At the annual conference this year, ASEE's Corporate Member Council
(CMC) met to discuss the skills that engineering graduates will need
for tomorrow's workplace. CMC came up with seven areas they believe
are important and where they can play a crucial role.
Academic and ABET support. Today's engineering graduates
must be able to demonstrate skills in teamwork, communication, systems
engineering thinking, design, manufacturing, and continuous improvement
while maintaining their analytic skills. Systemic changes in engineering
education will enable 21st century engineers to handle rapidly evolving
technologies. Industryone of the primary catalysts for these
changesis taking an active role in advising ABET and the academic
community on how engineering education can be improved.
Curriculum improvement. To compete in today's global economy,
companies need people with diverse skills, ideas, and knowledge. Engineering
students must learn to accommodate change and be able to handle evolving
trends in industry. Universities must retain traditional strengths
in math and engineering fundamentals while emphasizing enhanced information
technology. Also, they must emphasize integrated design and manufacturing
skills, and place new emphasis on ethics, teamwork, and process-related
issues. Industries will collaborate with universities to develop science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula that will
meet the needs of industry and government.
Diversity. In the absence of a comprehensive national strategy
to address today's and tomorrow's technological workplace
needs, CMC members are partnering with ASEE and other engineering education
organizations that support diverse STEM pipeline development programs.
The programs must focus on increasing enrollment in engineering programs.
Industry and education partnerships must collaborate on engineering,
science, and technology graduate school enrollment programs to increase
the ethnic minorities and women pool of faculty, deans, and administrative
Internships and education. Industry's goal is to increase
the opportunities for both students and faculty to learn more about
real-world environments at industry sites. Internships, fellowships,
and class visits/tours are encouraged and widely supported. Concurrently,
industry wants employees proactively participating with academe in
STEM-based venues, such as advisory boards, classroom and workshop
presentations, and supporting capstone-type projects.
Research and commercialization of invention. The dialogue between
industry and academia has changed from the advancement of knowledge
and the instruction of graduate students to a discussion between lawyers
and technology transfer offices about intellectual property. In a global
economy, this model has become counterproductive. In testimony before
the Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space hearing's on
nanotechnology, Hewlett-Packard scientist R. Stanley Williams stated, Due
to U.S. universities' interpretation of the intellectual property-sharing
regime created under Bayh-Dole, it is easier to work with foreign universities
rather than U.S. academic institutions.
National and international forums. The growth of the global
economy and the number of companies engaged in multinational R&D,
manufacturing, sales, and support is creating interesting opportunities
for the engineering community. Companies recognize the need for mobility
of credentials across geopolitical boundaries and the ability of a
diverse technological workforce to work on global teams. CMC will participate
in and support the international activities of U.S. organizations and
their global counterparts addressing the subject of mobility and global
Pipeline and educational funding. Fewer pre-college students
are interested in pursuing science and math fundamentals necessary
to major in STEM disciplines in college and beyond. Industry will support
partnerships between themselves, universities, and school districts
that prepare an increasing number of students from diverse groups to
successfully participate in engineering and technology programs.
This is the CMC vision because we realize that The Future is
CMC members Isadore Davis, Raytheon Corp.; Joe
Tidwell, Boeing Corp.; Ray Haynes, Northrop Grumman; and Joe O'Brien,
Hewlett-Packard prepared this report.