for controlling machinery and other equipment. Graduate programs in minerals are generally faced with problems in acquiring state-of-the-art facilities for faculty and student use. In the fields related to exploration, graduate programs are moving in the direc- tion of computer-assisted experimental work and modern airborne

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THE CHALLENGE remote-sensing techniques. High-resolution seismic work to locate underground cavities is expensive and sophisticated, severely limiting the ability of academic institutions to educate advanced students. Several common themes emerge from the foregoing descriptions of new areas in important engineering disciplines and their impact on graduate education, namely: the importance of large-scale computation and the resultant prob- lems for academic institutions, rapid advances in available (usually expensive instrumentation arid its importance for experimental work and model validation, and the significance of interdisciplinary research and instruction et the forefront of many of these fields. Funding for computers and instrumentation must be found, whether through government or private sources, and in some fields only regional or national entities can possibly address the problem. Corpo- rate consortia are possibilities for other fields. It may be desirable, under these circumstances, to consider the development of graduate programs in multidisciplinary or interdisci- plinary fields, since many of today's engineering problems require such an approach. Bioengineering, materials engineering, environmental engineering, and manufacturing engineering are examples of fields that involve significant input from several engineering and scientific disci- plines. However, many academic units lack the resources to establish new programs in these fields. Furthermore, it is not possible for all universities to be outstanding in all fields, and most will choose to focus their resources on a selected group of fields commensurate with their resources and to develop excellence in those areas. An additional problem is that young faculty attempting to work in new interdiscipli- nary fields may find their career advancement at risk if their more senior colleagues do not accept the new, unfamiliar work as meeting the academic standards of established fields. This, then, represents the environment within which engineering graduate education and research must develop in the future. Ways will have to be found for new programs to develop and flourish within existing academic organizations and for new organizational structures to develop when needed. Graduate study will have to be made more attractive so that enough bright young men and women will be avail- able to provide faculty for the nation's engineering schools. Resources for buildings and equipment will have to be provided so that sufficient numbers of well-educated new engineers can be provided to meet the future needs of our country.