This month's cover story in Prism continues
our examination of globalization and its effects on engineering
education. As hundreds of thousands of engineering jobs at U.S.-based
companies move offshore, traditional geographical boundaries in
the workplace are disappearing. Information-based work products
can now be transported around the globe. Thus, rather than qualified
people seeking work wherever work is, work is seeking qualified
people wherever they are, at the lowest possible cost. The benefits
of globalization, such as cheaper goods and services and a higher
standard of living for many, make it likely that this movement is
an inevitable trend. Outsourcing low-end jobs within science and
engineering is one component of that trend. Globalization requires
American science and engineering communities to continue their leadership
in innovation and productivity. One of the challenges facing engineering
educators is refining the engineering curricula to reflect the increasing
competitive challenge to U.S.-trained engineers.
In our article "Wizardry at Work," inventor
and industrialist Joel Spira says he founded the Ruth and Joel Spira
Excellence in Teaching Award to encourage individuals who have the
magical gift of teaching. Spira awards have gone to over 100 teachers
from a number of universities. Winners are teachers who inspire
students, transmit enthusiasm, and have a love of teaching.
African-American males make up just 2.6 percent of
full-time engineering faculty nationwide. In "Paving the Way,"
Prism reports on a group formed to encourage more African
Americans to stay the course in pursuing advanced engineering degrees.
The Brothers of the Academy seeks to create a more formal community
of African Americans in engineering education to provide the needed
support, as well as to nurture young black academics.
The profile of Maria Klawe paints an interesting portrait
of a Renaissance woman who is not only dean of engineering and applied
science at Princeton University but also a marathon runner, kayaker,
hiker, guitar player, and a talented watercolor artist. Klawe wants
Princeton to be a world leader in half-a-dozen engineering areas
and believes that engineering education should be approached from
an interdisciplinary perspective.
Prism tries to provide a varied mix of articles
for your interest. As always, I welcome hearing if you think we
have succeeded. If you have comments or thoughts, why not send me
Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher