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Executive Summary Needs of the Engineering Profession Common SectorNeeds Many engineering support needs were found to be common to all the sectors academia, government, industry, private practice, and society at large studied lay the Panel on Support Organizations for the Engineering Community. In a number of instances, the support mechanisms themselves were also common. Because of their shared nature, a brief discussion of these common needs and concerns seems appropriate. Technical Competence. Maintaining technical competence has a high priority for practicing members of the engineering community. This. issue has become increasingly critical because of the ever-acceler- ating expansion of scientific and technical knowledge. This need not only manifests itself in the effective execution of state-of-the-art engi- neering work, but in the informed review and quality control of such work. Interestingly enough, practicing engineers express little need for continuing education resulting in academic credit. Short courses, sem- inars, and workshops appear to be regarded as the most effective mech- anisms for providing continuing technical education opportunities. It must be recognized, however, that 1- or 2-day seminars merely skim the surface of a new technology. To be successful, they must leave the 1

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2 SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS engineer motivated toward further study and well informed concerning additional technical or instructional resources. renumber of support organizations address this need. Their effective- ness depends upon the investment of time, effort, and money that individual engineers or the employer are willing to dedicate. Typical support organizations include professional societies, technical soci- eties, educational institutions, trade associations, and government agencies. Information Exchange. The rapid, simultaneous, and multifaceted advances occurring in scientific and technological knowledge have resulted in a formidable information overload for practicing engineers. The wealth of technical literature is overwhelming and increasingly unmanageable due to volume and diversity. Yet engineers are expected, practically instantaneously, to know of, understand, and use new con- cepts, new material, and new constraints. Fortunately, as the volume of rapidly changing technologies grows, communication means are also improving rapidly. Computer/word- processing systems can now transfer vast amounts of information, and access to such information is becoming more readily available. This rapid trend toward computerization has resulted in a major corollary need: technical competence in the computerization process itself. This need is particularly significant to practicing engineers who were not exposed to computer skills as part of their academic l~ack- ground. The support organizations that must meet this need are similar to those related to maintaining technical competence, and include the professional and technical societies, educational institutions, govern- ment agencies, and the media. ProfessionalDevelopment. Engineers regard themselves as profes- sionals and as such feel a need to associate with their colleagues for the purpose of strengthening their profession as a whole, identifying and resolving common problems, presenting a positive image of engineer- ing to the general public, examining opportunities for career develop- ment, developing policy statements related to their profession, and sharpening their professional skills. Engineers also have an ongoing need to maintain a strong sense of pride and continue the contributions to society that are hallmarks of the engineering profession. This atmosphere requires interaction among the various engineering disciplines employed in the various sectors of the engineering community. Frequently, the urgency of maintaining technical competence over

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EXEC UTIVE S UMMAR Y 3 shadows the need to enhance the stature and contribution of the profes- sion as a whole. The professional and technical organizations must take the lead in meeting this need, although engineering educational institutions also should seek to establish the concept of professional- ism as part of the educational process. Professional Standards. Professional standards and ethics are sul'- jects of major concern to all engineers, in regard to both intraprofes- sional conduct and responsibility to the public. Differing from the question of general ethics, which involves basic philosophical ques- tions about human existence, professional ethics involve guidelines for the solution of ethical problems related to the practice of a profession, problems that arise from day to day for its members. Codes of ethics have been developed by the various technical and professional engi- neering organizations, lout a strong need for review, interpretation, and discussion of these standards appears to exist within all engineering sectors, either in the sector as a whole or in its individual engineers. This need has been accentuated lay isolated but widely publicized instances of unethical conduct on the part of prominent engineers. There also appears to be an acknowledged need for greater emphasis on ethics within the engineering college curriculum. Engineering stu- dents generally demonstrate a high degree of interest and concern when given the opportunity to discuss ethics within the profession. The professional and technical societies are the basic resources for promulgation and monitoring of codes of practice and ethical conduct. State registration laws provide the legal framework for enforcement of those standards affecting public welfare and safety, but the question of intraprofessional ethics and conduct is frequently outside that domain. Existing support organizations include professional and technical societies, engineering educational institutions, state legislatures, and state boards of registration. Specific SectorNeeds Although sharing these common concerns, each sector of the engi- neering profession is also characterized by a unique set of needs. For example, marketing development skills are vital to the engineer in private practice and in some types of industry but of lesser concern to engineering college faculty or government employees. On the other hand, opportunities for attending professional meetings and seminars may be much more limited for faculty and government engineers because of legislative, funding, and/or administrative regulations. Financial compensation is another example of varying needs. The

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4 S UPPOR T ORGANIZATIONS marketplace generally determines pay scales in the private sector, while compensation in the public sector {government or academia is usually determined by legislation. Some needs, while common in a general sense, are sector-specific with regard to priority and significance. Management capability, for example, is noted as an essential skill by all sectors, particularly as related to ongoing career development. The private practice group, however, viewed this need as absolutely critical to the continued via- bility of the sector itself. Because of this intense concern, it is included as a specific concern of private practice engineering. It is interesting to note that the needs of one sector of the engineering profession may potentially conflict with the needs of another sector. Although government-employed engineers express a desire to increase their state-of-the-art technical competence by performing hands-on technical work, negative pressures are exerted by engineers in private practice who regard this type of technical involvement as competition and therefore threatening. The following summary presents those specific needs identified as significant to a particular sector of the engineering community. [These needs are in addition to the common needs and concerns previously described. ~ Detailed discussion of the rationale supporting each sector- specific need, as well as the major support organizations and mecha- nisms required to meet those needs, is included in later chapters of this report. Academic Sector. The Academic Sector Task Force, comprising representatives of both academia and other areas, identified the needs and support organizations and mechanisms felt to be most important for both the individuals within the academic community and/or the academic community as a whole. These were as follows: 1. Improved identification and description of engineering as a pro- fession and preparation for success with engineering curricula for pri- mary and secondary school students. 2. Establishment of pre-engineering program structure and stan- dards for junior, community, and other colleges. 3. Meeting the financial needs of undergraduate and graduate engi- neering students, which are intensified by the rigor and duration of . . . engmeerlng c egree programs. 4. Availability of high-quality, effective, up-to-date curricula for undergraduate and graduate students. 5. Improved financial compensation packages for engineering faculty.

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EXE C UTIVE S UMMAR Y 6. Provision of adequate instructional support resources for engi- neering faculty, including physical facilities, support staffs, and equip- ment. 7. Support to maintain continued technical competence, profes- sional recognition, opportunities for advancement, and assurance of stability. 8. Administrative and operational support for engineering educa- tional institutions. 9. Long-range planning for engineering education institutions. Government Sector. The Government Sector Task Force com- prised federal, state, and local government engineers who have been addressing similar issues on a continuing basis. The group identified a number of primary needs and the support mechanisms to fulfill such needs both for the individual engineer and for the entire engineering profession within!the government sector. In establishing these primary needs, the various levels of government federal, state, and local- were recognized, and those needs pertinent and common to all levels were given priority. A list of those needs follows: 1. Attainment of requisite management skills to enable discharging the supervisory and administrative responsibilities inherent in public ~ . . . aamlnlstratlon. 2. Attainment of communication skills to enable effective inter- change with the public. 3. Maintenance and enhancement of technical engineering skills in the face of a lack of incentives and indifference loy nontechnical man- agement. 4. Enhancement of professional development to permit generating and maintaining an atmosphere of trust and confidence with the public. 5. Recognition of the contribution of government engineers in pro- tecting the health and welfare of the citizenry through public works. 6. Opportunities to perform sufficient in-house technical engineer- ing tasks to permit maintenance of technical capability, while continu- ing to utilize an appropriate level of engineering resources from the private sector. 7. Improved working climate, including job stability, opportunities for advancement, salaries, and personnel operating regulations. 8. Development of necessary skills in establishing and administer- ing policy to serve the public interest more effectively in a regulatory role.

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6 S UPPOR T ORGANIZATIONS 9. Additional interface between engineers in the private sector and those in government to facilitate better understanding. Industry Sector. Because of the diversity and magnitude of the industry segment of the engineering community, this task force uti- lized questionnaires as a means of obtaining a consensus regarding the needs of the engineer in industry. Five specific industry groups were included in the survey: aerospace, aluminum {metal processing, chemical/petroleum, electric power generation, and electronics/com puting. An attempt also was made to include the automotive and steel indus- tries, but their particular circumstances during the time frame in which the survey was conducted precluded their participation. In addi- tion, representatives of the construction industry were provided with the results of the survey and subsequently expressed concurrence with the conclusions. A lassie study questionnaire was developed by the task force and distributed through key individuals to the various industry groups. These individuals, in turn, probed the viewpoints of both management and practicing engineers with regard to needs and available support organizations. Seventy-five companies responded to the questionnaire. The results were analyzed to determine which needs were perceived as most important, as well as to identify the key support organizations. Several of the needs expressed in the questionnaires were also identi- fied lay other sectors, including technical training, increased emphasis on professional standards, and professional development. The addi- tional needs stressed by the industry sector are as follows: 1. Opportunities and techniques for open communication and data exchange between companies to encourage advancement of technol- ogy while maintaining competitive and proprietary positions. 2. Research and development capital for high-risk but potentially high-l~enefit engineering projects. 3. Opportunities to obtain positive visibility and appreciation from other professionals and the public for engineering achievement. 4. Recruitment opportunities to identify and acquire qualified per- sonnel to fill engineering positions. Private Sector. The Private Sector Task Force comprised both con- sulting engineers and key staff representatives of two professional orga- nizations. Together they reached a consensus regarding the primary needs of engineers in private practice, resulting both from concerns common to all sectors and from issues unique to this group.

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EXE C UTIVE S UMMAR Y This sector is somewhat unusual in that the engineering component of each firm is the complete organizational entity; it is not a segment of a larger organization, as in the case of the government, industrial, and academic sectors. The constraints on engineers in this sector are gener- ally external, and resolving those constraints involves the organization as a whole. In addition, most private practice engineering firms are small busi- nesses; 80 to 85 percent have fewer than 26 employees. In such firms, the principals/owners are both the technical experts and the business managers. The following list of specific needs reflects these special characteristics of the private sector: 1. Development of management skills essential to maintaining a profitable operation. 2. Education and training of consulting engineering firms in tech- niques and strategies that will permit them to successfully compete both with their peers and with the growing number of private compa- nies and public agencies currently offering to provide services that were once the exclusive province of the consulting profession. 3. Development of adequate risk management tools to enable engi- neers in private practice to minimize exposure to risk, to avoid claims for damages, and to defend themselves in the event of litigation. 4. Guidance and assistance in achieving versatility and profitability while maintaining integrity and objectivity in the face of significant change related to nontraditional interpretation of the roles of the pri . . vate practice engineer. Support Organizations for the Engineering Profession Common Sector Support Organizations Since there is a strong thread of commonality of needs in the various sectors, the accompanying commonality of support organizations is not surprising. Furthermore, these same support organizations play a major role in addressing the needs specific to each particular sector. One of the most interesting and perhaps most important findings of this study is the degree to which the engineering community is dependent upon various components of society at large for responses to its needs. Government, both legislative and administrative at all levels; broad- spectrum educational institutions; financial and legal entities; the media, written and electronic all of these entities play a significant role in the support {or lack of support) of the engineering community. Through all sectors, the dependence on support from organizations in

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SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS the society at large is apparent. The broad development of concepts and approaches lay which this support can lie generated or increased is beyond the scope of this study. However, the general lack of public understanding and appreciation of engineers and engineering is dis- cussed in the chapter on society at large. Furthermore, the report of that task force concludes that there is a major information gap with regard to engineering and technology; the media often have trouble producing accurate information related to scientific or technological data. The single biggest problem in overcoming this information gap is perceived to lie the media's lack of easily accessible sources responsible experts able and willing to answer questions, articulately and factually, on the fast-loreaking developments in our increasingly technological society. The panel took special note of the role played lay voluntary engineer- ing associations and societies in support of both the individual engineer and the engineering profession. There are over 50 individual societies and associations at the national/international level representing the interests of and providing support to engineers and engineering. Typi- cal of the support provided are development and dissemination of tech- nical information; continuing education seminars, symposia, and home study; salary surveys and employment guidelines; general news and information about the profession, a specific technology, or area of practice; college scholarships in engineering; precollege guidance; rep- resentation of engineering interests in public policy before legislatures and government agencies; public information about engineers and engineering achievements; honors and awards for engineers and engi- neering; employment referral services; setting of technical standards for engineering practice; assistance on matters relating to engineering practice; personal and lousiness services {insurance, car rental, etc.J; developing and enforcing standards for engineering education; and many more, depending on the interests of members. The engineering societies and associations fall into four major group- ings. First, there are those focused primarily on an established or emerging engineering discipline. The American Society of Civil Engi- neers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institute of Electri- cal and Electronics Engineers, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers are commonly referred to as the "founder societies"; they are the foremost examples of this first group. Such societies traditionally have been most concerned about promoting the exchange of technical information in the discipline concerned. Concurrently, they have engaged in technical and professional activities of interest to their members, including establishing technical standards, setting stan- dards of professional conduct, promoting the public image of engineers

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EXEC UTIVE S UMMAR Y 9 and engineering, ensuring the quality of engineering education pertain- ing to their discipline, and many other matters, depending on the inter- est of their members at any given point. The second group of engineering societies and associations are those focused on practice in a broad occupational field. Examples in this category are the Society of Automotive Engineers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Society for Agricultural Engineering, American Society of Naval Engineers, American Institute of Plant Engineers, American Railway Engineering Association, and American Society for Engineering Education, among others. This group develops and promulgates technical and nontechnical informa- tion about engineering practice within the occupational area con- cerned, but also engages in other technical and professional activities based on the interests of its members. The third and fastest-growing group includes those organizations focused on a specific technology or group of technologies or upon one of the specific materials or forces of nature referred to in classical defini- tions of engineering. Examples of this group are the American Society of Metals; American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Condi- tioning Engineers; Society for Plastics Engineers; American Nuclear Society; American Welding Society; American Society of Safety Engi- neers; Society of Manufacturing Engineers; Association of Energy Engi- neers; and many others. They engage in activities to promote the development and sharing of the body of engineering and scientific knowledge necessary to their specific technologies and, as do the oth- ers, pursue other technical and nontechnical goals in accordance with the interests of their members. The final group is composed of those associations and societies formed either by individual engineers or by groups of societies to accomplish a specific purpose. The National Society of Professional Engineers was formed to promote the professional and nontechnical interests of engineers and the profession with emphases on professional standards {registration and ethics), the image of engineering, the qual- ity of engineering, and involvement in public policy. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology {ABET) was formed to accredit engineering education programs and to serve as the quality control mechanism for engineering education. The National Council of Engi- neering Examiners [NCEE) was formed to coordinate the state licens- ~ng process. From time to time, attempts have been made to form an umbrella organization to represent the entire profession, much as the American Medical Association is seen by some as representing the entire medical

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10 S UPPOR T ORGANIZATIONS profession. However, given the diversity of interests and purposes of the individual engineering societies and associations noted alcove, umbrella or unity engineering organizations have achieved mixed results. The major difficulty appears to be in deciding on which issues and lay which methods the umbrella should represent the profession. The recent restructuring of the American Association of Engineering Societies {AAES) appears to be merely an extension of past experiences. Both on purely technical issues and on nontechnical public policy issues, there are almost always a variety of possible options that respec- tive elements of the profession may consider acceptable and even pref- eral~le. It is difficult to distill all options to produce a single solution for which an umbrella group can represent the entire profession. The diversity of views expressed lay individual engineering societies is most often complementary or equally acceptable. Seldom is there outright contradiction. Furthermore, it is doubtful whether distillation of options to produce a single solution is even possible, given the nature of engineering. And, if it were possible, it is uncertain whether it is desir- al)le. The panel has therefore concluded that an umbrella engineering society is not likely to be a major support mechanism in the near future. It is estimated that approximately 50 national/international engi- neering societies and associations represent approximately 1 million of the 1.4 million practicing engineers in the United States See the report of the Panel on Infrastructure Diagramming and ModelingJ. That esti- mate, however, results from an aggregation of the individual meml~er- ships of the societies and does not take into account overlapping memberships. For example, it is not uncommon for an engineer to hold memberships in as many as five separate engineering societies or asso- ciations, depending on his or her individual interests or needs. No known purging of overlapping memberships among the engineering societies has been accomplished; however, a reasonable estimate of the actual number of engineers represented lay professional/technical engi- neering societies is 400,000 to 600,000. If this estimate is accurate, it means that only about one-third of the practicing engineers in the United States have direct access to the support offered lay those soci et~es. Because the activities of professional/technical engineering soci- eties reflect the interests of their members, it is not surprising that the panel discovered no overriding discontent as to their support for indi- vidual engineers or for the profession. The significant conclusion of the panel is that professional/technical engineering societies, as voluntary associations of their members, have reflected and will continue to reflect the interests of those members. As

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EXE C UTIVE S UMMAR Y 11 such, they are dynamic organizations whose activities vary as their member interests vary. Their form, composition, and activities are appropriately determined from within and are not readily subject to prescription by outside groups, unless that prescription reflects on active or latent interest of the members. Specific Sector Support Organizations Review of the sector-specific support organizations identified veri- fies the strong role played by the professional and technical societies. Their functions are not only related to those technical needs unique within the sector but to the relationship of the sector to the society at large. An additional commonality is evident in those nonengineering support organizations identified by each sector task force. Academic Sector. A number of support organizations have been identified that attempt to respond to the needs of the academic sector: Organizations Professional/technical societies Legislative bodies/lay boards Government agencies Private foundations Media Model curricula . . . Industrial Interaction Grants and scholarships for . . tultlon Accreditation standards Grants and subsidies for programs Publications Engineering institutions University/ college . . . ac .mlulstratlons Industry ABET Mechanisms Program standards Co-op internship programs Program funding Sponsored research Professional/ technical meetings TV and radio Here, as in the case of the government sector, many of the needs of engineers in academia must be met by organizations external to the engineering community. Of particular importance is the support pro- vided through the allocation of adequate resources for sound engineer- ing programs. Also important is the correct interpretation of engineering and the engineering curriculum to potential students-and their advisors and counselors.

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12 S UPPOR T ORGANIZATIONS Government Sector. The support organizations and mechanisms that exist for meeting the various special needs of the engineer in gov- ernment include the following: Organizations Employing organizations Educational institutions Trade associations Academic curricula Continuing education courses Professional meetings Improved compensation packages Interactions with nonengineers Work standards Professional/technical societies Media Legislative bodies Mechanisms Conferences and seminars Hands-on training Public acknowledgment and support Streamlined regulations Codes of ethics The number of support organizations outside the engineering com- munity is significant. The government engineer is particularly depen- dent upon positive attitudes in society at large for a good working climate and for recognition of work well done. Industry Sector. The industrial sector identified the following key support organizations and mechanisms: Organizations Employing organizations Government agencies Workshops/seminars Technical publications Grants Achievement awards Professional/technical societies Investment groups Mechanisms Guidance programs Tax incentives Loans Press releases/documentaries An important function of external support organizations required by the industrial sector is the acknowledgment of the contributions of industry to the quality of life and growth of the economy and the corresponding recognition of what makes these contributions possible. Private Practice Sector. The key support organizations and mecha- nisms identified by the private sector include the following:

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EXE C UTIVE S UMMAR Y Professional/technical societies Educational institutions Investment bankers Government agencies Continuing education Seminars/short courses Academic curricula 13 Organizations Mechanisms Trade associations . . . . . Lea :~ sty Insurance carriers Legislative bodies Technical literature Model contract documents , . Procurement procedures The private sector is affected significantly by the public at large, which in effect is its clientele. Consequently, support organizations play an important role in advising the public of the role of consulting engineers and in documenting the positive contribution of this sector of the engineering community. Conclusions The detailed work of the Panel on Support Organizations for the Engineering Community has been documented in a series of reports that present the findings of each sector task force Chapters 1 through 5~. For en understanding of the needs and support organizations for each sector, the reader is directed to these chapters. However, a number of significant general conclusions can be drawn from these reports: 1. A wide variety of needs exist for each sector of the engineering community, which must be met by specific types of support organiza- t~ons. 2. There is a significant degree of commonality in the statement of needs of each sector, substantiating the concept of engineering as a unified profession despite the wide diversity of engineering skills and knowledge. 3. Similarly, there are many support organizations that serve the broad needs of the engineering community. 4. Each sector of the engineering community must deal with a unique set of constraints and influences; as such, each possesses special needs that must be met through its own network of support organiza- tions. Many support organizations, however, are responsive to needs in several sectors. 5. The technical/professional organizations appear to be quite effec- tive in meeting the needs of the engineering community. To a fair

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14 S UPPOR T ORGANIZATIONS extent, however, the effectiveness of their support is based upon the participation of the organization's membership or on the ability of the organization to communicate to nonmembers the availability of the support mechanisms. 6. The nonengineering support organizations are felt to be much less effective in meeting the needs of the engineering community, largely due to a lack of comprehension of what constitutes engineering, an adverse perception of how engineering has served or is serving the public, or a failure to understand the needs that exist in the engineering community. 7. Magnifying the problem of inadequate nontechnical support is the fact that the engineering profession is highly influenced by the public sector in the manner and extent to which it contributes to soci- ety. Legislative, financial, regulatory, and administrative constraints of the society at large are present for every sector, and the degree to which they affect the optimum use of engineering skills and knowledge is of major concern to the profession. 8. Engineers and engineering have not received media coverage reflecting the quantity and quality of their contributions to society, principally because of the current lack of access by journalists to credi- lale sources of information. 9. Similarly, the educational institutions are playing an active and effective role in meeting the needs of the engineering community. However, individual organizations often have geographical or other constraints on the breadth of the population they can serve. Further- more, in continuing education a dichotomy exists between academic emphasis on degree programs and the practicing engineer's need for training lay means of short courses, seminars, etc., which are generally nondegree programs. 10. Trade associations are particularly supportive in the industrial sector and most frequently affect the activities of the profession as opposed to the individual engineer. Recommendations 1. Effective, long-range contributions to society by the individual engineer and the engineering profession are highly dependent upon improved support from society at large. New and innovative approaches must be developed for this long-recognized but inade- quately addressed need. The technical/professional societies, the National Academy of Engineering, and other organizations in the engi

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EXE C UTIVE S UMMAR Y 15 peering community should give particular emphasis to this area in establishing their priorities and programs. 2. The engineering community should take immediate steps to develop a national network that would provide journalists with access to information about engineers and engineering. The National Acad- emy of Engineering appears to be a strong candidate for the leadership role in establishing such a network. 3. Although in most cases there does not appear to be a need to form new types of support organizations, many of the existing organizations and the accompanying mechanisms critically affect the ability of engi- neers to contribute to society. These organizations should continually reexamine their programs for adequacy in terms of the changing needs of the engineering profession. They should also look beyond their cur- rent constituencies, seeking ways to broaden their availability and service to the engineering community as a whole. 4. The issue of the technology explosion as it affects the ability of the engineering profession to optimize its contributions to society should be considered an item of major concern. Existing organizations should reevaluate methods for providing better access to their support for the individual engineer; they should also provide for communication and discussion of the implications of such an explosion to society at large.