the last five years, Europe has seen an explosion of research parks—there
are currently about 170 such parks with 40 more on the drawing board.
This month's cover story, "About Face," looks at
the booming trend in European research and entrepreneurship. Growth
has been sparked by local governments that see the parks as a way to
boost their economies. The article examines the components of a successful
park—the right mix of services plus an organized entrepreneurial
environment—and notes that viable science parks have managed
to weather the fallout from the technology meltdown. In Europe, a research
park may be known as a science park, a technology park, or a technopole.
The terms are interchangeable but, whatever the name, the key component
is a link to a research university and faculty members who are conducting
innovative research that has commercial applications.
Meanwhile, in the United States, many in the engineering research
community are concerned about the new security regulations initiated
after September 11. The article, "An Unsettling State of Affairs" looks
at what has happened as the Immigration and Naturalization Services
moves to scrutinize students and faculty more closely. The delays for
international students applying for visas have lengthened—at
one point the State Department had a backlog of 10,000 applications.
Colleges and universities, as well as the research community, are concerned
about the effect of delayed visas for international students who form
a big part of the research workforce.
" Down & Out in Afghanistan" takes Prism to this war-ravaged
nation where little infrastructure remains after 20 years of constant
warfare. Everything needs rebuilding—roads, bridges, sewage and
water systems, communication, and power generation—but there
is a critical shortage of the engineers needed for all projects. American
engineering educators at the University of Hartford and Purdue University
are struggling to help Herat University and Kabul University resurrect
their engineering programs, but lack of funding poses a major problem.
What do schools do after the ABET visits? How do they put the new
objectives into practice? The article, "The Real Test" looks
at these questions and also at the new challenge of the continuous
quality improvement phase of the ABET policy.
As always, I would enjoy hearing your comments and views.
Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher