engineers at the forefront

Frank Huband Enhancing the inclusiveness of engineering education. Developing the ability to create molecular digital electronic devices to continue the explosive growth that the digital electronics field has enjoyed for the last several decades. The possible threat to the human population if we are too successful in building intelligent machines using these devices. These are three of the topics discussed in this month's issue of Prism, and they demonstrate that engineers are key players in many of the central issues of our society. This fact is, I believe, not sufficiently known to members of society at large, many of whom view engineers as propeller-headed drones whose noses are perpetually pressed to the grindstone.

Although the number of engineers that society needs increases or decreases from year to year, there is a continually increasing need for engineering schools to attract the very best candidates into their programs. At the beginning of a new millennium, the definition of "best" in this context has been broadened. We need students who can connect engineering problems and their solutions to products, processes, and markets--and who can participate in the give and take of product development, marketing, and finance.

In order to attract such students, we must both enhance the visibility of the excitement of an engineering career and ensure that our engineering curricula prepare students to participate  fully in a technologically-driven society. How can ASEE contribute best to these goals? Or is my vision of engineering wrong? Please let me know your opinion

Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher