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ASEE PRISM
  American Society for Engineering Education
American Society for Engineering EducationMARCH 2007Volume 16 | Number 7 PRISM HOMETABLE OF CONTENTSBACK ISSUES
FEATURES
ROLE REVERSAL - BY JEFFREY SELINGO
WHERE THE ACTION IS - BY THOMAS K. GROSE
MOSTLY SUNNY SKIES - BY THOMAS K. GROSE

DEPARTMENTS
COMMENTS
E-MAIL
BRIEFINGS
DATABYTES
REFRACTIONS: Weighing the Differences - BY HENRY PETROSKI
CLASSIFIEDS
LAST WORD: Retaining Students—and Their Hopes and Dreams - BY NARIMAN FARVARDIN

TEACHING TOOLBOX
A RENAISSANCE ENGINEER - Integrated engineering trains students in a wide range of fundamentals, making them particularly attractive to small- and medium-sized companies. - BY BARBARA MATHIAS RIEGEL
YEAR OF DIALOGUE: Moving Right Along - BY J.P. MOHSEN
ON CAMPUS: Earning Your Education - BY LYNNE K. SHALLCROSS


BACK ISSUES







 
A Great Source of Engineers Frank L. Huband
 


We know that America needs more engineers and that demand is already outstripping the supply. In January’s State of the Union address, President Bush again mentioned the importance of supporting science, engineering and technology. The engineering education community is feeling the pressure to produce more graduates. Thus, it may be time to reconsider some previously held prejudices and think outside the four-year college box. A recent report from the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council found that community colleges, while already essential to the education of American engineers, “have not reached their full potential.” This month’s cover story is about how these two-year institutions can be a great source of engineers that hasn’t been fully tapped. The article looks at the financial advantage of studying engineering at a community college, the crucial role community colleges can play in increasing the diversity of the engineering workforce and how well a transfer agreement can work.

Where the Action Is” examines some of the important reasons companies such as Hewlett-Packard and National Instruments have outsourced their R&D abroad. Interestingly, it’s not all about money. Above cost concerns is the country’s market potential (think India, China) and the availability of talented engineers and technical workers. Another important factor is the whole area of intellectual property. Multinationals have growing concerns about the increased haggling with American universities over IP rights of industry-sponsored research in university labs. Sometimes the value of the invention just isn’t worth the negotiation involved.

In “Mostly Sunny Skies,” we look at state spending for higher education, which is up across the nation by an average of 7 percent. That’s good news backed by the knowledge that there’s a burgeoning appreciation for universities as engines of economic growth. There have been a number of recent studies linking the success of a state’s economy to higher education. Last year’s Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable found that proximity to universities is a major factor when multinational companies decide where to locate R&D facilities.

On a different note, I’d like to close this month’s editorial by saying thank you and farewell to Jo Ann Tooley, executive editor of Prism. Jo Ann has done an outstanding job for ASEE’s publications. She’s been a superb editor, a fine writer and a good friend to ASEE. Through her talent and guidance, Prism has won numerous awards year after year. Jo Ann, a talented photographer and a devoted grandmother, among other achievements, left ASEE in February, and we at ASEE will greatly miss her.

Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher
f.huband@asee.org

 

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American Society for Engineering Education