Prism Magazine - Novmber 2001
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President's Message

Wanted: Third-Class Ticket Holders

- By Gerald S. Jakubowski

I remember reading an article a few years ago that was written for a fraternity. The article was entitled, “Excuse Me, Are You Holding a Third-Class Ticket?” Since the article could apply to any volunteer organization, I couldn't resist rewriting it for ASEE. Here goes.

Whenever I fly I am always aware of the people sitting in the first-class seats, probably because I have rarely had that opportunity. I think to myself, how nice to be able to board at any time, to sit in the wider seats, to have the added attention from the flight attendants. If a first-class ticket were offered, who would turn it down?

Recently, I read that when taking a stagecoach there were three types of tickets a passenger could purchase: first-class, second-class, and third-class. If you were a first-class ticket holder, you could ride inside the coach, and if a wheel came off or the coach got stuck in the mud, you would remain in the coach until the problem was fixed. If you were a second-class ticket holder, you also rode inside the coach, but if a problem developed, you were required to get off until the problem was solved. You could stand in the distance, and if you desired, you could lend advice that would help solve the problem. If, however, you were a third-class ticket holder, you rode inside the coach if there was room, and if a problem developed, you had to get off and help fix it. This could mean holding up the coach while the wheel was fixed, or pushing the coach out of the mud.

One can use the stagecoach hierarchy as an analogy to ASEE membership. We have those who are first-class ticket holders. They seem to be asking, ‘What's in it for me?' They never attend meetings or volunteer their time. Quite simply, they're along for the ride.

Then we have the second-class ticket holders. They will attend a function and might even offer advice as to where it should be held, what should be served, and what the theme should be, but rarely volunteer to help. Sometimes this group can be vocal with criticism, especially if their suggestions are not followed.

Lastly, there are the third-class ticket holders, the members who are willing to put their shoulders to the wheel. These are the members who step forward to organize an event, to be an officer, to serve on a committee, or to lend assistance in any capacity.

ASEE needs more third-class ticket holders. Members who are determined to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Members who want to give back to ASEE so that others—especially the younger members—may know the joy and rewards of being an ASEE member.

This past summer the ASEE Board of Directors amended and approved a list of goals. The goals state that ASEE will:

  • Enhance services to its members.
  • Work with educational institutions and industry to improve engineering education and promote faculty development.
  • Facilitate productive collaborations among industry, academe, and government.
  • Increase the participation and success of underrepresented groups in the engineering profession.
  • Promote the value of the engineering profession to society.
  • Increase membership in ASEE in order to more completely serve the engineering and engineering technology enterprise.
  • Facilitate international cooperation in matters pertaining to engineering education.

The ASEE Board of Directors needs the help and support of all members in order to achieve the above list of goals. How can you help? Everybody can help increase membership in ASEE. Ask your colleagues to join, especially young assistant professors. Tell them about the advantages of membership. Are you aware of the Dean's Program? This is where first-time members of ASEE can get two years of free membership. If the dean at the new member's school will pick up the tab the first year, ASEE will pay the second year. Ask companies that you interact with to join ASEE as corporate members. We need to get industry actively involved in the engineering education enterprise, and this can be facilitated once more companies join as corporate members.

These are just a couple of ways in which each individual member can help. I am certain you can think of other ways. The overriding factor, however, is that I am asking all members to be “stagecoach third-class ticket holders.” We must be willing to work to promote the advantages of membership. We must each be willing to step forward and offer what talents we have to strengthen our organization.
What kind of ticket are you holding?




About People

- By Michael Sanoff, ASEE Today Section Editor/Writer

After a nine year run as vice chancellor and dean of engineering at Texas A&M University, C. Roland Haden announced he will step down from his position starting on August 31, 2002. Under his leadership, the quality of the Texas A&M undergraduate and graduate engineering programs steadily increased, and in 2001 the graduate program moved up to a No. 11 ranking in U.S. News and World Report from a No. 20 ranking in 1994. Haden also expanded the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) to include 14 other universities, resulting in research alliances across Texas. While he has made no detailed plans for life after retirement, Haden has not ruled out a position in the private sector or a return to the faculty.


Former ASEE President John A. Weese has been appointed the interim de-partment head for the department of mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University. Weese was the president of ASEE from 1999-2000 and joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1986 after working at the National Science Foundation.





University of Colorado at Boulder mechanical engineering professor Roop L. Mahajan has been appointed to serve as interim dean of the college of engineering and applied science. Recruited by the University of Colorado at Boulder from AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1991, Mahajan has accomplished much during his time there, including founding the center for advanced manufacturing and packaging for microwave, optical, and digital electronics as well as the center for microelectronic devices in cardiovascular applications.




University of Maryland professor emeritus and immediate past-chair of the department of fire protection engineering, Steven M. Spivak, will receive the 2001 William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award for widely recognized eminence in the voluntary standards system. Spivak has been at the University of Maryland since 1970 and introduced annual university courses on product standards and standardization and product safety and quality. He has also written two books on voluntary standards and standardization, including the forthcoming Standardization Essentials: Principles and Practice, with the late F.C. Brenner.




F.M.Ross Armbrecht, Jr. has been selected as the next president of the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) by its board of directors to succeed the current president upon his retirement. Armbrecht formerly served as the Voting Representative in IRI for the Witco Corporation.




Call for Papers

Papers are being accepted for ASEE's Zone 1 Conference on April 5-6, 2002, at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The theme of the conference is Celebrating 200 Years of Engineering Education. Suggested paper topics include:

- Interdisciplinary engineering and engineering technology education
- Technology in engineering education

- Innovations in undergraduate engineering and engineering technology education

- Client-sponsored projects and industry partnerships

- Revolutionary trends in engineering curriculum

- International program collaborations and issues

All accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings, and cash prizes of up to $300 will be given to the top three papers. One-page abstracts must be submitted by December 15 and should be e-mailed to Steve Ressler at More information on the conference is located at asee/call.htm.

A call for papers has been issued for the Symposium on Radiation Measurements and Applications, to be held at the University of Michigan on May 21-23, 2002. Abstracts and summaries must be received by January 23, 2002, and should be submitted through the Symposium's Web page located at http://rmasymposium.engin. Papers are welcome on a variety of subjects, including radiation measurements with respect to detectors, sources, spectroscopy, signal processing, and data analysis, as well as facilities. Applications to astronomy, basic science, biomedicine, dosimetry, environmental measurements, non-destructive examination, treaty verification, and other related topics are also encouraged.


The Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration will be held in Sarasota, Fla., on February 5-8 at the Hyatt Sarasota. The conference serves as an annual midwinter meeting for four divisions of ASEE, including the Cooperative Education Division, the College Industry Partnership Division, the Continuing Professional Development Division, and the Engineering Technology Division. The theme of this year's conference will be "The New Economy: Meeting the Challenges." For further details about the conference visit:  

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME International) will host the 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering on April 14-18, 2002, in Arlington, Va. Nuclear Engineering--''Engineering Today the Power for Tomorrow"--will be the theme of this year's conference, which will cover topics such as structural integrity, radwaste management, and license renewal among others. For more information about the conference, contact Mel Torre at  

On March 10-14, the International Association for Management of Technology will be hosting the 11th International Conference on Management Technology in Miami Beach, Fla. The theme of the conference will be "Drive Towards the Internet Economy: Opportunities and Challenges for Developed and Developing Regions of the World." Topics discussed during the conference will include the explosion expected in e-commerce as well as supply chain logistics. Visit: to find out more.


Did you know that ASEE administers several fellowships? There are programs for doctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty research. For more information, contact the ASEE Projects Department, (202) 331-3525; e-mail:; or see

Doctoral Research Opportunities

NDSEG Fellowship Program

The Department of Defense sponsors the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program. This program awards over 100 new three-year graduate fellowships each year. Fellowships are awarded for study and research leading to doctoral degrees in mathematical, physical, biological, ocean, and engineering sciences.

Recipients receive nearly $70,000 in stipends over a three-year period and full tuition at the university of their choice. The NDSEG program is open only to U.S. citizens and nationals pursuing their Ph.D.s at U.S. graduate institutions. Applicants must have received their baccalaureate degrees by Fall 2002. The application deadline is January 16, 2002. For more information, including application instructions, visit

Helen T. Carr Fellowship Program

Under the auspices of ASEE's Historically Black Engineering Colleges Committee, the Helen T. Carr Fellowship Program provides up to $10,000 per year to African-American students pursuing a doctoral degree in engineering. Upon completion, the recipient must teach at a participating Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Application deadlines are January 15, 2002 for students enrolling in Fall 2002 and May 15, 2002 for those intending to enroll in Spring 2003.

Participating institutions are Alabama A&M University, Normal, Alabama; Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia; Howard University, Washington, D.C.; Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland; North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro, North Carolina; Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas; Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee; and Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama. For more information, see

Postdoctoral Research Opportunities

Army Research Laboratory Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is designed to significantly increase the involvement of creative and highly trained scientists and engineers from academia and industry in scientific and technical areas that are of interest and relevance to the Army.

Applications are received on an ongoing basis and can be submitted at any time. Most research opportunities at ARL are open only to U.S. citizens. The selected participants will work in an Army laboratory with senior ARL scientists and engineers. Fellowships are awarded for one year but may be renewed for a second and third year based upon the recommendation of the fellow's advisor and availability of laboratory funds. Stipends range from $45,000 to $55,000 based on experience and research interests. Higher stipends are available for senior appointments. The program provides participants with family health insurance and life and disability insurance. Travel and relocation funds are also available. For more information, visit

Office of Naval Research Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsors a postdoctoral fellowship program at a number of Navy R&D centers and laboratories. The program is designed to increase the involvement of creative and highly trained scientists and engineers from academia and industry in scientific and technical areas that are of interest and relevance to the Navy. There is also a special initiative to increase the number of female postdoctoral participants in the program.

