PRISM - American Society for Engineering Education - Logo FEBRUARY 2006 - VOLUME 15, NUMBER 6 - SPECIAL ISSUE: 2006 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Seeking New Solutions

Frank L HubandThis month’s cover story, “A Challenging Matchup” is about some of the thorny issues surrounding intellectual property. This subject has grown large as companies and universities are more and more finding themselves at the negotiation table over ownership, licensing, royalties and a number of other concerns surrounding intellectual property. The day of the quick deal is gone, and today, negotiations can take a year or more, and lawyers’ fees can end up exceeding the value of the contract. Many companies feel if they’ve funded the research, they should have exclusive and sole rights to all the resulting intellectual property. Universities respond that the contracted research builds on years of prior research at the university not funded by the company. Such differences can cause negotiations to drag on. Lack of agreement over such issues has caused Corporate America to seek solutions elsewhere, in some cases taking its research proposals to foreign schools.

This cover story segues into another Prism story, Tom Grose’s story on the shortage of engineers in India, which has the world’s second-fastest- growing economy. Things are booming over there, and to cope with this exploding growth, India needs engineers—about 65,000 additional grads a year for its IT sector and about another 10,000 for everything else, from autos to chemicals to energy. The article takes a look at how schools in India are coping with this crucial need for engineers.

Can you hear me now? Well, not everyone can. About 30 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing. But engineers across the nation are coming up with creative solutions to help. Read “Hearing the Call” and learn of some of the promising technologies, including a wearable captioning system that can clip to glasses or a headband and a software game for kids called CopyCat, which can help deaf schoolchildren develop their signing skills.

And don’t forget to check out the other half of this double issue—it’s full of interesting and important information about this year’s annual conference in Chicago. Hope to see you there!

I would like to launch a dialogue among our members about what appears in Prism and what you’d like to see in future Prisms. After you’ve had a chance to read and mull over this month’s contents, please take a moment and share your thoughts by sending an e-mail to

Frank L Huband
Executive Director and Publisher



A CHALLENGING MATCHUP - Time-consuming wrangling with industry over intellectual property issues are making negotiations more difficult. - By Thomas K. Grose
A SURPRISING SHORTAGE - There’s a worldwide need for engineers, and even populous India isn’t graduating enough to meet its needs. - By Thomas K. Grose
HEARING THE CALL - Engineers across the board are working to improve the quality of life for the deaf and hearing impaired. - By Lynne Shallcross
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LAST WORD: Hispanics in Engineering - By Louis A. Martin-Vega
SPECIAL ISSUE: View the 2006 Annual Conference Special Issue for information about ASEEs annual conference,including workshops, plenary speakers and special tours. Find out why Chicago is the place to be in late June.


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