ASEE Prism Magazine - May/June 2003
The Graduate
Engineers, Start Your Engines
Magnetic Fields
All The President's Friends
ASEE 2003 Annual Conference - HItting a High Note in Nashville
ASEE Today
Professional Opportunities - Classifieds
Last Word
Back Issues

ASEE Today

President's Letter

- By Eugene M. DeLoatch   

Do You hear Me?

As we progress through the years, we often form impressions that follow us for a lifetime. For me, the most vivid of these impressions are associated with the lessons I learned from two people that I care for dearly and hold in the highest esteem—my mother and father, with an emphasis on my mother.

I became adept at knowing when a lesson of this kind was coming: I would receive an order to report to my mother immediately. And since this command usually came in the presence of friends or siblings, there was the embarrassment of having to listen to the mocking calls of "Oh! Oh! You're in trouble! You're going to get it." Gathering my courage—hands to my sides, chin to my chest—I made my way to her side. There, looking down, making certain not to make eye contact, I would be welcomed with the grip of my mother's hands upon my shoulders, her thumbs firmly placed between my shoulders and chest. The vise of her grip implied the seriousness of our confrontation. With a slight pull forward, she would tell me what it was that I was never to do ever again, followed by the words, "Do you hear me?" When I sort of grunted the answer while still avoiding eye contact, I would hear her question for a second time, "Do you HEAR me?" Realizing the gravity of the situation, I would generally answer in a slightly more audible tone, "Yes." Then, with a bit more thumb pressure applied, the question would come a third time, "DO YOU HEAR ME?" And after a very audible "Yes," I then quickly heard, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" With my final response-a genuinely firm "YES"—I was released. Following the encounter, I did not easily forget the lesson that had been taught.

Knowing how many of my fellow engineers think, I suspect that by now you're probably asking, ‘What is the point of this column?' I assure you I have a point and, absent thumbs to the shoulders, I will attempt to get it across. My point rests, in part, on the words of National Academy of Engineering President William Wulf who spoke at the 2003 ASEE Engineering Dean's Institute (EDI). Building on EDI's theme, "Engineering Education in 2020: What a College of Engineering May Look Like in 20 Years," Wulf began by expressing his concern for the "technological health of the country" and made a case for engineering education reform. While acknowledging the marvelous engineering achievements of the 20th century, he issued a warning that "the pace of change in the practice of engineering is outpacing the change in engineering education." To narrow the gap between the two, Wulf called for major changes in the engineering curriculum and pedagogy.

While I cannot do justice to everything Wulf said in this limited space, these are some of my impressions: It is a disgrace that less than 50 percent of the students who begin engineering studies actually complete them. The 21st century's proliferation of knowledge and the confluence of bioengineering, materials, life sciences, discrete mathematics, and so forth, have made baccalaureate-level engineering studies only the starting point of an engineering education. As a creative activity, engineering must conclude—as other creative disciplines do—that the demonstrated ability to practice should be the basis for faculty promotion. Finally, every educated person must also be technologically literate, and engineers have an important role to play in making that happen.

As Wulf finished with each of his points, I felt the seriousness of what engineering educators must confront and found myself recalling the words, Do You Hear Me? And when Wulf said, "Most faculty do not believe that change is needed—and there must be a change in the attitude of the faculty if change is to occur," I felt the gravity of the situation, the firm final grip to the arms, the deep impression of the thumbs, and an echo of the words, Do You Understand?

Eugene M. DeLoatch is president of ASEE and dean of engineering at Morgan State University. He can be reached at

Security Issues Top This Agenda

- By Rachel Jagoda

It was no surprise that homeland security was the primary focus of this year's EDC Public Policy Colloquium in February, where deans from 37 states met in Washington, D.C. Speakers and deans explored the responsibilities of engineers in a nation threatened by terrorist attacks and the impending war with Iraq.  

William Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering, encouraged the deans to make their views known to policy makers regarding engineering and technology decisions in the post-September 11 era.  Not only should they provide scientific and technical advice to lawmakers and federal officials; they should give their personal opinions on the use of technical information as well. He spoke of as troubling the designation of information as sensitive but unclassified—a still undefinted term that is being used increasingly to describe homeland-security initiatives. He urged engineers to speak out on the subject, saying that many influential policymakers don't understand the importance of sharing information among colleagues.  

In his keynote address, Representative Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), newly named to the House Committee on Homeland Security, said it is important to for deans to maintain international connections in scientific research. "Science and engineering are the key cornerstone [to our relationship]," he said when discussing a proposal for a national science policy that he presented to the Russian Academy of Sciences. He said the time has come to move away from the Cold War mentality to forge a new relationship with Russia. This new partnership, he said, should be based on collaborations in the areas of science, ranging from agriculture and engineering to medical research. The Russian Academy of Sciences has already adopted his proposal for scientific cooperation.

Weldon also warned that funding cuts for basic science and engineering research could prove disastrous from both a military and an economic point of view. "I believe the future of American success in the world lies in science and technology research and engineering," he said, noting that without further research, terrorists might be able to exploit American technological advances through cyberattacks.  

Addressing other political issues, speakers from the public and nonprofit sectors described the federal budget preparation process. Marcus Peacock, associate director for natural resource programs at the Office of Management and Budget, and Kathie Olsen, associate director for science at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, spoke of the challenges of establishing a budget for FY 2004. They cited the large federal deficit, the war, the new Homeland Security Department, and the lack of a final FY 2003 budget at a time when the FY 2004 budget had already been released.

During the afternoon, the deans participated in sessions on homeland security and military defense, the engineering workforce, and bioengineering.  Donna Dean, deputy director of the National Institute for Bioimaging and Biomedical Engineering, talked about NIH support for bioengineering research and its role in emerging new technologies. Following the presentation on homeland security and military defense by Patty Bartlett, Georgia Tech' s federal relations director, and University of Washington's federal relations staffer Elaine McCusker, the deans expressed their own concerns, particularly the need to maintain opportunities for international students to work on engineering research projects that might involve sensitive information.  

At a Capitol Hill reception, the deans presented Representative David Price (D-N.C.) with the Engineering Deans Council Award for his contributions to science and engineering policy and programs. Price urged the deans to discuss their ideas and concerns with their Congressional delegations the following day.


Rachel Jagoda is a public-policy assistant at ASEE.
She can be reached at

ASEE Board of Directors Election Results

ASEE members elected Sherra E. Kerns as ASEE President-Elect for 2003-2004. Kerns is Vice President for Innovation and Research and the F. W. Olin Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. She will assume the office of ASEE President-Elect at the 2003 Annual Conference and become President the following year.

Other ASEE officers elected by members are:

Vice President, Public Affairs:
James L. Melsa, Dean of Engineering, Iowa State University

Vice President, Finance:
Arthur T. Murphy, Dupont Fellow Emeritus, E. I. Dupont de Nemours & Co., Inc.

Chair, PIC II:
Walter Buchanan, Director of the School of Engineering Technology and Professor of Electrical Engineering Technology, Northeastern University

Chair, PIC III:
Frank M. Croft, Jr., Associate Professor and Section Head of Engineering Graphics, Ohio State University

Chair-Elect, Zone II:
Sandra A. Yost, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Detroit, Mercy

Chair-Elect, Zone IV:
Robert J. Marley, Dean of Engineering, Montana State University–Bozeman

A K-12 Focus at Deans Summit

- By Eric Iversen   

In January, engineering deans and faculty members from 65 colleges and universities met in Miami with their counterparts in education to talk further about increasing technological literacy among K-12 teachers and students. "Deans Summit II: Fostering Campus Collaborations" was sponsored in part by the Engineering Deans Council and organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as an extension of the first dean's summit held in 2001. That meeting resulted in the formation of many partnerships between engineering and education deans with the goal of improving K-12 science and mathematics education.

As Walter Gmelch, program chair and dean of the college of education at Iowa State University, observed, "To fulfill their role, schools need teachers who are grounded in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This, in turn, calls for effective teacher-training programs, developed jointly by experts in technology and education. The deans seek to nurture such partnerships on college and university campuses worldwide."

Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland—Baltimore County, gave a rousing keynote speech on how to create a "climate of success" for all students. He stressed the importance of role models and understanding the larger social context in which students live, and challenged the audience with the "fundamental task of helping young people reach their dreams." He noted that the future of engineering—and America's reliance on engineering—depend on how well schools can make the field relevant and attractive to women and other minorities. Joe Bordogna, deputy director of the National Science Foundation, and Sheppard, senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation, also addressed plenary sessions.

The various speakers in panels and workshops reinforced summit themes of teacher preparation, community outreach, and pedagogy. Peter Crouch, co-chair of the Deans Summit and dean of engineering at Arizona State University, said progress is being made. "The Deans Summit concept is gaining momentum and entering a new phase. There are many successful collaborations now underway that show us which approaches are the most the fruitful and should be tried elsewhere."