The ONR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program provides up to 40 new postdoctoral appointments per year. Fellows are selected on the basis of their overall qualifications and technical proposals. The selected participants will work in a unique Navy laboratory environment with senior Navy scientists and engineers. There are four deadlines per year: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

Awards are for one year and are renewable for a second and third year, given satisfactory performance and availability of funds. Competitive stipends, based upon research experience and direction, are offered. A group health insurance program is provided for participants (paid for by the fellowship) with optional coverage for dependents (to be paid for by the participant). Travel and relocation allowances are also available.

Participants selected for support under the ONR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program must be U.S. citizens and eligible for a Department of Defense security clearance of "Secret." For more information, visit

Faculty Research Opportunities

Office of Naval Research Summer Faculty Research Program

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Summer Faculty Research Program provides science and engineering faculty the opportunity to participate in research at Navy laboratories for a ten-week period during the summer break. Summer research is defined in advance through correspondence and an optional pre-program visit to the research site.

Participants have the opportunity to establish continuing research relations with the R&D personnel of the host laboratories, which may result in sponsorship of the participants' research at their home institutions. Faculty members from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions are especially encouraged to apply. The application deadline is January 16, 2002.

Stipends range from $1,350 to $1,850 per week. An optional pre-program visit to the research site is funded through the program. Pre-program visits may be made in April, May, or June. For applicants who relocate their residence for the ten-week period of appointment, a travel and modest relocation allowance will be provided. For more information, visit

Office of Naval Research Sabbatical Leave Program

The Office of Naval Research Sabbatical Leave Program provides science and engineering faculty the opportunity to conduct research at Navy laboratories while on sabbatical leave from their institutions. Participants in the Sabbatical Leave Program receive a monthly stipend making up the difference between their salary and sabbatical leave pay. Participants also receive reimbursement for travel to and from the laboratory site and a relocation allowance for those who must relocate their residence during their sabbatical leave tenure. Appointments are for a minimum of one semester and a maximum of one year.

This is a residential sabbatical and participants must conduct research on site. Applications are accepted on a continuing basis, but should be submitted at least six months prior to the proposed starting date. For more information, visit


National Model Design Competition

For the third consecutive year, ASEE's Two Year College Division (TYCD) held the National Model Design Competition at the ASEE Annual Convention this past June in Albuquerque, N.M. The competition was open to engineering students attending two-year colleges as well as freshmen and sophomores attending four-year colleges. The objective was to build a battery powered vehicle from scratch that could climb a designated inclined track as quickly as possible. With remote controls prohibited from competition, each car had to navigate the track without input from team members. Other constraints included a $300 price limit as a well as a maximum size of 5x7x15 inches for the vehicles.

Student teams from all over the country spent months designing electrical and mechanical systems that they hoped would lead them to victory. Of the dozen teams initially registered, however, only three were capable of meeting the competition's demands and brought their cars to Albuquerque. The winner of the competition, Cedarville University, rode to victory through the use of optical sensors which navigated by following black electrical tape placed on the track to guide the cars. Cedarville's car was able to overtake the incumbent Tidewater Community College car, which came in third. Tidewater's car used infrared photo sensors for navigation, while Broome College's second place vehicle was programmed to race a specified distance forward before switching into reverse at the edge of the track to finish the last leg of the race backwards.

Guidelines have yet to be given for the 2002 competition at ASEE's annual conference in Montreal. According to Tide-water engineering program head Paul Gordy, the track is reported to be some sort of a maze. If you would like further information on this as well as past competitions, visit the competitions Web site at  

The winning teams for the 2001 TYCD National Design Competition are:  


College: Cedarville University (Cedarville, Ohio)

Student team members:
Robert "Bobby" Casity
Michael Walker (presented at the competition)
Chris Brown
Rich Lebbeda
Bonnie Hammond

Bryan Horton
Nathan Collier
David Corder
Silas Gibbs
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Clint Kohl


College: Broome Community College (Binghamton, N.Y.) Student team members:
Jason Riesbeck (captain)
Dave Myers
Jeremy Purdone
Faculty Advisor:
Robert Lofthouse


College: Tidewater Community College (Virginia Beach, Va.) Student team members:
Robert Sereno (captain)
Justin Taylor
Craig Byl
Joe Concepcion
Randy Woods
Brett Byers
Craig Speed
Faith Wood
Faculty Advisors:
Paul Gordy
Steve Ezzell