Comments - ASEE´s Global Solution

Frank L. Huband

This month's cover story, "A Web of Connections," discusses "24-hour global engineering," the concept of keeping engineering projects active around the clock by taking advantage of time-zone differences. The potential for gaining a market advantage through reduced project cycle times is promising, and I am proud to say that ASEE has been putting similar concepts to work for the past several years.

Sanjai Chandra, a former MIS specialist at ASEE, is the founder of Microtek Information Systems, Inc., a Springfield, Virginia, company with an affiliated firm located in New Delhi, India. Microtek works on a variety of Web and database projects for ASEE headquarters, taking advantage of the 10½ hour time difference between the D.C. area and New Delhi.

After working with ASEE staff to define a particular project, Sanjai communicates with his programmers in India via e-mail or real-time chat sessions. While Sanjai and ASEE headquarters staff are sleeping, the programmers are busy writing code and programs. During his day, Sanjai works on the programs, and then returns the refinements to the programmers. This way, projects are in development around the clock.

The technical backbone of ASEE's Annual Survey of Engineering and Engineering Technology Programs and Research was built this way and, most recently, Microtek has been developing ASEE's new membership system that is, among other important considerations, Y2K compliant.

The state-of-the-art membership system will also have a much greater capacity for handling data, which will allow members and ASEE staff to access important information such as ASEE awards won and leadership positions held. The database will also include a comprehensive list of all engineering educators, not just current members.

The new membership system's Web compatibility will also allow ASEE to enhance member services. Plans include accommodating membership sign-up, renewal, and change of address requests online.

The Internet and the Web allow small organizations to have the effectiveness previously available only to much larger firms. ASEE intends to develop its Web capabilities to allow our organization to provide increasing benefits to you, our members.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher

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