Those collaborations include a program at Michigan Tech in which teachers take courses designed to introduce engineering applications to the K-12 classroom. A University of Oklahoma program allows children to stay enrolled in engineering outreach programs from kindergarten through the 12th grade. And a Lehigh University project, Constructive, Inquiry-Based, Multimedia Learning, has shown considerable promise in increasing the number of women and other minorities in computer science and electrical engineering.


Eric Iversen is director of corporate affairs at ASEE.
He can be reached at

2004 ASEE Annual Conference - Calls for Papers 

The following Calls for Papers are for the 2004 ASEE Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, to be held June 20-23, 2004. Submission dates will be posted on the ASEE Conferences Web page soon. All submissions will be accepted electronically via the CAPS program beginning on August 1.  

Architectural Engineering Division

The Architectural Engineering Division seeks papers from academia and industry related to engineering, architecture, construction, building, and engineering technology. Topics may include: cooperative efforts between education and industry, innovative teaching methods ("outside the box") and curricula, international education and teaching experiences, integrating design into the curriculum, using the new technology in the classroom, co-ops and internships, case studies, capstone projects, research, professional, and teaching areas.

For more information, contact Gouranga C. Banik, Ph.D., P.E., Southern Polytechnic State University, 1100 S. Marietta Pkwy, Marietta, GA 30060, phone: (770) 528-3711, fax: (770) 528-4966, e-mail:   

Civil Engineering Division

The Civil Engineering Division invites submissions of papers on topics related to civil engineering education. General topic areas include the use of instructional technology to enhance CE education, CE toys in the classroom, professional practice issues, and innovations in CE teaching methodology and curriculum development.

For more information, contact Professor Wilfrid Nixon, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 4105 SC, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, 52242, e-mail:

Computers in Education Division

The Computers in Education Division invites papers for the 2004 ASEE Annual Conference. The program committee has identified the focus areas listed below, but outstanding papers on other topics related to computers in engineering education will also be considered:

  • Handheld computer (PDA) applications and ramifications in education
  • Software packages, including symbolic computing and equation solvers
  • Instrumentation and laboratory systems, including data acquisition
  • Digital signal processing, including hardware/software for embedded systems
  • Simulation and animation, including algorithms and artificial intelligence
  • Computer science education for engineers
  • Computer architecture, including hardware descriptive languages
  • Mobile robots: Impacts on engineering and computer science education
  • Internet applications in classroom and lab, including automated evaluation systems
  • Embedded computing, including microprocessor and microcontroller selection and applications  

Criteria for selection and publication: The Computers in Education Division has adopted a publish-to-present rule for the ASEE Annual Conference. The two-step review process will consist of an abstract review followed, if favorable, by a full-manuscript review. Acceptance of the work at both stages of review is necessary for presentation in CoEd sessions. Abstracts are judged on level of innovation, technical merit, demonstrated outcomes, and relevance to engineering, science, and technology education. Complete manuscripts will be judged on these same criteria as well as on accuracy, completeness, readability, and rigor of presentation. The CoEd program will consist of conventional technical sessions as well as one or more poster sessions. All presenters are expected to register for and attend the conference.

For more information, contact the program chair, Dr. B. E. Bishop, Dept. of Systems Engineering, United States Naval Academy, 105 Maryland Ave. (Stop 14a), Annapolis, MD 21402, phone: (410) 293–6117, e-mail:

Construction Engineering Division

The Construction Engineering Division seeks papers on topics related to construction engineering education and practices. Topics include new trends and advances in construction engineering education/curriculum/ pedagogy, delivery methods, undergraduate student research/projects, applied and service learning, international collaborations, and other topics of interest to construction educators. For abstract submission dates, refer to ASEE conference Web site.

For more information, contact Virendra K. Varma, Program Chair, Construction Engineering Division, phone: (816) 271-4562, e-mail:

Continuing Professional Development Division

The Continuing Professional Development Division is interested in receiving submissions of abstracts that address innovative programs for educating the technical workforce. The CPD division is particularly interested in case studies and lessons learned from relevant experience. Topics of particular interest include: Training engineers to respond to homeland security threats, programs in manufacturing informatics, innovative methods for evaluating efficacy of educational programs, cost-effective use of instructional technology, and unique collaborative industry/academia professional development programs. Other innovative and timely topics are always welcome

For more information, contact the program chair, Eugene Rutz at University of Cincinnati, College of Engineering, P.O. Box 210018, Cincinnati, OH  45221, phone: (513) 556-1096, e-mail:

Electrical and Computer Engineering Division

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Division seeks abstracts for papers to be presented at the 2004 ASEE Annual Conference. Topics of particular interest include: Curricular and design innovations, laboratory development and innovation, asynchronous and Web-based learning networks and techniques, undergraduate research , assessment of teaching and learning, novel methods for implementing ABET Engineering Criteria 2000, globalization of engineering education, entrepreneurship in ECE programs, and trends in computer engineering and electrical engineering education, bioengineering and life sciences, information engineering/technology, wireless and broadband communications, and optoelectronics. Other topics of general interest in electrical and computer engineering education/research will also be considered. Abstracts of 200-300 words must be submitted electronically through the ASEE CAPS system. Authors of accepted abstracts will have the opportunity to submit a full paper, which will be peer reviewed for possible inclusion in the conference proceedings. Proposals for special paper sessions or panel discussions should be submitted to Hossein Mousavinezhad, 2002/2003 ECE division chair, at Individuals interested in organizing/moderating a session or participating in the peer review process should contact the division chair for more information. 

Energy Conversion and Conservation Division

The Energy Conversion and Conservation Division invites papers on educational issues related to the following topics: Renewable sources, energy storage, energy conversion and co-generation systems, efficiency improvement, advanced computer applications for teaching, research, and management, industrial and commercial energy conversion and conservation, aerospace power, and energy research and management. Papers should focus on teaching and learning and may cover areas such as course organization and content, laboratory equipment and experiments, student projects , and coop/intern programs. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit a full paper for peer review and possible inclusion in the conference proceedings.

For more information, contact program chair Ilya Grinberg at Buffalo State College, Technology Department, 315 Upton Hall, 1300 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222, phone: (716) 878-4411, e-mail:

Engineering Economy Division

The Engineering Economy Division seeks papers for next year's ASEE Annual Conference. Topics of interest to EED include: Current trends in teaching engineering economy, innovative teaching methods for engineering economy, integrating engineering economy research into the classroom, international aspects of engineering economy, and the role of engineering economy in FE and PE examinations. The EED requires that all presented papers are reviewed and accepted for publication in the conference proceedings.

For additional information, please contact: Janis Terpenny, ASEE-EED program chair, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, University of Massachusetts, 160 Governors Drive, Amherst, MA, 01003-9265, phone: (413) 545-0707, fax: (413) 545-1027, e-mail:

Engineering Libraries Division

The Engineering Libraries Division seeks papers related to innovations in the presentation and delivery of information resources and services for engineering constituents. Topics may include instruction and reference programs and services, the integration of information literacy with the engineering curricula, marketing and outreach, collection development and management, development and management of digital resources, and professional issues related to engineering librarianship. ELD does not have a publish-to-present policy.

For more information, contact Andrew Shimp, Engineering Librarian, Yale University, P.O. Box 208284, New Haven, CT 06520-8284, phone: (203) 432-7460, e-mail:

Engineering Technology Division

The Engineering Technology Division and the Engineering Technology Council seek papers on educational activities in all engineering technology disciplines for the 2004 ASEE Annual Conference.  Topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • ABET Assessment of ET Programs using TC2K
  • Accreditation Issues in ET Distance Learning Programs
  • Assessment of ET Courses
  • Assessment of ET Programs
  • Building Real World (Industrial) Applications in the ET Classroom/Laboratory
  • Critical Thinking, Communication, and Teamwork in ET
  • Diversity: Women and Minorities in ET
  • Effective Uses of Technology to teach ET
  • Enhancing Problem-Solving Skills in ET
  • Enrollment trends in ET
  • ET Building Bridges with Community Colleges
  • ET Building Bridges with Engineering
  • ET Capstone Design Courses
  • ET Courses for Non-ET Majors
  • ET Courses in General Education and Liberal Arts
  • ET Distance Learning Courses/Programs
  • ET Faculty Changing Roles
  • ET Faculty Promotion Issues
  • ET Project Management—Understanding Business Practices
  • ET Software and CAD Applications
  • ET Student Cross-Disciplinary Projects
  • ET Student Design Teams/Projects
  • ET Web-Based Instructional Courses
  • ET Web-Uses in Curriculum
  • Ethics, Project Management, or Lifelong Learning in ET
  • Flexible Teaching and Learning Formats in ET
  • Graduate Programs in ET
  • Industry and ET Education Collaborations
  • Innovative Curriculum Development in Civil Engineering Technology/Construction

Abstracts should be 200-300 words and will be accepted only via the Conference Abstract/Paper Submission system (CAPS). At the end of your abstract please indicate three choices for your prioritized session topic areas where you feel your paper will fit. Please note that ETD requires submission of the full final version of the paper in order for a paper to be accepted for presentation at the conference, in either a technical or poster session, as well as for publication in the proceedings.

In 2003, we had 30 technical sessions and there are more than 40 topics listed above. A minimum of four papers in a topic area is needed to justify a session. A poster session may be used to accommodate papers that do not fit into a session but are worthy of publication in the proceedings. Questions may be addressed to the 2004 ETD Program Chair, Ronald H. Rockland, Ph.D., Associate Dean, Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Phone: (973) 642-7155, fax: (973) 642-4184, e-mail:

Entrepreneurship Division

The Entrepreneurship Division seeks abstracts of papers and pre-conference workshops for presentation at the conference and publication in the ASEE proceedings. Submissions are invited from all engineering disciplines for sessions on technological entrepreneurship and innovation. While all papers that address entrepreneurship in an engineering context are welcome, of particular interest are those that address one or more of the following broad themes: course/curriculum/program assessment, developing and using E-teams, cooperative curricula, especially between engineering and business, creating synergy between curricular and extracurricular activities, tapping funding sources for entrepreneurship programs, developing collaborative relationships, rapid prototyping/manufacturing to support entrepreneurship, and incubation and entrepreneurship education. We are especially interested in hearing about programs that have demonstrable results to share that are significantly different from past presentations and about completely new programs that have not previously shared results or designs.

If you have questions, please contact McRae C. (Mac) Banks, ASEE ENT program chair, Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Department of Management, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609, phone: (508) 831-5218; fax: (508) 831-5720, e-mail:

Freshman Programs Division

The Freshman Programs Division seeks papers relating to educational activities associated with first-year engineering students. Topics under consideration include: instructional use of computers and computer software, creative problem-solving courses, project-based and hands-on courses, innovative approaches to first-year engineering education, integrating design into the freshman year, integrated curricula for the freshman year, advising and orientation programs, retention programs, recruitment programs, and pre-college programs and linkages with K-12 education. Peer review occurs for both abstracts and papers. Final papers must be written and accepted in order for the work to be presented at the annual conference. Submission of abstracts and final papers will be via the CAPS system according to ASEE deadlines.

For more information, contact William Koffke, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085, phone: (610) 519-7308, fax: (610) 519-7312, e-mail:

Mechanical Engineering Division

The Mechanical Engineering Division seeks papers in all areas of mechanical engineering education. Papers are invited that involve: innovative teaching and learning strategies, course and curriculum assessment and improvement, laboratory courses, experiments, and hands-on projects, capstone design programs and design throughout the curriculum, integrating humanities, mathematics, science, electrical engineering, materials engineering, and other topics in mechanical engineering courses, integrating research and education, integrating mathematics into the mechanical engineering curriculum, faculty career management, industry involvement in academia, outreach programs, national competitions, and other trends in mechanical engineering education. Instructional areas of interest also include, but are not limited to, thermal/fluids and energy systems, mechanical systems, smart materials and structures, MEMS, mechatronics, nano- and bio-mechanical systems, computers and information technology, sustainable design, and motorsports. Papers will be peer reviewed, and all papers to be presented must be accepted for publication in the conference proceedings.

For more information, contact program chair B. K. Hodge at Mississippi State University, Box ME, Mississippi State, MS 39762, phone: (662) 325-7315, fax: (662) 325-7223, e-mail:

Minorities in Engineering Division

The Minorities in Engineering Division (MIND) seeks abstracts for papers for the 2004 ASEE annual conference. The MIND division looks forward to receiving abstracts from all interested engineering/engineering technology educators. Possible topics include:

  • Minority faculty development toward promotion and tenure
  • Computer literacy among minority students
  • Attracting minorities into engineering/engineering technology programs
  • Issues of concern for minority engineering/engineering technology faculty members
  • Mentoring new minority faculty members.

The abstract to be submitted should be about 400 words. Submission will be through the CAPS system in the ASEE Web site. It is anticipated that there will be a size able number of abstracts submitted, covering a wide range of interests to make the 2004 annual conference a memorable one.

For questions regarding abstract submission, contact Dr. Willie K. Ofosu, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, P. O. Box PSU, Lehman, PA 18627, phone: (570) 675-9137, fax: (570) 675-7713, e-mail:

Physics and Engineering Physics Division

The Physics and Engineering Physics Division seeks abstracts of proposed papers on topics of broad interest to the physics and engineering physics community. Possible topics include: ABET accreditation issues, how to teach physics to engineers, to recruitment and retention in physics and engineering physics, engineering aspects of engineering physics programs, the teaching of introductory physics (majors and nonmajors), K-12 outreach programs, innovative teaching and assessment methods, as well as other topics.